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How Telecommuting Can Save You (And Your Employer) Money

by Miranda Marquit

One of the growing trends right now is telecommuting. Technology has advanced to the point where it is possible to work from home, connecting to the office via broadband connection. Telecommuting isn’t just convenient; it’s also cost-effective in a number of ways. And it isn’t just a cost-saver for workers. Employers can save money when they allow workers to telecommute.

How Telecommuting Can Save You Money

would you telecommute?

Would you like to telecommute?

As you might imagine, the biggest way that telecommuting can save you money is in commuting costs. Instead of driving, and spending money on gasoline, you can save when you work from home. Even if you work from home only two or three days a week, that can add up to substantial savings in gasoline. If you pay for some sort of mass transit, you might also save money when you telecommute.

Another way you save is in needing a smaller wardrobe. When you work from home, you don’t need the same number of professional outfits. Plus, the clothing you do have will last longer since you are wearing — and laundering — it less.

Don’t forget, too, that many people who go into work spend more money on meals. If you eat out when you go in to work, or hit up the vending machines, you might be surprised at how much you are spending. Working at home some of the time means that you have access to meals that are more cost-efficient — and you might have access to healthier snacks, since you can rely on fresh fruit, rather than eating what’s in a vending machine.

Finally, you can take a tax deduction for your home office space if you telecommute. Just make sure you understand the rules, and how it works, before you start taking your deductions.

How Telecommuting Benefits Employers

Employers can also benefit when they allow workers to telecommute. Here are some of the ways that employers might be able to save when their workers are able to work part of the week from home:

  • Reduction in overhead costs: One of the most obvious ways that employers can save is in overhead costs. Less power is needed when workers are at home, and less space is needed in the office.
  • Increased productivity: Recent studies have indicated that productivity increases when workers can accomplish some of their tasks from home. This makes the whole company more efficient, and helps the bottom line.
  • Better job satisfaction: Additionally, many telecommuters report increased job satisfaction. A happy employee is less likely to look for a job, reducing employer costs related to turnover and training new employees.
  • Ability to expand job pool: Once an employer establishes a policy of allowing remote workers, its job pool expands. It is possible to hire people who might not find it practical to drive in to work every day. Employers can hire more quality people without being limited so much by geography.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of jobs that lend themselves to telecommuting, even if it is only two or three days a week. With the right planning in place, it’s possible for employees and employers to benefit from this arrangement.

photo credit: totalAldo (user no longer active on Flickr).


Published or updated January 15, 2012.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 krantcents

Do you think there will ever be a day when I could telecommute as a middle or high school teacher? Probably not, because I must be present for the children. I think it is state law!

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2 Miranda

Maybe you could do a broadcast class from home. Everyone logs in for a group chat, and you can teach, from home, and the kids can ask questions and get real time help ;)

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3 Ryan

Maybe not for a middle school or high school teacher, but there are for GED programs and online colleges, so those would be viable work opportunities in the educational field. Online tutoring is another area which is rapidly growing. Many of these online positions may not have the same benefits as a traditional workplace job, but some of them do. They can also be good alternatives for individuals who are looking to scale back hours, or who are looking for part time work, such as a second job, or as a way to boost retirement income.

Not every job translates, of course. But there are many jobs which do, or which have similar applications.

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