As employers continue to evaluate perks for their employees, telecommuting ranks as one of the more popular options. Currently, remote workers make up about 25% of the overall workforce, while nearly 40% of the workforce has worked in some flexible capacity throughout their career according to a recent Gallup poll. Avoiding traffic, savings from gas and food, and flexibility within the day are just some of the incredibly valuable benefits available to those individuals afforded the opportunity to work from home. A recent CNBC article, highlights a San Francisco start-up firm offering its employees a $10,000 “de-location” benefit to actually move further from the Bay area due to the financial strains to live near the office. This firm is incentivizing its employees to work remotely. So why would some of the largest companies, like IBM, begin to reverse course on their historically remote workforce and bring employees back into the office?
Bringing Employees Back
A recent Quartz article, focuses on what appears to be the perceived loss of innovation. While telecommuting is a great incentive for employees, in a competitive landscape many companies are evaluating whether the tradeoff is an impact on creativity, collaboration and effective communication. These innovation-conscious employers have reversed course in an attempt to reignite what drove them to success in the first place.
What’s Your Position?
Both sides of the paradox bring valid concerns to light. Telecommuting will remain a great employee perk, and will continue to grow in the future as technology continues to expand through Cloud-based computing. Employers will also need to continue to offer a competitive employee value proposition to retain and attract top talent. However, companies should consider how much value they place on collaboration amongst employees to promote innovation. Each workforce is unique, and decisions should be based on your culture, demographics, and commitment to enhancing the work/life experience for your employees.
If your organization is considering telecommuting or some other type of flexible working arrangement, contact an HCW consultant so we can help you see how this policy fits in with your overall employee rewards offerings.