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5 Ways That Offering Telecommuting Can Save Your Small Business Money

More people than ever are working from home. The accessibility afforded by email, cloud computing, and cell phones has made telecommuting a fixture in the modern work environment. But it doesn’t just appeal to employees. Small business owners can reap the benefits as well. In an uncertain economic climate, employers are looking to cut costs wherever they can. Check out how a solid telecommuting team can save your company money:

1. Decrease Turnover
Average turnover can cost a company up to $25,000 per employee. While the exact costs vary based on industry-specific factors, you can’t deny that it’s better to keep your workers working. Telecommuting can be a big incentive for employees to stick around, especially if they’re considering going to a competitor who doesn’t offer that benefit. By instituting a work-from-home policy, you might end up collecting the most talented workers in your field and getting an edge in the industry.

2. Reduce Payroll
Telecommuting employees can help slash your small business payroll and reduce labor costs. If given a choice, many staff members will take the flexibility of a remote position in place of a salary increase. Others might even opt for a pay cut to work from home. In a survey conducted by Dice.com, more than one-third of IT professionals stated they’d take as much as a 10% reduction in salary if they could telecommute.

3. Impact Energy Costs
Fewer staff members at the office every day means fewer computers being powered up, less light used, lower HVAC costs, and a host of other energy-saving benefits. Employees working from home might be able to write these costs off when they file their tax returns – depending on their official employment status – so they’ll often be happy to take them on as personal expenses in exchange for flexibility at work.

4. Reduce Office Supply Budget
Office supply costs add up exponentially. Reams of printer paper (and pricey toner), staplers, folders, coffee, and the countless other supplies that support a thriving office can drain your budget quickly. When your staff works from home, most of those supplies become obsolete. Set up a remote server and digitize your document archives for easy remote access – paper will be a thing of the past.

5. Decrease IT Costs
Computers, printers, and copiers don’t break down if they’re not being used. IT repairs not only siphon valuable time away from your workflow, they can cost a small fortune. Institute an aggressive work-from-home program and you can not only decrease pesky breakdowns, you can cut back on IT staffing.

Final Thoughts
Instituting telecommuting can save your small business as much as $6,500 per employee each year, according to the Telework Research Network. Just be sure you’re managing your telecommuters effectively. Set hard deadlines. Communicate with your remote workforce even more than in-office staff, just to remind them they do still have a boss monitoring their work. You’ll get the most out of them with the right controls in place.

What are your thoughts on telecommuting and small business? Learn more about the many ways telecommuting saves money for businesses and improves work-life balance for employees by downloading our free eBook: The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting today!

David Bakke is a part of the Money Crashers Personal Finance team, and works from home in Atlanta. He writes content related to money management, business, and technology.

Photos courtesy of Flickr users puresolitude and Plutor

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