Cutting the Commute: More Companies Allow Work-From-Home

As the economy booms and demand for employees increases due to low unemployment, more and more companies are looking to attract burned-out workers by offering the chance to telecommute---to work off-site, usually from home. A new survey from the global staffing firm Robert Half finds 47 percent of professionals say their company provides the option to work off-site. A separate Robert Half survey of senior managers finds 56 percent say their organization has expanded remote work options in recent years.

One of the biggest perks of working from home is avoiding the commute, which is likely why more companies in busy cities are offering that option. "Here in Texas, the percentage of companies offering telecommuting is a little bit higher," says Amber Watts, Regional Vice President for Robert Half in Houston. "Houston-49 percent, Dallas-52 percent, and Austin-61 percent."

Of the professionals surveyed who have the option of telecommuting, 76 percent take advantage of it. A 2018 KTRH poll found similar sentiment among workers. "I think companies are just getting familiar with the idea that this is a huge flexibility option they can offer their employees, which will allow them to attract and retain top talent," says Watts. "For companies, it's an opportunity for them to save on real estate costs, while at the same time allowing the employee to save on the commute costs and the gas to get into the office."

But telecommuting isn't for everybody, or for every job. Of the 24% in the survey who declined the option to work from home, most cited not having the right technology at home or being too distracted there as reasons for staying in the office. Watts says companies should prepare and use caution before letting employees telecommute. "Make sure you know what positions can work remotely, what are suitable positions to be working remotely, and how frequently...and have a really solid plan," she tells KTRH.

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