Traditional offices are becoming ghost towns as more and more businesses are taking advantage of the many benefits of allowing their employees to telework. Even the government is giving their stamp of approval to office-free working environments, passing the Telework improvement Act of 2010 in September of last year by a unanimous vote, and silencing those who doubted the efficiency of letting people work without direct supervision. One reason that teleworking is changing the face of doing business is that it has benefits for both the company and the employees.
One of the main benefits to the employees is that being able to work outside of the office allows them to keep up with their work no matter what else is going on in their personal lives. Not having to miss a day because of a sick family member, an unexpected problem with the car or at home, or running hours late because of bad weather or traffic snarls is a benefit that allows the employee to work without fear of reprimand or additional pressures throughout the day.
Being able to work from any location also allows employees to reduce the number of days they are absent and not doing any work, usually due to illness, personal days, and unavoidable distractions. When employees do take time off from work, they are able to enjoy it more, and return to work more refreshed and ready to work.
As a result of having more freedom and flexibility over their schedules, employees feel more satisfied with their employment situation, and that happiness translates into greater productivity.
On the company’s side of things, allowing employees to telework increases productivity in two ways. First, the employees are more inclined to do their best work, since they feel that they are heard and appreciated by the company. Second, when employees work from home or other locations, it reduces the amount and frequency of interruptions and distractions that are often found in traditional office settings.
It also eliminates time lost due to the employees having to drive to the office, getting caught in lines for lunch, and other unforeseen incidents and distractions. Teleworking also reduces the rate of turn-over among employees, since the staff is more likely to feel that their needs are important to the company, and are less likely to seek work in more traditional office environments.
Furthermore, fewer employees occupying a building saves a company money by reducing the amount of electricity needed to run computers, printers and other office equipment, and eliminating the need to have maintenance and janitorial staff come in daily. Fewer employees working on-site also reduces the need to pay for large offices, or even an office building. Telework could actually increase income for those who own their building, by enabling them to rent or sublease the unused portions of their offices or floors.
In addition to the staff and the business, the planet itself can also benefit from employees being able to work remotely. By reducing the number of cars driving to and from businesses daily, the amount of carbon monoxide and other airborne pollutants is decreased, slowing the impact of global warming. Also, not having to power an office building significantly reduces the amount of electricity being used.
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Kathlene Buchanan is the president and founder of Metro Offices, one of the premiere, women-owned, executive office centers in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. With presence in 8 different locations throughout the capital area, Metro Offices offers a full range of innovative business solutions and advanced technologies to help businesses compete in today’s transitioning business environment. Buchanan has been in the industry since 1979, and Metro Offices has been operating since 1989 with locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.