Virtual Office Featured Article

PGi Survey Confirms Telecommuting Benefits for Knowledge Workers and Their Employers

March 13, 2014
By Laura Stotler - Virtual Office Resource Contributing Editor

Telecommuting and remote working is known to have a host of benefits for both employees and their employers alike. With the number of mobile devices rising drastically and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement gaining considerable traction over the past few years, telecommuting is serious business and organizations are implementing a variety of technologies and policies to harness the productivity gains and cost efficiencies it can offer.

Telecommuting is now widespread among organizations with knowledge workers, according to a recent survey from PGi, a provider of collaboration software and services. The company queried U.S. customers and knowledge workers and found that telecommuting leads to lower stress levels, higher levels of morale and productivity, and reduced absenteeism among employees.

We already knew that workers cite the many benefits of telecommuting. After all, it affords them the convenience of not having a long and sometimes stressful commute to an office – time that they may use to get a jumpstart on their workday. Happier and less stressed employees become more productive employees with measurably better attitudes, making this a win-win situation for workers and employers alike. In many cases remote workers prefer BYOD, and by utilizing their own PCs, laptops and mobile devices to access company data and apps, organizations save on the expense and time associated with setting up a worker with on-site equipment and space.

"The findings confirm what we at PGi have always known to be true: Telecommuting provides important emotional benefits for employees, while at the same time delivering meaningful operational improvements for businesses," said Sean O'Brien, EVP of strategy & communications for PGi. "Instead of insisting on nine-to-five hours in an office, our customers are increasingly adopting virtual collaboration technologies, like iMeet and GlobalMeet, to provide rich online engagement and to empower their 'anywhere workers' to work smarter and be more productive. We expect that this trend will continue as companies worldwide understand the value and benefits of adopting flexible work models."

PGi’s numbers certainly back up all the touted benefits. According to knowledge workers and their employers, 82 percent observed improvements in stress levels, 80 percent saw morale improve, 70 percent witnessed productivity increases and 69 percent reported lower levels of absenteeism.

Of those participating in the survey, 80 percent reported that telecommuting is allowed by their office and 71 percent are participating in a telecommuting program. Fifty percent of those surveyed telecommute one day per week while 22 percent telecommute five or more days per week. On the technology front, 91 percent of those surveyed use a company-issued laptop. However, BYOD is rising in popularity with 62 percent of respondents using a cellphone or smartphone for their work. And 76 percent use a VPN to access company data with 75 percent making use of web conferencing tools to stay in touch with co-workers, associates and customers.

As employers increasingly implement technologies and solutions that safeguard their company data, while giving remote workers and telecommuters the access they need, telecommuting will continue to rise in popularity. The bottom line, as always, will be the dollar sign, and cost savings and productivity gains for organizations and their workers will ultimately propel telecommuting to greater levels of adoption.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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