If higher-ups and managers at your company are resistant to the idea of employees telecommuting, they might be interested in the results of one company’s internal survey.
Cisco Systems, Inc., recently surveyed its employees about their working-from-home habits. The results assuaged some bosses’ concerns that the arrangement would kill productivity and hurt employee communication.
For example, of employees who telecommute:
- 83% said their ability to communicate with others was the same, or better, than when they worked in the office
- 69% reported higher productivity, and
- 67% said the quality of their work improved.
As for concerns that employees can’t budget their time properly when they’re away from the boss, it looks like they actually spend more time working when they’re home. On average, employees used 60% of the time they saved by skipping the commute for work purposes. (The rest was spent on personal use.)
There is one area for HR to watch out for: nonexempt employees working unauthorized overtime. To avoid that, some experts recommend only letting exempt employees work from home, or installing time-keeping software on nonexempts’ computers to make tracking easier.
But when telecommuting’s done right, there’s still plenty of upside, according to the survey. Perhaps most importantly for HR: It can give a huge bump to job satisfaction. Of the Cisco employees surveyed, 91% considered telecommuting an important benefit.