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Telecommuting is not a new or novel idea; however more and more big businesses are adopting this ground-breaking way of working – like Apple and Amazon. Remotely working is no longer a Millennial trend but rather a much-needed disruption to traditional ways of working that can be restrictive. At Lorge, we have embraced this trend and can’t wait to increase our productivity with healthier and happier employees. We are now more accessible both locally and internationally, allowing for a fluid presence.

So, what exactly is telecommuting? Simply put, telecommuting is a practice in which an employee works at a location that is remote from the actual business premises at which they are employed. This location is often, but not always, one’s home. However, this is not to say that they are isolated – communication is maintained with co-workers and supervisors via various mediums powered by the digital age (Skype, email, telephone etc.). Telecommuting has a wide-ranging impact on businesses and employees, we’ll get in to that.

At Lorge we are continually striving to produce the best possible business solutions for your business, and for us this starts with finding innovative ways of working that are employee-centric. We have made this telecommute change to increase our workflow and productivity so we can bring you even better solutions, that are cost-effective and fit your business needs. Lorge strives to be an industry leader, trailblazing new pathways and as such we are no longer tied to dated notions of physical addresses. We aren’t the only ones, according to some estimates, the global remote work population will reach 1 billion people by 2020.

Here are some of the benefits of telecommuting and why we have embraced the change in the structuring of our workforce.

Health & Wellbeing

Working remotely reduces the stress felt by employees on commute. In a report published by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK, it found that 55% of people felt more stressed as a result of their commute. Commuting to work consistently makes people more stressed and frustrated. There is a direct correlation between the length of your commute and your wellbeing. According to findings published in World Leisure Journal, people with the longest commutes have the lowest overall satisfaction with life. More than this, a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine linked longer commutes with poor cardiovascular and metabolic health. The commute includes those in private vehicles and those using public transport. Ultimately, a commute decreases energy, and increases stress and illness-related work absences because most people feel hurried, time conscious and out of control of the variable you may encounter on the commute (traffic, accidents, aggressive drivers). Less driving or commuting reduces the odds of car accidents, reducing injury risk and reducing insurance premiums for all employees. It also significantly reduces the carbon footprint of a business by reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Remote working also gives your workforce flexibility to achieve optimum health and vitality. Working from home gives employees the opportunity to move around a little more and stretch, without distraction. As well as spend more time with their families, which increases the work-life balance and overall employee satisfaction.

Another health benefit is that common illnesses like colds and flus are instantly quarantined, so one sick employee won’t infect the larger workforce around them.

Increased productivity

The above health benefits have a direct impact on the productivity of a workforce. Through a more relaxed environment employees are able to access more creativity and efficiency in their work tasks. Simply, happy employees that are healthy add value, increase innovation and contribute to overall productivity.

As much as we would all like to consider ourselves exceptional multitaskers, even the smallest distraction can cost important hours of productivity. Be it water-cooler gossip or a college coming to your desk to complain about something, these all eat away at productivity.

We have already looked at the health benefits of reducing time spent on the road but beyond this, the commute is an impressive waste of time for employees. According to INRIX, a global SaaS and DaaS company that specializes in connected car services and transportation analytics, South Africa is the 8th worst country in terms of traffic congestion. Drivers in Johannesburg will lose almost six full days per year to sitting in traffic.

Productivity is also increased through boosted morale that flexibility gives employees. Remote workers are shown to be 20-40% more productive than their office working counterparts. This is because they have more flexibility and control of their worklives, leaving them happier and healthier.

Employee retention

By providing freedom and flexibility, employees are more willing to work overtime where necessary and feel more loyal to their company. The increased work-life balance also means employees are more likely to stay with a company.

By opening your hiring strategy to remote workers, the pool of viable candidates is increased, so your business can hire highly skilled workers without restrictions of location.

Decrease cost/overheads

As mentioned, telecommuting reduces employee turnover, and this is a cost-effective strategy for businesses. Employees are a company’s biggest asset and hiring new employees and training can be a costly exercise for businesses. Flexibility also reduces the rate of absenteeism and so this brings an additional cost benefit.

Telecommuting also reduces overhead costs associated with traditional business operations such as buying or leasing office space, office supplies, furniture, equipment, coffee and janitorial services. Businesses need not worry if the office is having a massive power outage that affects all business operations.

A different way of working

Telecommuting is a sustainable and innovative way of working that increases productivity and employee satisfaction all the while reducing costs and employee turnover. At Lorge, we have decided to work differently and embrace the modernisation of workforces and workflows. By prioritising our employees and their quality of life, we except to further increase the quality of our service offerings. Happy and healthy employees make for satisfied clients and quality of work.

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