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Why Hiring a Telecommuting Employee Is Good For Business

By Jennifer Parris | Small Business

Why Hiring a Telecommuting Employee Is Good For Business image Telecommuting EmployeeWhy Hiring a Telecommuting Employee Is Good For Business

After years of hard work, sleepless nights (and a lot of praying), your once small business is no longer so small. In order to sustain its growth, you’re at the point where you need to hire an extra employee. But before you post a job ad looking to hire local help, you should consider hiring a remote worker. While it may seem strange to employ someone who may live in another city—or country—having a telecommuting workforce is something every savvy company should consider. Here’s why hiring a virtual employee makes good sense—and is good for your business.

It Allows You to Choose From a Greater Talent Pool

Let’s say that you limit your job applicants to those who live within a 10-mile radius of your company’s office. After all, winters can be brutal where you are, and you want to make sure that your employee can get into the office every day. By choosing those who work remotely, however, you can gain access to a wider net of potential candidates, each offering skills that can benefit your company. Plus, since your employee will work from home, you’ll never have to worry about him not being able to make it into work because of icy roads.

Telecommuters Exhibit Greater Productivity

It’s the fear of every boss—letting employees work from home automatically means that they’ll goof off and never get any work done. Numerous studies and statistics have shown the opposite to be true. Telecommuters often have 15% or higher productivity levels than their in-office colleagues. Why? Less distractions, such as coworkers coming over to chat, allows employees to focus on their work and get more accomplished. And here’s a sobering business stat: Companies can lose up to $600 billion dollars yearly in workplace distractions.

It’s Cheaper

Think about it. If you have an employee in the office, you’re going to need a desk for him to sit at, a computer for him to work on, oodles of office supplies for him to use, and electricity to power it all. When people work remotely, though, they are the ones responsible for creating—and maintaining—their own home office. It’s estimated that companies save, on average, upwards of $8,000 annually for each employee who telecommutes. If a company has more than one remote worker, those savings become quite significant—and can directly affect a company’s bottom line.

It’s a Green Way to Work

Sure, you care about the environment. But when employees are allowed to work remotely, it helps Mother Nature in more ways than one. Telecommuters are far less likely to print out reams of paper than office workers are, and they are savvy when it comes to keeping their electrical usage to a minimum, too. It’s estimated that office equipment consumes twice as much energy as home office equipment energy consumption. And since telecommuters don’t have to drive to work, carbon emissions are greatly reduced, by as much as 1 metric ton per person annually.

It Increases Employee Retention

Not only is it frustrating for employers to have to train each new employee, it’s costly, too, to the tune of $10,000-$30,000 per employee. If your employee has a long commute to get into work, for which he is paying hundreds of dollars monthly, chances are he’s going to look for another position closer to home—or one that lets him work from home. In fact, two-thirds of employees would start their job search simply to ease their commuting pains. Allowing employees to work from home helps them save time, money and give them greater control over their schedules—and their lives.

Savvy employers who are serious about having good business practices that benefit their employees are offering the option to telecommute as a workplace perk. With its vast cost savings, numerous benefits to the environment plus the ability to give its employees a better work life balance, telecommuting is equally a win/win for both employer and employee.

Image via Shutterstock

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