Experts: Threefold Increase in Telecommuting Is Sign of the Times


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This article highlights the reasons for telecommuting, especially in the new working generation, as well as the perks for both the employee and employer. 

“Shifts in workforce
demographics and priorities—not improved technology—are the main reasons the
U.S. has seen a threefold increase in telecommuting during the past 20 years,
experts say.

“You have younger
employees who are quick to embrace technology … and see no point in doing
things the old way,” said Nannina Angioni, a labor and employment attorney
and partner with Los Angeles-based Kaedian LLP, in an interview with SHRM

But being able to work
from home one or more days a week appeals to workers of all ages, according to the Society for
Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2016 Employee Benefits

research report. That research shows that telework rose nationwide from 20
percent in 1996 to 60 percent in 2016.

More employers are seeing
this as a relatively inexpensive perk that improves work/life balance,
according to SHRM. In another study from California research firm Global
Workplace Analytics, 95 percent of employers said the ability to telework has a
significant positive impact on employee retention, too.

There has definitely
“been a shift toward work/life balance,” said Angioni, who works with
clients on workplace policy and regulation. “Teleworking provides
employees with flexibility as to how and when they complete their work. As long
as the work gets done, employers are more flexible when it comes to time and

Telework’s Appeal

“Telecommuting is
also particularly appealing to workers living in big cities with consistently
heavy rush-hour traffic,” Evren Esen, director of workforce analytics at
SHRM, stated in a news release.

advances over the past 20 years have made this shift possible,” Esen

Vik Chadha, founder and
CEO of HiveDesk, a
Louisville, Ky.-based software company that helps companies manage remote
, agreed. “Telework is becoming popular across many
industries but more so in industries like software, digital marketing and
creative services,” he said. “A talent crunch in industries like
software and digital marketing, coupled with increasing demand, is forcing
companies to look beyond their local markets. So an agency in New York may find
it easier to hire a worker in a smaller city or even another country.”

Key Takeaways:

1. Utilizing today’s technology has allowed telecommuting to become popular and widely used among companies. 

2. Telecommuting has increased 40% in 20 years and the flexible work schedule is a large perk for employees and relatively inexpensive for employers.

3. Although technology makes telecommuting possible it is the incoming employees who have made it as big as it is.

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