How Do Employers Feel About Telecommuting?
There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to employers and allowing their employees to telecommute?
What are they?
The first school of thought is that if you give the telecommuters ‘too much freedom,’ they’ll slack off and won’t be productive.
Is this really the case?
The second school of thought is that giving freedom to individuals shows trust, and often times the employees will go above and beyond, in order to show gratitude.
Still skeptical? Keep reading…
Recently we sent out a short questionnaire to get an idea of how employers feel about their telecommuting policy. Seeing as many employers seem optimistic about this work paradigm, finding a remote job should be easier than ever for job seekers. Without further ado, here are their (quite positive!) responses:
Do you trust that your telecommuting employees are being productive at home? Please be specific.
“Because we’ve given our employees the option to work remotely, we find they are a lot more productive and have more personal accountability. For example, my customer service and tech support employees do not mind addressing questions from clients – who might be in another part of the world – later in the evening (when they aren’t physically in the office or at their desk). This offers tremendous value to our customers since they can get support within 24-hours no matter where they are located. It also benefits the employee because they are given the flexibility to take-off at different times of the day to attend to important personal business.” – Kelli Negro, VP of Marketing with Voxeet.com
“Of Doubledot Media’s 28 employees, 19 work remotely, and their level of productivity is the same as, or perhaps slightly higher, than those who work in the office. It doesn’t matter if an employee is doing laundry in between writing blog posts or checking Facebook. All that matters is that my employees complete their work on time.” – Simon Slade, CEO and Co-founder of SaleHoo
“Yes, I do allow my employees to telecommute, however, I will say that it is not always easy finding the right people who can pull this off. I’ve known people telecommuting who just physically and mentally could not get organized and focused enough to be able to handle that. I have been fortunate enough to find an amazing staff that are extremely productive from their home offices. It is a matter of finding mature and responsible individuals. My team, I can call them at any hour of the day and they are there and answering me. My emails are answered and tended to promptly, and they each handle their duties impeccably well.” – Patricia Baronowski-Schneider, President of Pristine Advisers
“We gauge our employees’ productivity, not by how or where they spend their working hours, but by their output. Twice a year, we sit down and have a face to face meeting and discuss expectations and difficulties, and what we can all do to make the telecommuting employee better able to do their job without someone constantly looking over their shoulder.” – Dane Carlson, Publisher of Business Opportunities, Inc.
Why are you allowing employees to work remotely?
“Some people work better from home, and prefer the freedom that comes with it. Others, like myself, benefit from the separation of home and work. It is about giving people the opportunity to work where they are most comfortable and productive. If a person works well at home, I am more than happy to let them work at home and many people will put in extra effort to make sure I know they are not taking advantage of the freedom given.” – Collin Slattery, President of Taikun Inc.
“My company, Accessibility Partners, hires and works with a great number of people with disabilities. Rather than make assumptions or generalizations about our interactions with these individuals, we have an honest conversation from the start. This has been our lifestyle choice: to provide the best telework accommodations for our employees who might not be as productive in a typical office setting. People with disabilities make up 20% of the population in the United States, yet they are dramatically underutilized in the workforce.
We have a healthy dialogue about accommodations and workplace schedules that have embraced a healthy telework environment in our company. This attitude has made our company known in the business as being strong disability advocates who truly take the time out to understand the wants and needs of people with disabilities.” – Dana Marlowe, Accessibility Partners, LLC
“Because they are more efficient and effective, without as much overhead, working independently from home or co-working spaces. Dollar-to-dollar, this is a better mechanism for running our business– to say nothing for quality of life. We do meet monthly, in person, and find these get-togethers to be hyper-productive.” – Eric Quanstrom, CMO of Pipeliner CRM
“We want the flexibility to hire from anywhere in the country/world and giving employees the flexibility to work when and where they please allows us to attract top talent.” – David T. Waring, Editor of Fitsmallbusiness.com
“As a small business owner I firmly believe that a policy allowing employees to work remotely from home is a “must have” and enhances employee retention as a prized benefit. Allowing staff to work remotely increases productivity, for example, during cold/flu season an employee who feels they are contagious but still able to work will work from home, still getting their work done and not infecting other employees! When an employee needs to be home for a delivery or repairman, they can work remotely and it saves the time going back/forth and the headache of missed appointments that then have to be rescheduled. There have been other times where an employee has a family emergency of a loved one and they just need the privacy of working from home while they receive updates from other family members. During the winter season when a big storm is rolling in, my whole staff will take their desk phones home with them the night before (VoIP phones that can plug/play from home) so that we can all log into our work computers using gotomypc and have our extensions still ringing to a desk phone with a headset…allowing the company to remain open for business and fully serve our customers! I am a firm believer in allowing employees to work remotely and it is rarely abused or misused; my employees tell me that being able to work from home is one of the benefits they appreciate most. And, as a business owner the ability to have my employees work remotely is efficient and effective.” – John Kinskey, Founder of AccessDirect
Do you plan on continuing to allow employees to telecommute?
“Absolutely. In business what everyone should be focused on is results and if someone will achieve better results from working from home why wouldn’t you let them do that? Plus from a merely operational perspective there are many financial benefits for the business on not having to provide additional office space, etc in order to accommodate employees. Finally we have found that us trusting our employees to work from home instills a lot of loyalty in them to our company. We wouldn’t change that for anything.” – Kevin Barnicle, Founder and CEO of Controle
“This is a definite and resounding yes! While online communication becomes easier and easier, these flexible arrangements enhance my employees quality of life. Happy people are more creative, more loyal and more productive -what more could I as their employer hope for?” – Barbara Budrich, Director & Owner of Budrich Academic
“Without a doubt, employees who work remotely are happier and have more time for what is most important, life. Hire the rock stars of your industry, treat them like the professionals they are, and let them have their cake and eat it too.” – Christopher Smith, President of PeerPoint Solutions, Inc.