Building a Strong Telecommuting Strategy

Sept. 14, 2011

Telecommuting may boost employee productivity and happiness, according to a recent survey by Staples Advantage in which 40% of respondents claim they would rather take a pay cut than give up telecommuting.

About 86% of respondents say they are more productive when they work from home, with 73% adding that they even eat healthier when working from the home office.

More than 80% say they now have a better work/life balance even though nearly as many – 76% – also said they are more willing to put in extra time at work.

To ensure a smooth transition to telecommuting and maximize employees’ productivity when they work from home, try these tips:

Furniture and Equipment

  • Provide comfortable chairs – 44% gave their current seating a C grade or lower.
  • Maximize space with desk and drawer organizers and multifunction devices, such as all-in-one printers.
  • Improve ergonomic support by providing ergonomically correct equipment and offering help with setting it up. Only 1% of respondents received this valuable support.


  • Emphasize communications technologies to stay in close contact with telecommuters. Respondents rely heavily on email (96%), instant messaging (68%), videoconferencing (44%), and unified communications technologies (25%) to communicate from their home offices.
  • Be proactive about security, an increasingly important task to prevent data loss, breaches, and viruses that can spread to company networks. Over two-thirds of telecommuters say they didn’t receive any IT security training before switching to telecommuting.
  • Encourage automated data backup to prevent data loss. Nearly a third of respondents say they never back up their data.

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