Melanie Turek's Blog

Virtual Workplaces Boost Morale, Productivity

10 Jan 2010 | by Melanie Turek
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A lot of the technology I cover (unified communications and collaboration) is as important as it is for one key reason: more and more companies are enabling, even requiring, that their employees work virtually, from a home or remote office far removed from their colleagues, managers and direct reports. The virtual workplace can save companies a lot of money (in facilities costs) and it boosts productivity by cutting commuting times and allowing employees to better manage their personal and professional lives. But don't take my word for it; look at some of these data points:

  • The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) reports that according to results of a 2009 study, "a full 84% of companies overall believe that flexible work arrangements in their organization boosts employee morale. That figure is up from 76% in a similar 2008 study conducted by i4cp. Correspondingly, the 2009 study showed that 78% of polled companies say flexwork options bolster retention rates, up from 64% the previous year."
  • Families and Work Institute (FWI) reports in their study The Impact of the Recession on Employers, "fully 81% of employers have maintained existing flexible work options during the recession and 13% have actually increased those options, while 6% have reduced them.
  • IBM has seen a dramatic savings due to its support of telecommuting.  As of October 2007, according to a FinancialWeek article of that month, 40% of IBM’s 355,000 employees are mobile workers. The magazine reports, "The company estimates that its mobile workforce reduces its real estate requirements by at least 2 million square feet, saving IBM about $100 million a year."
  • A 2008 report from Corporate Voices for Working Families notes that in their 2007 survey of senior-level executives at large corporations "The respondents, by a ratio of 9-to-1, report that flexible work strategies have a positive effect on helping organizations reach business goals."