Businesses that allowed employees to work remotely at least three times a month were more likely to log revenue growth.
Should companies rethink a ban on working from home? Here’s one reason to rethink that ban: Businesses with telecommuting policies tend to grow faster than those without them.
That’s according to a new analysis of 812 small and medium-sized firms in a range of industries by research firm IDC. The findings come amid a fierce national debate about the effectiveness of telecommuting, after Yahoo Inc. ordered all remote workers to begin reporting to the office Best Buy Co. recently cut its longtime telecommuting program as well.
Businesses that allowed employees to work remotely at least three times a month were more likely to log revenue growth of at least 10% within the last 12 months, compared with firms without such policies.
The research looked at businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.
While the study doesn’t claim to show a causal relationship between telecommuting and revenue growth, “there seemed to be a productivity bump associated with [working remotely],” says Ray Boggs, a research vice president at IDC. “It suggests an overall attitude of worker trust and empowerment,” he says.
The revenue growth for telecommuting firms was especially strong for businesses with between 10 and 250 people, Mr. Boggs found.
For very small and larger firms, telecommuting was more weakly linked to revenue growth. This could be because it’s easier for very small firms to communicate in a single space, as firms “establish patterns of how you are going to get things done,” Mr. Boggs says. For larger firms, telecommuting may not have a real impact on revenues that are already quite substantial, he adds.
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