Posted by: Keith Clanahan | June 17, 2010

Telecommute to Trim Costs?

Every small business is looking for ways to cut costs. With advances in technology, telecommuting is another option to save. “According to a report from the human resources association, WorldatWork, 17.2 million U.S. employees telecommuted at least one day a month in 2008. That’s slightly more than 10 percent of the U.S. workforce and an increase of almost 40 percent from 2006.”  Workers are speaking out. What they’re saying is that they want to telecommute. Should your office listen?

Below you’ll find different issues you should consider before implementing a telecommuting policy in your workplace.

Equipment and remote access

Can your company’s systems support employees working from home?

Real Estate/Office Cost

Roughly 25% of IBM employees work from home worldwide. IBM estimates that they save nearly $700 million in real estate costs as a direct result.

Relocation costs

Don’t pay the moving guys. Think of alternate methods in moving the employee’s work, instead of the employee’s life.


Multiple studies have found that telecommuting increases overall employee productivity by 10 – 45%. Here’s what a few companies are doing:

–          American Express telecommuters handled 26% more calls and produced 43% more business than their office-based counterparts.

–          Cisco saved over $277 million in productivity in one year by letting employees work from home using the company’s own virtual office technology.  In addition, employees garnered fuel cost savings exceeding $10 million per year.

Work/Life Balance and Morale

According to the 1999 Telework America National Telework Survey, “72% of employers say telework has a high impact on employee retention.” Today’s employees work to live, not live to work. Allowing them to balance their work and home lives heightens morale and sends a clear message that you appreciate them.

The bottom line? Telecommuting may or may not be for your company. You don’t have to allow your employees to telecommute, but you may be missing out on many benefits if you don’t. Nowadays it seems everyone owns a laptop or smart phone, and internet access is everywhere. By allowing employees to telecommute, employers can cut expenses, increase productivity and raise company morale. Why not try telecommuting 1 or 2 days a week?

Further Reading:


  1. I really enjoyed your article and the facts you cite. Telecommuters continue struggle to be seen as “real” employees making a valuable contribution in so many ways.

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