By Daniel Kobialka
Telecommuting is becoming an attractive option for many American workers, which is reflected in a recent study. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, rising business expenses and traffic congestion are just a few of the factors that are leading more companies to hire remote workers.
“Right now, a very small fraction of the nation’s workers who could viably work from home on a regular basis [is] actually doing so,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer for Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting group based in Chicago. “By not expanding the use of telecommuting, employers are negatively affecting the environment, worker productivity, job satisfaction and, most importantly, their bottom lines.”
Challenger noted that the availability of mobile devices and wireless networks makes it easier for many businesses to offer telecommuting options to staff members.
“It’s definitely not a lack of technology or other resources that is holding back employers’ expansion of telecommuting options,” Challenger said. “It is simply a lack of vision, a shortage of trust and an irrational adherence to antiquated notions of how and where work should be done.”
U.S. News & World Report notes that roughly 17% of the U.S. workforce currently telecommutes. In addition, data shows that the average telecommuter works from home at least one day per week.