Our über-connected world makes it easier than ever for most employees to work from home at least part-time. With the right amount of engagement, workers can actually be more productive working from home than in the office. Commuting can be stressful, as can office politics, and stress is bad for your health, so telecommuting also has health benefits. A happier, more productive employee means higher quality work and a better overall organization. Those who telework also report having a better work-life balance. Enjoying a sense of balance in one’s life contributes to lower stress levels and higher happiness levels.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter points out in a December 2010 Harvard Business Review column, “Remote work has underutilized potential. It should be a no-brainer enshrined in public policy. It would cut traffic congestion and air pollution, save energy, make it easier to drop kids at school or care for them at home.” Kanter doesn’t miss the health benefits of telework, either: “Workplace stress has health consequences, draining the economy in other ways even when companies show high profits.” In addition to having a workplace health and wellness program, allowing and encouraging employees to telework some days is another way to cut healthcare costs for your organization. Maintaining productivity while telecommuting is not only possible, but so are greater levels of happiness and mental and physical health—benefits that could make an organization better as a whole.