Telecommuting offers edge to companies looking to recruit talent: Survey

Work-life balance ranks as top benefit of telecommuting

Telecommuting is increasingly attractive to employees — 71 per cent said it's an important benefit when considering a new job, according to a survey by Staples.

Ten per cent of respondents even said they would take a salary reduction to keep the telecommuting benefit, found the survey of 137 decision-makers and 174 office workers in Canada and the United States.

Achieving a better work-life balance ranks as the number one reason employees like telecommuting (74 per cent) — up from number two last year. Transportation savings (69 per cent) and green benefits (47 per cent) were also cited as top reasons.

Employees also cited reduced stress as a major telecommuting benefit (69 per cent) — up significantly from 48 per cent in 2013, found the survey.

A strong majority of employees (88 per cent) said telecommuting is a win-win for both them and their company — and employers agreed:

•65 per cent of employers who allow their workers to telecommute reported happier employees.

•33 per cent of employers reported less absenteeism in the workforce when telecommuting is allowed.

"Not only does telecommuting lead to a happier workforce, it's also a critical benefit to have from a recruiting standpoint. Employers who are flexible and support their staff with the tools they need to telecommute have a definite recruiting advantage," said Paul Mullen, vice-president of technology solutions at Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples.

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