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Telecommuting: Debunking the top 4 myths about working from home

Telecommuting is increasingly becoming a part of corporate culture and can be instrumental in attracting – and retaining – top talent. The Flex+Strategy Group recently conducted some new research on the benefits and roadblocks to this increasingly popular practice and HR Morning News has identified the top four take-home messages:

Employers need to rethink their idea of a “typical” telecommuter:
There’s a prevailing stereotype of telecommuters mainly being women who work from home in order to better balance child rearing and household duties. However, the Flex+Strategy research suggests that 71% of teleworkers are men and that there is no significant difference between teleworkers with or without kids, or in the age groups of such employees.

Telecommuting can help with increased workloads:
The study found that heavy workloads and lack of time were the main things getting in the way of a healthy work/life balance. By offering employees the opportunity to do their work when and where they see fit, companies can lessen this burden, resulting in a happier workforce.

Working remotely shouldn’t be referred to as a “perk”:
Putting telecommuting in a category with traditional benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans gives employees the impression that working remotely is something the company is simply giving to them. Instead, telecommuting should be positioned as a recruiting/retention strategy and a way to also benefit the entire company.

Many employees are still afraid to take advantage of telecommuting.
Perhaps because telecommuting has been positioned as a perk, many employees feel that there is a stigma attached to taking advantage of such programs. Specifically, the study found that nearly one-quarter of employees believed they’d make less money if they telecommuted and 16 percent were concerned they’d lose their jobs. In addition, 11 percent believed their co-workers would think they don’t work hard. In order to boost your telecommuting offerings, you need to make sure that you see telecommuting as a mutually beneficial program and encourage workers to participate if they are interested.

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