But remote workers aren't just for big government departments. A new study from the Telework Research Network shows the substantial benefits to letting workers telecommute for small- and medium-sized businesses.
The study shows that a company letting 100 workers switch to home-based work just half-time saves $1.1 million. In other words, that's $11,000 a worker in savings.
The telework study shows gains in home-based worker productivity -- up 27 percent on work-at-home days -- as well as reduced absenteeism, better employee retention, and of course reduced real-estate costs from housing fewer workers at the office or store. The benefits extend to the community, too, reducing greenhouse gases, traffic congestion, traffic accidents, road damage, and oil consumption.
Of course, telework is not suited to every worker or to every job. But if your business has employees, it's worth taking a look at whether working a day a week at home might make them happier and more productive -- and save your business money, too.
Interested to learn more? The TeleWork Research Network, Citrix Online (of GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting fame) and Focus.com have an on-demand Webinar on the topic you can take.
Looking for a business opportunity? Virtual thinktank TechCast forecasts 30 percent of workers in industrialized nations will work from home at least a couple of days a week by 2019, representing a $400 billion market. Some great innovators will probably find creative ways to meet their needs.
Do you let any of your workers work from home? If so, leave a comment and let us know how it's working out.