How does telecommuting enable you to snag the best talent?

What are the pros & cons?

I have been working as a remote employee since 2006. Presented with an opportunity to build a human resources department from the ground up whilst juggling twins, I leapt at the chance to build my career while still being a mom.

With my personal story in mind, let’s preface this glowing recommendation for flexible work options by stating that working from home is not always an ideal situation. There are jobs that require an in-office presence, organizations that do not function properly without the personal factor that working elbow-to-elbow with your peers affords. So when, and how, should you as an organizational leader, decide whether flexible work options are the right fit for your company? Here are a few of my insights on how flexible work options can help your company grow in new and exciting ways.

Millennials love a good perk! From coffee shops in the lobby to telecommuting to flexible work schedules starting at 11 am, millennials are clearly a new breed of workers that have infiltrated nearly every workplace in the U.S. For all of the bad publicity these kids get (and truth be told, I’m technically a millennial myself), they also bring a new flavor to every organization. Millennials value constant and immediate feedback, pride themselves on innovation and technology prowess, and love a good sell. If you’re looking to change the look and feel of your company culture, start with flexible work options and see what it does for your team. Sell these options to your millennial workers and take note of their feedback. Flexible work schedules and telecommuting are two very inexpensive options for you to test out before launching full steam ahead into a remote workforce. I’m guessing once a few teams get on board, you’ll see a shift in the way your entire workforce views this option. After all, the baby boomers are heading into their golden years, and many of them may want to explore this type of work perk as well!

Another positive side effect of flexible work options is that it enables you to build trust with your team, and for your team to build trust with one another. Do you have a certain department who has requested telecommuting part-time in the past? Are you working on building a new satellite office in another state or city? Why not try out a remote satellite office before investing in the office space, utilities, and upkeep of a traditional building to house your new team? By offering existing employees this perk, you are giving them trust and helping to build the team comradery that will lead to successful project completion in most cases. At the same time, you are saving the company huge dollars in terms of maintaining a new office space versus hiring remote employees. American Express reported savings in the $10-$15 million mark annually thanks to their remote work options. What changes could you make to your organization with cutbacks like that bringing profit directly into your business?

Increased efficiency and decreased employee turnover are two more upshots of flexible work options seen in many companies. No longer interrupted by “water cooler talks” or constant changes in focus, telecommuting employees can focus on tasks with fewer interruptions, and provide greater efficiency overall. Of course, employee turnover is directly linked to the productivity and satisfaction that employees feel on the job, so these two categories are a double whammy for employers in a good way! In fact, a study published by Stanford University pointed out that job attrition rates for a China-based company fell by over 50% once they utilized remote workers.

Telecommuting, flexible work schedules and co-working spaces are on the rise worldwide. Co-working spaces are simply a collective of professionals who utilize a common office space to carry out their tasks, although they likely work for a variety of different companies in several industries. Co-working spaces are the public libraries of the 21st century, allowing those with less than ideal home situations to find a flexible work environment away from the traditional 9-5 clocking in at an office. This allows for flexibility even for those individuals who cannot work from their home due to space, noise, or other constraints. For more information on how to successfully implement telecommuting as an option for your organization, check out or follow them on Twitter at @remote_co.

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