Absolutely, hands down, the best part of telecommuting is the freedom. I can come to work in whatever I want, work whenever I want (mostly), play whatever music I want, you get the drift. However, for many, the freedom can be a killer when it comes to productivity.
Telecommuting has received a burst of media attention. It is increasingly clear that telecommuting is more varied, more common and more beneficial than commonly perceived. Here’s what research shows about the benefits of telecommuting for both employers and employees.
In this series of articles on telework, I will highlight the work of researchers, company best practices, and the experiences of telecommuting employees. This first article focuses on the benefits of telecommuting as found in two recent reputable studies.
Jeremy Anderson works fully from home for FlexJobs.com, a website that matches job seekers looking for telework opportunities with flexible employers. He was nice enough to talk with me about his career, the benefits of working from home, and the state of telework in the US.
Can you briefly describe what FlexJobs.com does and how the company operates?
FlexJobs is a professional jobs service to help candidates find the best flexible jobs available, safely and easily. We find flexible jobs (jobs that offer telecommuting, flexible hours, flex schedules, FT, PT, freelance and contract), screen the jobs and companies, and then only post legitimate positions. FlexJobs itself is a purely virtual company. We have staff members from California to Colorado to Florida. We even have one FlexJobs staff member living in Germany!
So, seeing as you have an entirely virtual company with all work-from-homers distributed around the country, how does the company manage and coordinate itself?
Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to examine the media’s response to Yahoo’s ban on telework. Much analysis, by “journalists” and experts alike, missed the point entirely. I explain where so many went wrong.
I promise this is the last I’ll write about this issue unless there’s some new development
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban working from home for all employees was rightfully a hotly debated topic. Considering the steady rise of telework over the past decade, the increased attention to work-family issues, and Mayer’s high visibility as the first female CEO of her generation (who was hired while pregnant and recently build a posh nursery for her baby in her CEO suite), you had all the ingredients for a big story.
I’ve long believed that businesses would become much more flexible and progressive when it comes to work-family issues when those of my generation rose to positions of leadership.
Current 40-somethings are the first to grow up with dual-career couples for parents, while mostly being in dual-career marriages in their own lives. This generation of leaders is also more diverse and gender-equal than any that came before. This perspective, I’ve always thought, would finally lead to widespread understanding that workplace flexibility is not just a nice thing to do, but is good business- keeping step with our changing world improves a company’s ability to better attract and retain top talent.