In today's job market companies need to be competitive with their total benefit package to attract and retain top talent. The days are gone where employers can offer a prospective candidate a competitive salary and expect to hire the best. For many job seekers accepting a new position comes down to the total benefit package and in many times, flexibility. What employers seem to be failing to recognize is a benefit that accomplishes providing flexibility while growing their bottom line and that benefit is telecommuting.
Telecommuting, or working from home, is an arrangement an employee and their employer can enter into where the employee does not commute and can fulfill their work obligations outside of the office. This arrangement can be flexible, one day a week, part-time, or full-time. With the majority of households having two working parents, flexibility could be an employer's greatest asset in recruiting candidates and offers numerous benefits. Even for the job seeker who may not be a parent the benefits are vast.
Telecommuting offers the employer a large return on a small investment. For many companies, the only cost of telecommuting lies in technology but where they spend on technology they'll also save on space, energy, and employee turnover. Employees will be more productive as they will not have to commute and studies do show that employees who work from home work longer hours during the work week. Many prospective employees will even accept a lower salary to obtain the benefit of flexibility and by doing so will lower the payroll expense for a company.
For an employee or candidate that may be a parent, telecommuting offers the priceless opportunity to put your children on the bus in the morning and be there when they get home in the afternoon. Regardless of home life situations, work life balance is a key benefit in retaining talent and keeps employees happy and motivated. Telecommuting allows employees to manage their time in accordance to their workload and can leave the employee feeling empowered. While working from home provides increased job satisfaction for many, it also decreases the costs and frustrations of commuting to work every day.
My recommendation is for companies to put the fear of losing control on your work force aside and empower your employees by embrace telecommuting. It is a win-win scenario employees will be happier, turnover will be lower, and the company will have higher productivity rates at no cost.