The Benefits of the Telecommute: Another Way to Help Your Clients

By Chris Pisarkiewicz

Telecommuting or working remotely is continuing to gain popularity and is considered the new normal across many industries. For PEOs and other HR outsourcing service providers, it’s important to be aware that more workers expect to be able to work from home. It’s also important for HR service providers to share the benefits of telecommuting with their clients.

When discussing telecommuting with your clients, it will help to know how truly standard this practice is becoming. Here are some of the benefits and best practices to consider.

A recent Gallup poll says 37% of employees spend at least part of the week working remotely from the home office. Telecommuting benefits include a happier and more productive workforce, with fewer resources consumed in the office.

As a recruiting tool, telecommuting is huge benefit offered by employers to help attract top talent. As it becomes a standard practice for many organizations, more employees want to work from home – and more employees are expecting to have that option.

Consider These Telecommuting Benefits

In 2015 there were 3.7 million Americans working from home at least part of the time. It’s not too surprising to realize these employees love their workplace.

Forbes says you’ll be 87% more likely to enjoy your work if you do it remotely. Consider these statistics:

  • 45% of telecommuters love their jobs.
  • 38% of mobile employees –those who visit multiple job sites every day — say they love their jobs.
  • But only 24% of office workers love their jobs.

In fact, people who work from home are about twice as likely to enjoy their work.

According to the Forbes survey, telecommuting benefits employers because remote workers are actually more engaged and productive than their traditional office counterparts. Employees say telecommuting is a big morale and motivational boost spurring them to work longer and harder than ever before.

Most of the employees who work from home seem to understand the great freedom and responsibility that comes from being a remote worker. They know that to achieve their goals they must be noticed for their work and they’re more than willing to put in the time. They recognize the benefits that include saving money and time by avoiding a long commute and the ability to live and work wherever there’s an Internet connection.

By enabling employees to work from home, employers can broaden their talent search to beyond their local area. They also save money on electricity and other office space expenses. But perhaps the biggest benefit is increased employee productivity; employees save time by not having to commute to the office and there are no more water cooler chats distracting the workforce from the job at hand.

Supporting the Remote Workforce

Perhaps the most important consideration for HR service providers and their customers just beginning to offer working remote is whether they are prepared to support the remote employee. Providing mobile human resource functions will make supporting remote employees of your customers much easier. This means enabling the remote employee to track time, view their pay stub, and access any other HR-related data via a mobile-friendly web portal.

Flexible work arrangements require flexibility in human resource systems. Having a web-based onboarding and benefits enrollment system will make orientation of new hires more efficient and secure. Rather than manually completing and sending onboarding forms, employees can quickly enter all the necessary information online. The web-based onboarding also ensures all necessary fields are completed, reducing potential back and forth between HR and new employees.

It’s important to be prepared for the complexities that come with supporting remote employees of your clients. When employees work in one location and live in another, payroll tax compliance must be managed correctly. Managing payroll, taxes, insurance, and other compliance issues are easier with HR software that can handle the variances that occur across local and state boundaries.

Including remote employees in the organization’s culture can be challenging for companies. If your clients are going to have remote employees, it’s important for them to be creative about including the remote workforce. Sending remote employees a lunch gift card when the company serves lunch or using video conferencing for team meetings will go a long way towards employee morale of the remote employees.

Helping your customers hire and grow their organization with remote employees will provide additional value and ultimately help you retain that customer longer. Employers and employees agree – telecommuting is here to stay and the benefits far outweigh the risks.