For those living and working in the Washington D.C. area, the worst part of the daily grind is the painstakingly slow commute, something that’s being remedied through the rising popularity of D.C. telework. The D.C. area has one of the most painful commutes in the United States, ranking only behind Los Angeles when it comes to the amount of time workers end up spending in their cars.
In addition, a majority of those who work in the District Of Columbia call cities in Maryland and Virginia home, areas in which housing may be affordable, but certainly isn’t cheap. If the average worker were able to regain the 90-120 minutes spent in the car each day, and were able to cut down on expensive gas bills, it reasons that both his productivity and financial well-being would improve thanks to the change.
It’s this way of thinking that’s convinced more and more companies to begin considering the benefits of DC telework, a choice that’s shaving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from operating budgets and leading to happier, healthier, more financially prosperous employees. Contrary to popular belief, a majority of companies that have taken employees out of the office and are keeping them at home have found that productivity levels and quality of work has actually gone up.
When spared the headache of the daily commute, forced conformity to traditional office hours, the necessities of an office dress code, and the endless ways to alleviate boredom and waste time in an office environment, employees tend to flourish. When freed from the restraints and distractions of the traditional office setup, workers don’t become lazier, they tend to become more self-motivated, making the most of the hours they spend at work in order to have more time for other obligations and interests.
In addition, when outside distractions are removed, employees start the day feeling more energetic, focused, and ready to work, rather than grumpy and sluggish after fighting traffic just to get to the office each day.
Another benefit of D.C. telework is that while employees reap the benefit of having more freedom in scheduling and less micro-management, companies are taking advantage of the financial benefit that comes from employees who take fewer sick days, unscheduled personal days, or have problems with chronic lateness. The added hours a typical worker gains from avoiding D.C area traffic, combined with the freedom that comes from working at home, means that it is easier for most to create a better balance between work and home life.
The result, in a majority of companies that have made the switch, is that employees have noticed an improvement in both enjoyment and attitude toward time at work, as well as time at home. If greater balance leads to a happier, more productive lifestyle for workers, it also leads to a more positive, successful, cost-effective environment for companies.
In today’s difficult, recession-conscious job market, everyone has been forced to rethink traditional ways of doing business, and what just doesn’t work anymore. Many would agree that given the potential benefits, telework is truly the wave of the future, and D.C. is proud to be on the cutting-edge of this trend.
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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.