There are those who work strictly from a home office and those who have space in their company’s building but choose to work remotely part of the week. Either way, more and more people are giving up their commutes and using technology to be productive.
- Today there are over 28 million teleworkers, according to a recent survey by the International Telework Association and Council.
- Telework grew considerably in the U.S., from 30 percent of organizations saying they offered it to employees in 2007 to 42 percent in 2008, according to WorldatWork.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that by 2012, the population of teleworkers (full and part time) will grow to up to 100 million.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, $78 billion in productivity is lost in commuting each year. This may be why the majority (84%) of Fortune’s top 100 companies to work for allow employees to telecommute or work from home at least 20% of the time. Cisco helps 12,000 workers strike a work/life balance by allowing them to skip their commute three days a week. Smaller companies are not being left out. A new resource, Chief Home Officer, which can include anyone who works from a small office or home office (SOHO), has added a new niche to the SMB community.
The interesting thing about telework is companies of all sizes are offering it as an employee perk. With so many great companies expanding their telecommuting workforce, it’s obvious that employers are seeing the benefit of telecommuting. Not only does telecommuting create a greater work/life balance for employees, it allows companies to cut costs by needing less available real estate and increased employee retention. A 2004 Flexible Working Survey, by Netilla Networks, found 67% of commuters said telework would make them more loyal to their employer.
Additionally, telecommuters have proven to be more productive at home as well. A recent study by Computer Technology Association found that two-thirds of the respondents experienced greater productivity from employees working full-time or part-time from home. The study cites other benefits like less stress and healthier employees as well.
Only time will tell what the future will look like for teleworkers. But InterCall is happy to be in the mix of the technology and tools that help people stay connected when they telecommute. With conference calls, web conferencing and video conferencing, we hope to help today and tomorrow's telecommuters strike a productive work/life balance. Do you currently work from home? Is there a piece of technology (either real or imagined) that would make your day easier? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Cambria Vaccaro is Director of Marketing, Corporate Communications and our “Industry News” blogger. Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services. She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.