Our fearless leader, Gini Dietrich, has talked at length about how our virtual office works, so I won’t rehash the details.
Suffice it to say, I think my team does a great job of collaborating and holding each other accountable for our goals.
However, there’s been a lot of discussion lately about certain companies requiring employees to physically work from the office.
It seems Best Buy and Yahoo! have made up their minds about working from home.
Corporate objectives aside, there are benefits to telecommuting that go beyond being able to work from home in your pyjamas.
Fast Company recently shared a new infographic from CarInsurance.org, which showed from 2005 to 2012, the U.S. workforce grew three percent and regular telecommuters grew 66 percent.
A few statistics stood out:
- The greenhouse gas reduction due to U.S. telecommuting equals the equivalent of the entire New York state workforce if they had the option to work from home.
- Employees save nearly 109 hours per year of commute time.
- Eight in 10 employees who telecommute part-time feel they have a good work-life balance, and three in four say they eat healthier.
- Productivity increases an average of 10 to 20 percent when employees telecommute.
The Work from Home Debate: Myth vs. Fact
I came across this slideshow on Danny Brown’s blog and loved it. As part of the MarketingProfs educational content series, writer and illustrator Veronica Maria Jarski, created a SlideShare in response to the recent announcement from Yahoo! that remote working would not be allowed.
Myth: Employees spend all their time on the Internet, texting friends, or on social media networks.
FACT: People in an office setting also spend time on the same things. I think I actually spent more time doing those things in an office setting than I do now. Hopefully my old boss isn’t reading this.
Myth: Employees will go rogue if they don’t work side-by-side.
FACT: This really makes me laugh because I can think of a few instances where employees went rogue on social media while they were IN THE OFFICE! It can happen anywhere.
Myth: Employees who work from home are harder to reach than on-location workers.
FACT: There are these things called smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Employees can be available at all times (we are!).
Myth: Telecommuters can’t communicate with others in the company.
FACT: Hasn’t anyone heard of a phone, social media, Skype, Google Hangout, or other ‘virtual meeting’ technology? We live in a digital age so start embracing it already.
Myth: Virtual employees can’t participate in brainstorms because some of the best decisions or ideas come from the cafeteria.
FACT: Brainstorming can happen anywhere. See above fact.
Myth: They work fewer hours.
FACT: I was literally rolling on the floor laughing at this one. Because employees who work from home don’t have a hard stop time, and they don’t waste hours commuting, they usually end up working longer hours.
Myth: It’s like a vacation when you work from home.
FACT: When I’m not watching TV, eating bon-bons, and getting my nails done – anyhow, you get the point. It’s NOT a vacation working from home. If anything, at times it’s more stressful! ‘At home life’ (kids, emergencies, repairmen, etc.) tends to fall on your lap, because you happen to be there. Also, I’m pretty sure my team would notice if projects weren’t complete.
I love working from home. I eat healthier, I get to spend more time with my family, and I don’t have to dress up every day, but I still get face-to-face time with everyone on my team.
For me, it’s the best of both worlds.
Thanks to Kluger Kaplan for the image.