It’s almost hard to fathom any company doing business in 2017 without a clear telecommuting policy, but they’re out there. While companies with strong telecommuting options benefit from reduced office-space costs, decreased absenteeism and increased productivity, they’re also home to content, loyal employees.
“Happier employees are usually better employees, and telecommuting definitely increases employee job satisfaction and, thus, loyalty,” Melanie Pinola wrote on Lifewire. “Telework programs also help companies retain employees with common circumstances such as needing to care for sick family members, starting a new family, or needing to relocate for personal reasons.”
In addition, Pinola wrote that telecommuting policies help attract top talent, especially in skilled employees that are high in demand.
Still, recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that work-from-home employees were 22 percent in 2016, down from 24 percent in 2015, but MRINetwork’s 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study suggested that the downward trend could work against companies requiring employees to work from the office when it comes to attracting top talent in the executive, managerial and professional labor market, according to Employee Benefit News writer Bruce Shutan, who spoke with Nancy Halverson, general manager for executive search firm MRINetwork.
Halverson called attempts to get everyone “back in the same building” to engage and motivate remote workers a “cop-out,” blaming weak management, structure and training for any real or perceived weakening of company culture. Halverson noted that telecommuting can “raise a workforce’s energy level and efficiency, as well as reduce office gossip.”
Communication is paramount to any telecommuting workforce, according to Greg Rokos, principal at The Rokos Group, a search firm specializing in the recruitment of healthcare executives. “Losing site of tune-ups and check-ins with those who chose to work from home a few days out of the month or permanently can cause your team to collapse before your eyes,” Rokos wrote on LinkedIn.
“Keep the ties tight and use all resources available to you when hiring, onboarding and managing your telecommuting team. By implementing a process around employees who, out of necessity or desire, work from home, will help your workforce move into the future.”