More companies offering employees opportunity to work remotely

Survey suggests increased morale and retention are greatest benefits

TORONTO, Feb. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - A growing number of professionals are heading to the office without ever leaving the house, a new Accountemps survey shows. More than one in ten (11 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said the number of work-from-home and other remote working opportunities has increased in the last three years, while only 2 per cent have seen a decline.

Among companies offering remote work arrangements, higher morale and retention are the primary benefits, according to 34 per cent of those polled. Another 14 per cent said the best aspect of remote working capabilities is access to a broader talent pool.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies across Canada.

CFOs were asked, "Have remote work opportunities (for example, telecommuting or working from a satellite office) within your company increased, decreased or remained the same in the last three years?" Their responses*:

Increased greatly

2%

Increased somewhat

9%

No change

75%

Decreased somewhat

1%

Decreased greatly

1%

Doesn't apply/no remote work

13%


101%

*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

CFOs whose companies provide remote work opportunities were asked, "Which one of the following would you say is the single greatest benefit of offering remote working options to your employees?" Their responses:

Improves retention and morale by promoting work-life balance

34%

Provides access to a broader talent pool

14%

Increases productivity by reducing commute time

8%

Saves money by requiring less office space

7%

Don't know

37%


100%

"As mobile technology has become more accessible, providing telecommuting work options could be a smart move by firms to help them compete for talent without being restricted to specific geographical areas or time zones," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian district president of Accountemps. "Although telecommuting is not an option for every role, it can be a valuable perk when it comes to sweetening the compensation package."

Accountemps offers employers five tips for setting up a remote workforce:

  1. Establish guidelines. Determine which roles are eligible for telecommuting and other requirements, such as a steady and positive performance record and proven ability to work with minimal or no supervision.
  2. Clarify your expectations. Make sure participants understand program parameters, such as being accessible during certain times or keeping similar hours as their in-office colleagues.
  3. Pick up the phone or use video conferencing. For remote arrangements to work, "out of sight" can't be "out of mind." Email is handy for conveying facts, but hearing an employee's voice or seeing his or her expression makes for better communication.
  4. Make sure employees and job candidates are aware. Promote your company's remote working options to prospective and existing staff. A fail here is a missed opportunity for your organization and could impede recruitment and retention efforts.
  5. Don't forget security. Be sure remote workers are well trained in security matters, such as maintaining virus protection, keeping software updated and safeguarding confidential information.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at accountemps.com. Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and advice.

SOURCE Accountemps

Image with caption: "Remote Work Opportunities Rising (CNW Group/Accountemps)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150217_C6710_PHOTO_EN_12145.jpg

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140, naz.araghian@roberthalf.com


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