Posted by Charlie Recksieck
We're doing our part here at Plannedscape. Granted, it's a very small company. But all of us work at home. It makes a lot of sense for us to save on overhead - and also unavoidable in Brad's case since he lives in Oregon while the rest of us are in California. According to Global Workplace Analytics, companies can save $11,000 per year per each half-time telecommuter. We absolutely pass these savings on to customers - it allows us to charge $150/hr for electric utility consulting work while our larger competitors charge $250-300, even when the work is performed by much more junior employees with less experience than our team. If you reduce the need for providing physical space to employees, companies can drastically reduce the often additional cost of 50-100% times employee salaries.
There are other benefits for companies. In our case here, I was able to get the two people I wanted on staff who live 500 and 1000 miles away. Once you go virtual, you dramatically widen the pool of available resources. Studies have also documented how work-at-home employees are more satisfied in their work, leading to longer retention and less absenteeism. And if you hire somebody in a different time zone, you have now expanded your businesses open/reachable hours without requiring anybody to work overtime. Lastly, it greatly reduces useless or near-useless all-hands-on-deck meetings in the conference room (which should be the goal of every company and employee in the world).
As for workers themselves, there is a significant financial benefit in working from home. This article does a great job of outlining the saved costs (food, gas, clothes, etc.) working at home as $2100 by their conservative estimates where I think you could make the case that stay-at-home employees save something more like $4000 a year. That's just a small part of it, though. The increased flexibility to be able to take care of errands, trouble-call visits from the cable company, raising a family is invaluable.
I’ve got to run the dishwasher right now, so let’s resume in (Click Part 2 of Telecommuting.)