Telework could save billions: Study

Twice-weekly telecommuting could save companies
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2011

Twice-weekly telecommuting could save Canadian companies, employees and the community more than $53 billion per year, according to a report by Calgary Economic Development and the Telework Research Network.

Employers could see savings of $10,000 annually for twice-weekly telecommuting per employee, and employees could see savings between $600 and $3,500, found the study.

“(The report) has us convinced more than ever of the necessity to work within our communities and organizations to start adopting these practices in a very meaningful way,” said Robyn Bews, program manager at WORKshift, a federally funded initiative led by Calgary Economic Development.

Additionally, Canadian companies could see annual savings due to reduced turnover of more than $1.8 billion, said WORKshift Canada: The Bottom Line on Telework, which was compiled using census data, case studies, research papers and other documents. Employers could also see a 20-per-cent increase in productivity and increased employee empowerment and morale.

While four out of 10 Canadians have jobs that could be done at home at least part of the time, and eight out of 10 would work from home if they could, only three out of 100 do so, said Kate Lister, principal researcher and lead consultant at the Telework Research Network.

“There’s simply no quicker, easier and more popular way to solve labour shortages, reduce energy consumption and pollution, save money and so much more,” she said.

To that end, Workopolis is encouraging employees and employers to adopt June 1 as Work from Home Day. Discussions about such a day began in the fall of 2010 and more than 65,000 Canadians have pledged their support for the campaign.

“With secure technology, trust and clear policies in place, it’s never been easier for Canadians to work remotely,” said Gabriel Bouchard, president of Workopolis. “We are simply encouraging Canadians from coast to coast to demonstrate the increased productivity, decreased environmental strain and strengthened quality of life that is associated with working from home.”

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