Yahoo!’s recent announcement to eliminate the work-from-home option for its employees has stirred quite a buzz. Telecommuting and virtual office solution supporters argue that the tech giant is ignoring some of the most obvious virtual office solution benefits: avoiding the commute, improved productivity, improved morale, lower relocation costs, lower real estate costs etc. However, it seems that Marissa Mayer and others in Yahoo’s upper management needs a little more convincing. Here are three virtual office solution benefits that you, and they, never though of:
Luring and Keeping Top Talent
Virtual offices aren’t just a great perk or a warm, fuzzy workplace policy. It’s something people actually want. Over half of human resource professionals say that workplace flexibility is the most effective way to attract talent, while almost 90 percent of job seekers said that flexibility is incredibly important when looking for and considering open positions.
If virtual offices would help you with your business or job, but your boss isn’t having it, politely suggest that competitors are doing it, or that a company has an open position you are considering that will allow telecommuting. A flexible workplace, enabled by a virtual office solution, can’t be ignored and with the case of Yahoo, eliminated the option will scare away the best while retaining those who only with to put in time and to show up.
Employees won’t be performing at their best if they are not healthy, and unhealthy employees hurt the bottom line, no matter how much potential they have. Virtual office solutions improve health in a variety of ways i.e. it’s easier to incorporate exercise and healthy eating, it’s easier for folks to get the rest that they need, and reduced stress.
Not only have studies shown that those who work from home or in a virtual office have less stress, but that this stress reduction comes from the lack of a commute and the ability to have a work/life balance. A study published last year in the Journal Of Health Economics showed that women’s mental health is affected more than a man’s by a daily work commute. Not to mention, commute times have been found to increase sleep deprivation, to increase your chances of being overweight, and to be detrimental to friend and family time.
Routine Kills Creativity
Going to the same place every day to get things done stifles creativity because is creates a routine. A change of pace and fresh surroundings can make a huge difference, and virtual offices can accommodate that while still allowing people to have other options, such as the home office, or the coffee shop, or even the traditional office. Going to the same place all the time sucks, but changing that place doesn’t make much of a difference.
Even if remote workers will sneak in breaks and fun stuff throughout the day, as a Citrix survey found. But, can we admit and confront the fact that getting eight hours of productivity five days a week is nearly impossible. People need a chance to chill out, whether that’s with a quick nap or even watching an hour of television or part of a movie. Besides, who knows what kind of cool thoughts can come from that down time? Who knows how pumped someone will be to tackle a big problem after he/she hasn’t had to think about it for 45 minutes? Those sorts of things make a difference, and are much easier to do in a virtual office than in the traditional office.