When you have a small staff, everyone is wearing a lot of hats and you can’t help but form bonds beyond professional—however, that’s a dangerous combination. As more and more corporations offer telecommuting options and virtual environments, is it time for you to get on board and a little more professional? If you’re not a natural telecommuter yourself (ahem, the TV is your ultimate enemy), it’s easy to see why you’d be wary of this situation. However, there are many benefits to telecommuting, especially as an entrepreneur and small business owner.
It doesn’t work for everyone and every business, so take your situation—and your employees—into account. Assuming you have under 50 workers, consider these potential pros. You might be able to guarantee happier workers, more productivity, and save the earth and your bottom line all at once:
The Upside to Giving Employees What They Want
You want your employees to be happy, and in many cases telecommuting can help with that. It’s a dream come true for many people, whether they need a little flexibility for family commitments, are facing a long commute or would just rather work in pajama bottoms all day (and that doesn’t impact their work quality). If you can dish up more happiness, save everyone time and still benefit from the same—or higher—quality work, why not?
Happy Workers are More Productive
There are numerous studies which show that the happier your employees are, the more productive they are. What entrepreneur wouldn’t benefit from that? Of course, telecommuting isn’t the only way to up the happiness factor, but it can be a big one. Get on the fast track to boss of the year while enjoying maximized productivity to boot.
John Rampton from hosting company Hostt has all employees telecommute. He attributes his happy customer base to his happy employees working from home. "This allows them to be themselves and not be distracted by the everyday office show. Our customer can sense how happy everyone is."
Save on Overhead
Commercial space can be insanely expensive, especially for small businesses. If you can downsize or even completely eliminate commercial space, you’ll be saving thousands on monthly rent and utilities. In fact, for many businesses their “overhead” is by far the largest expense. You’ll make your accountant happy while nixing one of your biggest money sucks.
Reduce Your Business’ Carbon Footprint
When fewer people are commuting each day—even if they rely on public transportation—you’re helping to reduce energy consumption and lighten that carbon footprint. Telecommuting is actually a very green move, and you can angle it for fantastic PR. Why not save the planet while you’re chasing that American dream?
Attract the Best Candidates
It’s still an employer’s market, but you need to make sure your small business reels in top tier candidates. Many of them are looking for perks beyond a solid salary and interesting/challenging work. The ability to telecommute might just be what sways a candidate to your side.
Sometimes telecommuting is a perfect match for an entrepreneur. Is it slated to be your secret weapon in 2015?
Edited by Stefania Viscusi