What the Staffing Industry Needs to Know About Telecommuting

83590611Telecommuting has been such a highly debated topic over the last couple years – from banning the option altogether to championing its benefits, companies across the country have been giving more weight to examining the pros and cons of telecommuting. For the staffing industry in particular, it’s important to remain up-to-speed on employee attitudes toward telecommuting policies in order to understand how these work from home options ultimately factor into job placement. And on the flipside, having a grasp on the employer perspective of telecommuting is equally crucial.

To help those in the industry keep a pulse on these attitudes, Staples Advantage completed the third annual Telecommuting survey, which explores both employee and business decision maker viewpoints on the issue. Results from this year show that telecommuting is increasingly attractive to employees, with 71 percent of telecommuters saying it’s an important benefit when considering a new job. Ten percent of respondents even say they would take a salary reduction to keep the telecommuting benefit – something for the staffing industry to take note of when working with clients to make their companies attractive to potential staff, which will ultimately help with employee placement.

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Most important, the number one reason employees like telecommuting is work/life balance (cited by 74 percent of employees). Transportation savings (69 percent) and green benefits (47 percent) are also cited as top reasons. For employers, reduced stress is a major telecommuting benefit (69 percent), and 65 percent of employers also note that telecommuting employees are happier overall.

At the end of the day, telecommuting is a win-win for employers and employees alike – which 88 percent of employees cited in the survey. Not only does telecommuting lead to a happier workforce, it’s also a critical benefit to have from a recruiting standpoint. Employers who are flexible and support their staff with the tools they need to telecommute have a definite recruiting advantage.

By understanding the current telecommuting landscape, the staffing industry can appropriately advise clients on these findings from both employers and employees who have experienced firsthand the clear benefits of telecommuting.

MORE: Coaching old-school managers on the benefits of virtual workers

Paul Mullen
Paul Mullen is vice president of technology solutions, Staples Advantage

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I think a lot of people are up for telecommuting because it means they can get the job they want but keep their normal routine/life in place. A great job opens up but it's 1000 miles away. If you're single with no commitments it's maybe not just a big deal, but if you have a house and a family can you justify uprooting your entire life when the other option is working from your living room?

Amanda Phipps
Amanda Phipps

Hi Paul,

I agree that employers should take notice of the benefits and returns that are built into implementing at least some variation of remote working or entirely if the business thrives because of it. I believe that staffing companies should not only understand the all around benefits to remote staffing with many tasks of the screening and staffing process but ultimately they should become the experts and advocates.

One of the main worries many employers fear is that in a remote working environment, accountability and productivity is lost.

How often do telecommuting opportunities come along at Staples Advantage?


Amanda Phipps


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