When I decided to start my own business in the early 2000s, I worked 8 hours a day at my full-time job and then went to my other office (a.k.a. the local coffee shop) to work on my business plan.
I spent a significant amount of time in the car driving from place to place, averaging 30 minutes each trip. At the time, I lived in Boston, which has one of the highest commute times in the country, according to the Boston Globe.
When you’re struggling to put in 8 hours after your 8 hours, any time spent in the car is too much time spent in the car.
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about telecommuting. It left me thinking about just how much easier my break into entrepreneurship would have been if I could’ve worked from home.
I worked in a cubicle and did deskwork. It was work that could’ve easily been done from a home office or a coffee shop closer to my house than my job was.
Back then, there weren’t any communications platforms for me to collaborate with coworkers on, so I can see why – for communication purposes – telecommuting wasn’t as popular as it is today. However, today you can make a very good argument to your boss about why you should.
Additionally, telecommuting will free up a lot of time for you to focus on your business plan. Here are some tips and stats that you can use to convince your boss allowing you – and others – to work from home could be good for the business.
Telecommuting Improves Productivity
Two-thirds of employers who allow “work from home” days have noticed that telecommuters are more productive than their in-office coworkers, according to a recent article. That’s because of loud conversations in the cubicles and office spaces next door, impromptu meetings at your desk when people stop by to say hello and other office distractions.
Consider the commute that people make to get to work each day. Many of them get up at the crack of dawn to make it into the office. However, employees who telecommute can sleep in longer and are less tired when they start the day. When employees are tired, it’s easier for them to nod off or lose focus. Therefore, allowing employees to telecommute improves morale and concentration.
On days when blizzards, power outages or storms prevent employees from getting to the office, they can work from home. For instance, employers can allow people to work from home when the snow is particularly thick so that they don’t have to shovel their driveways in the morning. An employee who woke up early for that kind of a workout will not be at the top of their game in the office. They’ll be tired and it will be easier for them to get distracted throughout the day.
Telecommuting Saves Money
Businesses collectively saved $44 billion in 2015 by allowing employees to telecommute at least part-time, according to an article by Fundera. Part of that is because productivity increases, as mentioned above. But there are plenty of other reasons why businesses save money by offering telecommuting options.
Employees who aren’t in the office don’t take up office space. An office with 20 employees scheduled to come in two days per week does not need space for 20 desks. Your employer could cut office costs in half by only using half the space. Savings are even greater when employees telecommute full-time and come together for monthly in-person meetings at a shared office space or rented meeting rooms.
Employees who telecommute take fewer sick days. People take off of work because they’re contagious, recovering from a surgery, or they need to spend time with their children after childbirth. More so, many employees who feel well enough to work come into the office sooner than they should to avoid losing pay and infect their coworkers, who may then have to stay home sick. When employees can work from home while sick, they don’t infect other employees and productivity does not decrease.
There’s clear evidence that telecommuting is effective. If you’re working a cubicle or office job – like I was – and you’ve been a dedicated employee, you should be able to use that evidence to convince your boss to consider telecommuting options. Think about all the time you’ll save while not shoveling your driveway, sitting in traffic, or dressing up for work in the morning.