The fearless leader of Arment Dietrich, Gini Dietrich, has talked at length about how our virtual office works, so I won’t rehash the details. I think my team does a great job of collaborating and holding each other accountable for our goals.
However, there has been a lot of discussion lately about companies requiring employees to physically work from the office. It seems Best Buy and Yahoo have made up their minds about working from home.
Corporate objectives aside, there are benefits to telecommuting that go beyond being able to work in your pajamas.
Fast Company recently shared an infographic from CarInsurance.org that shows that the U.S. workforce grew 3 percent and the amount of regular telecommuters grew 66 percent from 2005 to 2012.
A few statistics stood out:
- The greenhouse gas reduction due to telecommuting in the U.S. is equivalent to the entire New York state workforce working from home.
- Employees save nearly 109 hours of commute time per year.
- Eight in 10 employees who telecommute part time feel they have a good work-life balance, and three in four say they eat healthier.
- Productivity increases an average of 10 to 20 percent when employees telecommute.
The work from home debate: myth vs. fact
I came across this slideshow on Danny Brown’s blog and loved it. As part of the MarketingProfs educational content series, writer and illustrator Veronica Maria Jarski created a SlideShare in response to the recent announcement from Yahoo that it would not allow remote working.
1. Myth: Employees who telecommute spend all their time on the Internet, texting friends or on social networks.
Fact: People in an office also spend time on those things. I think I actually spent more time doing those things in an office than I do now. (Hopefully my old boss isn’t reading this.)
2. Myth: Employees will go rogue if they don’t work side by side.
Fact: This really makes me laugh because I can think of a few instances where employees went rogue on social media while they were in the office! It can happen anywhere.
3. Myth: Employees who work from home are harder to reach than on-location workers.
Fact: There are these things called smartphones, tablets and laptops. Employees can be available at all times. (We are!)
4. Myth: Telecommuters can’t communicate with others in the company.
Fact: Hasn’t anyone heard of a phone, social media, Skype, Google Hangouts, or other virtual meeting technology? We live in a digital age, so start embracing it already.
5. Myth: Virtual employees can’t participate in brainstorms because some of the best decisions or ideas come from the cafeteria.
Fact: Brainstorming can happen anywhere. See above fact.
6. Myth: Telecommuters work fewer hours.
Fact: I rolled on the floor laughing at this one. Employees who work from home don’t have a hard stop time and don’t waste hours commuting; they usually end up working longer hours.
7. Myth: Working from home is like a vacation.
Fact: When I’m not watching TV, eating bonbons and getting my nails done—anyhow, you get the point. Working from home is not a vacation. If anything, it’s more stressful at times!
Home life (kids, emergencies, repairmen, etc.) tend to fall on your lap because you happen to be there. Also, I’m pretty sure my team would notice if projects weren’t complete .
I love working from home. I eat healthier, get to spend more time with my family and don’t have to dress up every day, but I still get face time with everyone on my team.
For me, it’s the best of both worlds.
Yvette Pistorio is an account executive and community manager for Arment Dietrich. A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.