Telecommute Survey Reveals Unexpected Results
Last Updated: 10/10/06
In an online survey of Washington area businesses, three out of four respondents (74%) classified their telecommute programs as successful or very successful. One in four (23%) had a neutral opinion and a remarkably low 3% viewed their programs as unsuccessful. John Veihmeyer, Chair of the Greater Washington Board of Trade's (BOT) Transportation Demand Management Subcommittee that sponsored the survey, said, "This survey helps confirm what we have suspected all along, -- that the adoption of telecommuting is a 'must have' business strategy. Through our own experiences at the BOT we can testify to that," he added.
"We had not expected the success rate to be so high. This helps to vindicate what we have been promoting all along," said John Edwards, Managing Director of the Telework Coalition. "Employers with no telecommuting programs should now realize that the chance of program failure is very low," he observed.
Another unexpected finding is that requests from employees (69%) is the main reason telecommuting programs are implemented. Financial benefits to the company rated second at 44%. "In this difficult phase in the business cycle, we had expected these to be reversed," commented Chuck Wilsker, Executive Director of the Telework Coalition and Chair of the Board of Trade's Telework Task Force. "Maybe our traffic congestion and a desire for personal safety have caused these requests," he added.
Surprisingly, 44% of employers provide financial support to their telecommuters to pay for high-speed Internet access. This ranks second behind a computer (90%) and ahead of a printer (38%) and an extra phone line (31%). The expectation had been that such support of high-speed access would be ranked below providing an extra phone line.
In addition, 89% of respondents believed that greater availability of high-speed Internet access would help their telecommuters. "This is a strong indication of just how crucial employers regard high-speed access as an enabler of their telecommuting programs," said Gary Arlen, President of Arlen Communications and Advisory Board member of the Coalition.
The top three benefits to their bottom lines, stated by employers with programs, were higher workforce morale' (91%), improved productivity (78%), and, not surprisingly, the fact that having the ability to telecommute provides an essential component of operational continuity planning' (76%). In addition, over half (55%) sited a reduced reed for office space' as a benefit.
The full report can be found at www.TelCoa.org.