Survey shows telecommuting offers edge to companies looking to recruit talent
The third annual telecommuting survey by Staples shows that telecommuting is increasingly attractive to employees — with 71 percent of telecommuters saying it’s an important benefit when considering a new job. Ten percent of respondents even say they would take a salary reduction to keep the telecommuting benefit — something for employers to take note of when recruiting. Achieving a better work/life balance ranks as the number one reason employees like telecommuting (74 percent) — up from number two last year. Transportation savings (69 percent) and green benefits (47 percent) are also cited as top reasons.
Employees also cite reduced stress as a major telecommuting benefit (69 percent) – up significantly from 48 percent in 2013. In fact, an overwhelming majority of employees (88 percent) believe telecommuting is a win-win for both them and their company – and employers agree:
- 65 percent of employers who allow their workers to telecommute report happier employees.
- 33 percent of employers report less absenteeism in the workforce when telecommuting is allowed.
“When a few companies recently banned telecommuting, it sparked a debate on the benefits of such programs,” said Paul Mullen, vice president of technology solutions, Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples. “Our survey clearly shows the benefits. Not only does telecommuting lead to a happier workforce, it’s also a critical benefit to have from a recruiting standpoint. Employers who are flexible and support their staff with the tools they need to telecommute have a definite recruiting advantage.”
How to solve telecommuting challenges. Even with these benefits and the growing popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies (50 percent of organizations surveyed offer BYOD), companies are still doing a poor job of educating employees around proper security measures and equipping them with appropriate furniture:
- Only 25 percent of employees have been trained on data backup/security best practices.
- Sixty-four percent of employees name a poor VPN connection as their biggest tech challenge when working from home.
- Fifty-eight percent of employers report that their telecommuters have connectivity problems several times per month or more.
- Only ten percent of employers offer furniture services to new telecommuters.
Source: cch.com: Staples.