Who really wants to work in a cubicle? Back in the mid-60’s, cubicles were simply the most logical use of space and resources. However, now-infamous “cubicle farms” don’t help when it comes to employee satisfaction. Unmotivated employees are a major factor costing the U.S. economy $450 to $550 billion each year according to this Gallup report – so employee happiness isn’t as intangible as one might think.
While entrepreneurs love to wax about company culture and values, the evolution of workplaces today is at least partially guided by research on how workplaces impact employee productivity (and consequently, those businesses’ bottom lines.) Further studies illustrate the various ways that employee happiness can lead towards business success.
To make employees happy and productive, workplaces are always evolving to find new ways to adapt to the needs and preferences of employees. Leading tech employers like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! invest huge sums of money to make workplaces more adaptable, with offerings ranging from the practical (adaptable work stations, flexible schedules) to the outlandish (in-house masseuses, rock-climbing walls, bowling alleys, basically everything at Google.)
When any workplace trend involves ‘huge sums of money’, it may set expectations too big for small businesses to follow suit. However, being a flexible employer doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, businesses nationwide have been offering employees adaptable workspaces to boost employee satisfaction and cutting costs in the process — all by allowing their employees to telecommute.
Telecommuting isn’t a new concept, but it’s certainly more relevant than ever as startups search for a way to offer a workplace that makes employees happy while conserving resources.
How telecommuting cuts costs
The most immediate impact that telecommuting offers to an upstart’s budget is reducing upfront costs, including expenses such as those itemized in this budget-setting guide. While the benefits can differ depending on how drastically a business wants to implement telecommuting, businesses can expect to cut costs on:
- Computers, software, and office equipment
- Furniture, décor, and supplies
- Utilities like internet, gas, water, etc.
In addition to these upfront costs, additional ways that telecommuting saves employers money include a lower overhead, higher retention rates of employees, and above all, increased productivity.
In a contribution on Entrepreneur.com, Startup Advisor Drew Hendricks notes that workers who telecommute are nearly twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week when compared to non-telecommuters. Further research proves that it can boost morale and cut stress, leading to greater productivity during those hours.
While working from home certainly isn’t a new concept, it is one that offers the flexibility and freedom that employees desire without wasting resources on equipping a traditional workplace. Employees want the freedom to choose when, where, and how they work, and that doesn’t necessarily have to come in an official workplace.
As long as you’re taking the efforts to coordinate your team and providing a system for accountability, telecommuting is a cost-saving practice that can make your startup’s team happier in the process.
This guest post was written by Tim Hand. Tim is a writer from Boise, ID who writes about small businesses, marketing, and website development. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in English at the University of South Carolina, Tim moved to the Treasure Valley to work with internet marketing firms as a content marketer and SEO. Contact Tim on Twitter @TimWHand.
If you would also like to submit a a guest post to Bizzvenue, click here for details.