Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 07 2013

The Employee Perk that Doesn’t Pay in Actual Dollars

By David McMillin

telecommute

As virtual technology continues to transform today’s business environment, more companies are allowing their employees to skip the daily commute. A new study conducted by WorldatWork, a global human resources association, analyzed data from more than 550 members, and the findings show that 88 percent of companies offer some kind of telecommuting option.

“Despite news reports focused on high-profile companies such as Yahoo, Best Buy and HP reigning in telework programs, the data from this report shows that only three percent of companies have actually canceled telework programs over the past two years,” Rose Stanley, practice leader for benefits, work-life, flexibility and recognition, WorldatWork, says.

SEE ALSO: Telecommuting, Talent and Transitions

Debunking the Dangers of Remote Team Members

Stanley’s comments reference the very public controversy from Yahoo!’s decision to end its telecommuting option for employees earlier this year. As some big corporations have underscored the need for more face-to-face collaboration, business professionals have worried that other companies would follow suit. However, the WorldatWork research shows that telecommuting is alive and well. Sixty-five percent of respondents say that flexible work options have a positive effect on employee engagement.

If you already work from home, here’s some good news: the research shows that 69 percent of companies indicate that working from home does not hinder career development or promotion opportunities.

SEE ALSO: The Power of Planning From Home

Telecommuting Needs More Training

Still, it seems that the majority of organizations struggle to recognize that managing and motivating remote employees requires some additional work. Only 17 percent of respondents offer managerial training on how to successfully lead a team that includes employees with flexible work arrangements. It’s important to remember that employees outside the office will inevitably feel more distant from the day-to-day workplace camaraderie. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, managers must take additional steps to offer feedback and maintain a strong communication channel.

Does your organization offer the ability to work from home occasionally or all the time? Do you think it has a positive overall impact? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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