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The Cost of Telecommuting Employees

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
The Cost Of Telecommuting Employees

The money saving benefits with regards to the cost of telecommuting employees are undisputed. However, saving money is not the only advantage to be had by either outsourcing work or allowing certain employees to work from home. Benefits can include boosting employee morale, increasing productivity and decreasing staff turnover.

Telecommuting And Your Business

Many businesses do have some form of telecommuting program set in place. For some members of the workforce this will be a natural part of their work schedule. Salespeople often spend part of their working week telecommuting with only a few days spent in the actual office. Businesses have come round to the benefits of teleworking and there are advantages for both employers and the workforce. The advantages of telecommuting will include:
  • A better work and home life balance for employees
  • Saves on office costs and office space
  • Workers with specialised skills can be employed from anywhere in the world
  • Exchange rates mean that outsourcing can be a form of gaining workers at a lower cost
  • Employees are happier working only a few days in the office and productivity will usually increase
  • Teleworkers can be full-time, part-time or even retired
  • Teleworking is healthier for the environment cutting the use of transport
  • Teleworkers are usually happier in this environment and staff turnover levels are low

Self-Employed Teleworkers

Telecommuting or teleworking can be split into two categories. There are teleworkers who are employed outside the workplace on a contract basis. These are self employed individuals who have skills that can be used within a business but they are not actually classed as permanent members of the business. The significant advantage of self-employed teleworkers is that they will have to deal with their own National Insurance and tax. Businesses do not have to provide sick leave, maternity leave or holiday pay.

Permanent Teleworkers

It is very rare for a permanent employee to be employed solely as a teleworker when they begin a job. In most cases the employee will usually consider the benefits of teleworking and bring the issue to the attention of the employer. Allowing an employee to telework is usually seen as a sign of respect and trust from the employer. This sign of trust should be reward by increased levels of productivity from the teleworker. Of course the member of staff will have to make it clear to the employer the distinct advantages to the business of the teleworking concept.

Cost Saving Benefits

Telecommuting will usually be effective when it comes to reducing overheads in the office and labour costs. Telecommuters can be used as and when needed and in most cases they are simply an email or a phone call away. Self-employed workers will use their own equipment and these costs are not usually passed on to the business that employs them. Recruitment costs are also cut as many business owners can find skilled telecommuters simply by browsing the internet or placing an advert for the type of worker they need.

Is Telecommuting Viable?

Whether or not telecommuting is a viable money saving practise for your business will depend on the type of business your run. But technology and communication devices have caused a significant rise in the amount of teleworkers. A number of businesses have actually downsized due to the cost saving benefits of employing teleworkers. Company premises are a major expense, and if a business can cut this cost by employing teleworkers then it can make a positive difference to the profit margin.

Telecommuting will always be resisted by some employers who do not see their staff as their greatest business assets. Working from home should not be underestimated as a cost saving business tool. If a business can be run solely using the skills of teleworkers then it can significantly increase the profit margin by reducing overheads and labour costs.

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