All across the United States, work-at-home programs are continuing to gain momentum. In fact, it is anticipated that 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will work remotely by 2016, according to Mashable. In addition to the many benefits for employees, businesses are also experiencing financial and non-financial benefits that had not been previously foreseen. In fact, one of the greatest drivers for deploying a work-at-home program is an increase in bottom-line results. Here are five areas where an at-home workforce pays off, as identified by Sitel, a global customer care provider.
Click through for benefits businesses can and have realized from providing work-at-home programs, as identified by Sitel.
Businesses that only offer in-office positions limit themselves to a very specific talent pool of employees. These businesses are forced to hire professionals who are local to their offices or to ask new hires to relocate. However, work-at-home programs equip companies with a broader talent pool from which to choose their employees. Additionally, employees with flexible work schedules have a lower propensity to switch jobs, which ultimately means reduced attrition, fewer interruptions due to new hire learning curves, and increased knowledge retention for businesses.
By deploying work-at-home programs for seasonal needs, businesses can rapidly scale during the busiest and, often, most profitable times of the year. Where local businesses can only employ so many professionals at any given time, work-at-home programs enable seasonal, intraday and peak-and-valley employees to be brought onboard without constraints. Similar adjustments can be made during the lower volume times when staffing requirements slow down. However, work-at-home isn’t just a seasonal solution; it is a more efficient way of providing optimal staffing levels for businesses that have evolving business needs.
Contrary to popular belief, allowing employees to work remotely does not result in decreased productivity. In fact, through extensive research, Sitel found the exact opposite to be true. Work-at-home programs enable employees to more effectively manage their work and life schedules, delivering a refined focus on the work at hand rather than worrying about outlying life matters.
Rather than stressing over who will pick up their child from daycare while they are writing a metrics report, at-home workers fully focus on the task at hand and, in turn, deliver higher quality results for their employer. Employees can also eliminate the daily nuances that occur in the office, such as driving to and from work, making small talk by the water cooler, elongated lunch breaks, and downtime associated with inclement weather. Rather, remote workers can maximize work time and decrease wasted time.
Deploying and maintaining physical sites—which require maintenance, equipment, IT infrastructure and costly insurance premiums—is a direct cost that is largely mitigated by work-at-home programs. What’s more, many work-at-home programs require employees to bring your own device (BYOD), which may include their own high speed Internet access, computer and other office equipment as a condition of employment. These are tangible, bottom line savings that businesses benefit from when they deploy work-at-programs.
A variety of e-learning capabilities, such as virtual classrooms, enable employees to meet via integrated video and audio connections, eliminating the need to amass them in physical sites. These types of tools allow employees to participate in training sessions and to record mock, client-specific call scenarios as a group, completely replicating the in-office training session experience. E-learning technologies can also be more cost-effective when compared to the costs associated with working in an office environment (such as desks, office supplies and telephone equipment). Additionally, e-learning requires fewer trainers, making this capability a lower-cost solution for training.