The case for corporate telecommuting

A recent Yahoo! HotJobs article named some of the most popular telecommuting jobs.

Entrepreneurs and freelancers have enjoyed the benefits of working from home for years – including those distant pre-Internet ones. Privacy, cheaper dry cleaning bills and uber-casual work wear (think PJs at noon) are just a few advantages.

What about more traditional office-based employees? For many, there’s never been a better time to telecommute.

According to WorldatWork, an Arizona-based human resources research group, more than 33 million U.S. workers telecommute at least once a month. That number is expected to rise dramatically over the coming years as technologies become more advanced and companies continue to look for ways to trim costs.

Even government employers are beginning to embrace the advantages of e-commuting.

About those benefits. Here are a few that come to mind:

•    Increased productivity, job satisfaction and flexibility. A 2008 teleworker survey conducted by Cisco Systems – one of the country’s most telecommuter-friendly companies – credits several employee-related improvements to the company’s teleworking program.
•    Decreased stress. Trading rush hour for a 10-second walk to the home office isn’t just convenient; it’s a headache-eliminating, morale-boosting work stimulant.
•    Reduced operating costs. The same Cisco survey said telecommuting saved the company about $277 million in a single year.
•    Improved employee retention and recruitment. Companies that are serious about retaining valuable employees and attracting new ones are beginning to get serious about implementing work-from-home programs.
•    Positive environmental impact. Fewer trips to the office save energy and decreases fuel consumption.

How likely would you be to work for a company that does not allow telecommuting? Are you a teleworker? If so, what disadvantages do you experience when working from home?

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