Telecommuting Saves $10K Per Employee Yearly

SAN DIEGO, CA — Businesses that let 100 employees work half of their time from home can save more than $1 million a year according to Telework Research Network's (TRN) latest study of telework programs and their benefits.

TRN looked at more than 250 case studies, research papers and other documents on telework (also called telecommuting and workshifting), and combined that with interviews with companies, researchers and more to figure out how telecommuting benefits employers, employees, the environment and communities.

In "Workshifting Benefits: The Bottom Line," TRN says that letting one employee work half of their time out of the office saves their company about $10,000 per year and the employee up to $6,800 per year.

While 80 percent of workers want to telecommute and 30 percent would take a pay cut in order to telecommute, less than 2 percent of employees work from home the majority of their time and at least 40 percent have jobs that are compatible with telecommuting.

About half of the $1.1 million that a company would save ($576,000) with 100 workers telecommuting halftime would come from increased productivity from fewer interruptions, better time management and employees putting in more hours by working when they would have been commuting.

Companies would also save $304,000 a year in electricity, real estate and related costs from parking lot leases, furniture, supplies, maintenance and space consolidation. About $113,000 would come from fewer unscheduled absences, less sick time and from employees working while sick or waiting for personal appointments (cable installation, delivery, etc.) that would normally result in a full day off of work. Lastly, $76,000 would be saved due to lower employee turnover.

Employees, on the other hand, would save anywhere from $2,000 to $6,800 and about two work weeks worth of time due to using less gas, and avoiding parking, food, clothing and other costs. Gas savings would total about $360 per year, collectively adding up to $15 billion across the U.S. and result in greenhouse gas emission reductions of 53 million metric tons.

"Workshifting Benefits" includes savings for companies, which came from TRN's telework savings calculator, for letting 50, 100 or 500 employees telework halftime, along with the total savings for the U.S.

Empty office - CC license by Flickr user Iain Farrell