The Benefits of Telecommuting
Studies have shown the benefits of telecommuting extend beyond the employee. Employers and communities also benefit in several different ways. Researchers from the University of Iowa and the University of Texas at Austin found “Where the impact of telecommuting has been empirically evaluated, it seems to boost productivity, decrease absenteeism, and increase retention.”
In a different study, Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University, teamed up with Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, to test some ideas about telecommuting. He found that telecommuters worked 9.5 percent longer — and were 13 percent more productive.
One of the most obvious bonuses of telecommuting is the environmental benefits. Let’s assume you drive to the office 255 days a year, and your commute is 10 miles each way (20 miles a day). That’s 5100 miles a year. If you worked half of your days from home it’d be 2550 less miles driven. If we assume an average of $3.60 per gallon and we also assume that your car gets 20 MPG, you would save $459 a year and reduce the amount of CO2 you emit by 1.4 tons.
Most jobs can at least partially be done via telecommuting. It’s up to employers and employees to determine the right amount for each position. Where internet and software are concerned, the technology that exists in most homes is now equal to that which is available in the office. When these factors are combined and the options explored, the benefits will be plain to see for employees, employers and communities.