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How About the ROI of Virtual Work?

About the ROI of Virtual Work?Financially speaking, organizations are reaping the benefits of sending employees to the home office. A report by Lister and Harnish in 2010, states that organizations which allow employees to work shift are likely to save well over $10,000 per employee, even if they worked half-time from home. When you can work where you want, where it is convenient and where the company does not have to pay for office space, your company is quick to sum up their savings.  It also allows for more mobility for the company because now they can hire people from labor markets where the rates are less expensive than the country they are in. The report shows that this could easily translate to savings of $400 billion a year in the US alone. Should we expect companies to ignore this money saving proposition? Absolutely not, as a matter of fact, experts estimate that by the year 2019, industrialized nations will experience an explosion of telecommuters, with 30% of its employees work shifting at least 2 to 3 days per week.

Such radical shifts create a sense of insecurity and fear of the unknown because no one can truly predict all the ramifications. The changes experienced by the individual and the organization are extended to the society at large. The impact of teleworking is certain and far reaching. There are other good reasons for the dramatic changes in the workplace, of the twenty first century, besides less hierarchy in the workplace, more flexibility and a focus on results.

The costs and benefits of workshifting affect society locally and as well as globally. There are the benefits that come from saving money. There is the convenience and saving from not having commute. There is the energy saved. This energy saving impacts everyone involved: communities, employees and employers. This virtual workplace trend:

  • Reduces traffic congestion, accidents and greenhouse gases.
  • Saves fuel reduces energy costs, global warming and terrorist targets.
  • Reduces the threat of pandemics, health risks, reduces cost and increases productivity.
  • Improves work life balance
  • Reduces the carbon footprint, saves oil and energy
  • Saves companies on average of $20,000 per employee per year
  • Frees up 15 to 25 workdays a year in commuting time
  • Save 9.7 billion gallons of gas or 38.2 billion a year or $138.80 a month per worker
  • Diminish the Persian Gulf import by 37%
  • Make people happier because 79% of the people would like to telecommute
  • Prevents over 95,000 accident related deaths and injuries (17)

These are just some of the benefits to the economy as well as the global community’s well being. As more individuals and organizations embrace workshifting, even more benefits are likely to emerge. As with anything else however, there is always the possibility that the increase in working virtually will also create more challenges. The more we all learn about how to respond or act, the better prepared we will be to face these new challenges.  #VirtualWork #PJEffect #RemoteWork