Telecommuting improves health

* CompTIA study finds telecommuting delivers many benefits

The high cost of gas combined with recent shortages in the Southeast have propelled telecommuting programs. Employers benefit from greater productivity, reduced costs, improved recruitment and retention and even better employee health, according to a recent study from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

CompTIA polled those in the IT industry, telecom, manufacturing, government, education, healthcare, real estate and entertainment about their organizations’ telework practices. A full 78% of organizations report some of their employees telecommute, at least part time. Among those, 67% say their company benefits from greater productivity as a result. This is mainly due to reduced or eliminated commutes.

Companies save money through reducing consumption of office-related supplies and materials, and also through lower vehicle-related expenses. In fact, 69% identified cost savings as a significant benefit of telecommuting.

According to the study, telecommuting programs aid recruitment by allowing employers to reach out to candidates from a wider geographic region, according to 39% of respondents. The results show 39% of respondents believe telecommuting boosts retention, and another 25% say it improves employee health. This is mainly due to reducing stress associated with long commutes.

The IT challenges to telecommuting are likely familiar to you – the issues of securing IT systems, limiting use of unauthorized devices, and controlling personal use of corporate mobile assets. In response, organizations have upgraded network connections and VPNs, expanded security and training, and tapped virtualization technologies and applications.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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