THE BLOG
04/16/2014 01:13 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2014

Survey Reveals Increasing Benefits From the Rise in Telecommuting

A recent survey was conducted by PGi to report on telecommuting. Out of those surveyed, a total of 80 percent of knowledge workers (workers that do not rely on hands-on operations to conduct work) reported that there is actual benefit to working remotely. The survey discovered that this new system of work has proven to be a popular alternative to the former in-office work model and has garnered approval from many companies whose workforce is mainly comprised of knowledge workers such as writers, consultants, and developers.

It's no surprise that advancements in technology have given rise to telecommuting. From our social arrangements to our jobs, everything these days now revolves around the use of technology. The survey showed that a reported 91 percent of telecommuters had been provided with company laptops, 76 percent have remote access to company data, 75 percent have web conferencing tools and 62 percent have a cellphone or smartphone to allow workers to be more available outside of the office.

But technology isn't the only reason why many workers are opting to work remotely. Out of the individuals surveyed, telecommuting not only provided an improvement in work performance, but it also yielded emotional benefits as well. The survey revealed that those who actively participated in telecommuting saw improvements in stress, employee morale, productivity and surprisingly, absenteeism.

Despite all of the benefits one of the biggest lingering concerns about telecommuting was its supposed potential to negatively affect career mobility. Employees who hold this belief can rest assured, the survey indicates that 77 percent of employees experienced that telecommuting actually improved and/or had no impact on career advancement.

As the state of telecommuting stands today, around 70 percent of the surveyed employees say they telecommute. For most telecommuters, schedules are flexible and can take the form of part-time to full-time work depending on company policy. Interestingly enough, telecommuting has gained so much popularity that 38 percent of the survey's responders even mentioned that they would give up office perks such as snacks and free parking for the opportunity to telecommute.

However, despite all of its benefits, working remotely is not for everyone. One in three non-telecommuters stated they simply enjoyed working in an office setting while one in four cited that they preferred the structure of an office. Whether or not telecommuting is right for every company is something to be debated but for those with a large knowledge worker base, telecommuting could be a viable option to optimize employee potential.

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