Posted in: Latest News & Views, telecommuting
We’ve discussed telecommuting before as a key benefit to offer employees and a way to boost productivity and morale. However, some big-name companies apparently disagree.
Yahoo made headlines late last month when management put an end to the company’s telecommuting program and ordered remote workers to return to the office. The decision was especially surprising to some observers, because it came from Marissa Mayer, who became CEO while pregnant and was expected by many to make the workplace more hospitable for working parents.
According to the company, the goal for the policy change is to increase face-to-face contact among employees and foster creativity and innovation.
Another big policy change was recently made by Best Buy, which got a lot of attention for adopting a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE). Under the ROWE program, corporate employees were only judged on their work, with little control over when or where it was completed. However, the company recently announced it was ending the program and expecting those employees to put in traditional 40-hour work weeks in the office.
Most firms keeping telecommuting
Despite those big names leaving telecommuting behind, not all businesses agree that letting employees work from home is a bad idea. Telecommuting is a perk that a lot of employees want, and offering the opportunity can help companies recruit and retain talent when budgets for compensation are tight.
In addition, the majority of employees report that they’re more productive when they work from home.
Due to those benefits, most companies with telecommuting programs don’t plan to follow the lead of Yahoo and Best Buy, according to a recent survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Among the 120 HR executives surveyed, 80% said they allow employees to work from home to some degree, and 97% of those have no plans to eliminate telecommuting.
The benefits of telecommuting cited by survey respondents included increased productivity, better morale, increased loyalty and fewer unscheduled absences.
However, businesses do seem to agree that there’s also value in being present in the office. Just 9% said they offer a telecommuting option across the board to all employees. Many (40%) give the option to a select group of workers, while others (31%) don’t offer full-time telecommuting but let people work from home occasionally at the manager’s discretion.
Does your company let people work from home? Any plans to change that? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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