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Working from Home/Telecommuting

Telecommuting allows employees to work from home or some other remote site some or all of the time.

Benefits to Employers

  • Increases productivity
  • Reduces real estate and overhead costs
  • Increases net worth
  • Increases retention, reducing turnover costs
  • Increases employee loyalty
  • Employees can work more hours before experiencing work/family conflict
  • Reduces employee absenteeism
  • Saves money during emergencies and weather- related disruptions

Benefits to Children and Parents/Families

  • Saves employees time Increases job satisfaction
  • Reduces reports of physical and mental fatigue
  • Offers large benefits for disabled or temporarily disabled workers

Range of Practices in the United States

More than double the number of employers offer telecommuting on an occasional basis than in 2005 (68 percent today, up from 34 percent).

However, only 33 percent of workers consistently telecommute on a part-time basis, and only 23 percent telecommute on a full-time basis.

Part-time workers have less access to flexibility overall (39 percent), as do less-skilled and low- wage workers. This can be extra stressful for low-wage workers, who are just as likely to have responsibilities for child care as high-wage employees but have fewer financial resources and are less likely to have a partner or spouse who can share family work.

A significant amount of research indicates that flexibility in all forms is one of the most beneficial policies to help employees balance family and work. Having some control over when or where to work allows workers to juggle the demands of long hours and care for children, according to the National Council on Family Relations.

Research suggests that telecommuter job satisfaction is maximized when telecommuting occurs at moderate levels—about two days per week. However, each employee is unique, so employers should work with individuals to find the right fit.

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