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Telework (Telecommuting): the Benefits - and some Issues!
Teleworking offers significant benefits to employers, employees, self employed individuals and entrepreneurs, and in developing the local economy. It also presents opportunities to secure wider social benefits - for example by reducing the environmental impact of car travel. Management Technology Associates has conducted several studies to obtain and analyze the views of experienced teleworkers and of managers who have experience in working with teleworkers. The following summary of the benefits includes only those aspects where a majority of experienced teleworkers and managers concur that a worthwhile benefit has been obtained. Note that benefits only accrue from successful telework programs and that some companies have attempted telework programs but subsequently reverted to office based working having had a negative experience. Some aspects of telework that must be considered in order to achieve success and minimize problems are discussed below under "Are there drawbacks?". Cost savings

The main savings are in premises costs, office overheads and labor. Companies adopting telework methods achieve significant reductions in total office occupancy. Work can be carried out wherever the appropriate skills are available at the optimum mix of costs and other factors. In some circumstances recruitment costs can also be reduced, as can the costs associated with high staff turnover (attrition) rates. If a company adopts a total "flexible working" strategy, all costs associated with relocation of staff can be eliminated. Increased productivity

Productivity increases of 40% have been reported, though a range of 10%-40% is probably more typical across a large-scale program. Teleworkers avoid travel time and the interruptions of a office environment. Both teleworkers and their managers consistently report significant productivity gains. Improved motivation

In successful programs, employees respond well to the...
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