UPDATED FOR 2020:
Back in 2009, we wrote a post on the benefits of what we were calling teleworking, now known as “Work From Home”. Last year forced many organizations to finally embrace telework during COVID. It’s interesting to see how our reasons not only have stood the test of time, but became mainstream in 2020.
Donoma has been a strong supporter of telework since our inception, and our unified messaging solutions were designed to support the growth of a workforce who was no longer tied to a desk with a phone for long stretches of time. Here’s our 2020 take on the original recommendations:
Teleworking Increases Productivity
Our team has always loved the flexibility of teleworking at least some the time. What we all noticed is not that we worked less, but that we in fact, worked more. The time we would have spent traveling was instead applied to productive work. So organizations win, but feedback from many remote workers is that they appreciate the flexibility.
Increases Employee Retention
That flexibility pays an additional dividend in employee retention. Happy employees who like their work environment stay. Replacing professionals in organizations cost an average of $15,000 each time a position turns over. Providing options so employees can work remotely pays dividends that directly impact your bottom line now, and longer retention usually benefits an organization to retain organizational knowledge and experience.
Teleworking is Eco-Friendly
In 2020, who wasn’t getting 4 weeks to the gallon? All kidding aside, there are obvious benefits to reducing everyone’s carbon footprint. We were amazed to see the impact of lockdowns on visibility in normally smoggy areas like Los Angeles.(See these shots of LA just 3 weeks after COVID lockdowns.)
Another dividend of work flexibility is the increase in morale. When employees feel that they can control more of their work delivery, they derive greater satisfaction.
Telework is Cost Effective
As many organizations have seen that they can in fact have employees working from home, they are already sharpening their pencils and re-examining their office space needs. Many are already announcing significant reductions in leases, others have canceled plans to build new office spaces. (Pinterest cancels huge SF office lease in unbuilt project, citing work from home shift) Back in 2009, the big cost reduction opportunity was a reduction in travel expense, especially as we adopted video conferencing technology. A single employee could have sales meetings all over the globe in a single day from their home office.
This is the strategy that drove Donoma’s initial adoption of telework. We wanted to hire the best people and not be constrained by proximity to an office suite. It’s a strategy that has enabled us not only to find top talent, but to retain them, even as they have made additional moves for their own needs.
Telework Provides Business Continuity
Clearly the big driver of telework/work from home during the pandemic was the need to continue business operations. For those organizations who, like us, were already teleworking at least part of the time, the transition was fairly easy because systems, tools and culture were already in place. It was a bit harder for those who needed to buy more notebooks, monitors, cameras and such to pivot to the remote work reality. By the end of 2020 – most had caught up and were realizing many of the benefits besides the ability to keep business running.
During the pandemic many organizations came to understand that they needed their unified communication systems more than ever. Our OneVoice Speech2Txt unified messaging solution helped workers to not only stay on top of messages going to their offices, but they were able to review them faster with our AI-powered voice to text transcriptions. Others leveraged our OneView communication analytics solution to help them understand the volume and flow of communications as employees could no longer see or hear activity levels in person.