Telecommuting Tips for Greater Productivity

07/19/2011 |


Telecommuting is on the rise in the U.S.  A recent survey from Staples Advantage reveals some interesting facts, benefits, and tips about telecommuting strategies for your facility or building.  The data indicates that the telecommuting option may produce happier, more productive, loyal employees.

86% of telecommuters say that they are more productive out of their home office, with these key survey responses –

·       Happier and healthier – When asked to draw comparisons, telecommuters say their stress levels have dropped 25% on average since working from home. Seventy-three percent even say they eat healthier when working from home.

·       More loyal – Without the trek to the office – on average, a 75-mile round-trip for respondents – 76% of telecommuters are more willing to put in extra time on work and say they are more loyal to their company since telecommuting.

·       Better balanced – More than 80% say they now maintain a better work-life balance. 

How can you help facilitate a telecommute transition and maximize productivity away from the office?  Consult this handy tip checklist for telecommuting essentials.

Furniture and Equipment

Important considerations for telecommuters include:

·       Finding the perfect chair – The top item on the wish list for a home office is a more comfortable chair, as 44% give their current one a “C” grade or lower. Qualities to look for include upper and lower back support, adjustable armrests and seats that support even weight distribution.

·       Maximizing space – Nearly 50% of telecommuters say their home office clutter hinders productivity. Desk and drawer organizers are cost-effective ways to tame clutter, and multi-function devices, such as all-in-one printers, can help save space.

·       Improving ergonomics – When constructing their home office, only 1% of respondents received support with ergonomic set-up. Companies can help employees be more productive and healthy by providing ergonomic equipment that maximizes comfort, along with set-up assistance and tips for use. 

Technology Tips

In addition to Internet connectivity and access to company networks, key considerations for telecommuters include:

·       Communication tools – Telecommuters say they rely on email (96%), instant messaging (68%), videoconferencing (44%) and unified communications technologies (25%) to stay connected.

·       Security – A proactive security strategy can help telecommuters prevent data loss, breaches and viruses, which can be spread to company networks. More than two-thirds of telecommuters say they didn’t receive IT security training in preparation for home office work. Fortunately, many are applying good judgment and security best practices – 95% say they install operating system updates right away and 84% don’t store personal data on their machines.

·       Data backup – Nearly 1 in 3 telecommuters say they never back up their data – leaving themselves and their companies vulnerable to data loss. It’s important to educate telecommuters on how and when to back up their data. Data backups should be automated and tested to ensure functionality. 

With the right set-up and support from employers, telecommuting programs can be rewarding and productive options for employees. In fact, telecommuters claim they’d even be willing to sacrifice a few of their favorite things to continue working from home.

Respondents said they would give up their favorite TV show (54%), forgo an extra hour of sleep (48%), swear off a favorite food (40%) or take a pay cut (40%) rather than stop telecommuting!

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