Over the past five years, telecommuting has become very popular and is seen as a desirable benefit for employees across industries, from tech start-ups to global financial services firms. Until recently, this was a perk that was largely unattainable and rarely taken advantage of, but all that is changing, according to Kimberly Eddleston, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business.
“Work from home opportunities are a great way for employers to attract and retain the very best employees,” says Professor Eddleston. “This is the type of benefit that people trying to strike a proper balance between work and home life seek out from an employer.”
According to a study published by Stanford University, approximately 10% of all Americans work remotely at least one day a week. Companies that extend this benefit to their employees have reported higher levels of productivity and employee satisfaction, with the same study finding a 13% increase in employee performance.
“Making someone come to the office every day doesn’t necessarily correlate with job performance,” says Professor Eddleston. “Employees often see working from home as a benefit and a privilege, and will therefore go above and beyond their in-office counterparts. Additionally, those employees working from home continue to report higher levels of satisfaction with their employer, with lower levels in turnover.”
Working from home has a great deal of benefits for employees as well, with telecommuters saving anywhere between $2,000 and $7,000 each year on commuting costs alone. Employees tend to gain three weeks of time back that would normally be spent sitting in a car, waiting for trains or riding the bus to and from their offices. Telecommuters have also found that they can juggle work and family more efficiently, allowing them to foster closer relationships with their children and spouses and manage personal obligations without their productivity taking a hit.
To learn more about this topic, watch Professor Eddleston who recently sat down with Fox 25 in Boston to discuss the trend.