Telework

Telework as a Recruitment Tool

Employers in the US, Europe, Japan and numerous other countries are finding that one of most valuable tools for recruitment and retention is offering work options – compressed workweeks, flextime and telecommuting. More and more employees are working 9 day 80 hour 2 week schedules, changing their start or finish times from the usual rush-hour 7-9 am and 4-6 pm commute times, and working from home or satellite office locations.

Telecommuting is increasing exponentially, with an estimated 32 million US employees now teleworking, at least on a part time basis.
Why the popularity of telework? Employers consistently list retention as their number one reason, with recruitment a close second. There are a number of reasons why telework is a benefit for employer, employee and society as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Ecological advantages such as reduction of air pollution and gas consumption
  • Reduction in governmental expenses for infrastructure and road maintenance
  • Competitive advantage in attraction of employees, especially high-tech
  • Increases in employee satisfaction, resulting in increased employee retention
  • Reduction in facility costs for expansion and new real estate
  • Reduced parking requirements
  • Expansion of the labor pool
  • Reduction of non-productive (water cooler) office time
  • Expansion of service hours
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved work quality through faster processing, fewer errors, and shorter response time for communications
  • Reduction of absenteeism and tardiness
  • Enhanced peak performance due to telecommuters working during their most productive hours
  • Maximizing potential by broadening responsibilities
  • Work accomplished with fewer interruptions
  • Assistance in compliance with clean air, ADA and other statutes
  • Reduction in traffic congestion
  • Increased electronic communication with decrease of paper consumption
  • Reduced business disruptions due to natural disaster, bad weather, power outages, transit strikes and other unforeseen events
  • Reduction in traffic accidents
  • Reduction in health insurance costs due to reduction in traffic and stress
  • Safer communities due to more people at home during the day
  • Enhanced rural development
  • Better balance of economic activity between rural and urban areas, bringing economic revival, employment and population stability to remote and rural communities, including to tribal areas
  • Economically struggling former manufacturing areas such as the Mid-Atlantic United States or seasonal/resort areas might be able to retain or attract numerous year round residents and some of their tax base formerly lost to high-tech or service industry areas
  • Reduction of juvenile crime

 

While telework is not for everyone – many employers affirming that those who are continually tardy, not sufficiently self-motivated, or needing the constant interaction of their peers are not well suited for this option – job seekers and employees continually mention that a firm offering this and other work/family options goes to the ‘head of the line’ when they are job searching. Telework can also be a great tool for widening your pool of candidates, not only geographically, but also by being able to include the homebound disabled.

As one employer put it, “This is the way the world is going. If you’re not offering telework, you are losing candidates to me.”

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