The many benefits of telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED June 18, 2018 09:46 am

(Inside Manila) Allowing Filipinos in the private sector to work from the comforts of their homes is a "win-win situation" for both employees and employers, said Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., principal author of House Bill 7402 or Telecommuting Act. The bill, which was recently approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading, would allow employees in the private sector the option to work outside the office through telecommuting.

Under the bill, employers can offer a telecommuting program to employees on a voluntary basis with both sides agreeing upon certain terms and conditions. These shall include compensable work hours, a minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days and entitlement to leave credits. 

The upper chamber has already approved a counterpart measure, which is Senate Bill 1363 or the Telecommuting Act of 2017. And according to Villafuerte, they will tackle the bill the moment the Congress resumes session on July 23, making Filipinos a step closer to telecommuting.

Employees all over the world want to work from home, but many businesses shy away from allowing telecommuting in their place of work. Maybe because they are afraid of losing control over employees, or maybe it’s because they don’t know enough about telecommuting as a benefit.

Although it will make a drastic change in the workplace, incorporating telecommuting will have a huge impact, here are some of them.

Increased Productivity

Research has shown that telecommuting actually increases productivity among workers, contrary to what many business owners believe. Employers can also benefit from reduction in office space costs. A Stanford University study of call center employees who worked from home showed a 13 percent increase in productivity.

Boost morale and cut stress = Higher retention rates

Employees who are allowed to work remotely are happier than those who aren’t. Happy employees are satisfied employees, who are more likely to stay with the company in a long-term basis. In an analysis of 46 studies on telecommuting, researchers found that working away from the office by using computers, mobile phones or other electronic equipment can have more pluses than negatives for people and the companies that employ them. Employees are tired of traffic jams, late trains and packed buses. Telecommuting can be a big plus for workers and employers because it is proven to boost morale and job satisfaction and cuts stress.

Higher recruitment rate

Even if a business can’t provide the highest salary in its industry, or the best health insurance and allowances, having telecommuting as a benefit increases the possibilities of luring more potential job candidates.

Environment friendly

More work-from-home arrangement means less commuters and fewer cars on the road. In a study by the Consumer Electronics Association, it is found that telecommuting preserves enough energy to send power to a million homes in the US for a whole year, making telecommuting an easy way to help reduce carbon emission. Also, telecommuting is particularly popular in Asian countries with transportation and traffic woes, like India and Indonesia.

Cost efficiency

Employees aren’t the only ones who see working from home a benefit financially. Employers can save on things like office supplies, office space, and other overhead costs with telecommuting.

Telecommuting has been a growing trend in the US since about 2000. Last year an estimated 45 million Americans telecommuted, an increase of 4 million from 2003, according to the magazine WorldatWork. This trend is seen to continue grow, making telecommuting the future of the future of work.



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