Telecommuting on the Rise: Is VoIP a Key Factor?

The results from Gallup's annual Work and Education poll are in, and it looks like telecommuting is on the up and up. Thanks to modern telecommunications technology, workers are having an easier time doing their jobs from their respective homes.

According to poll results, 37 percent of U.S. workers say they have telecommuted, a 30 percent increase over the last decade. Poll respondents also say that, on average, they telecommute from home about two days per month.

Research suggests that workers without workplace flexibility would be willing to make substantial tradeoffs to have access to telecommuting and/or flex hour programs; they were more satisfied and productive in the workplace when they have flexibility and control.

Inc. Magazine found that remote workers tend to be about 10 percent less productive than their in-office colleagues when they perform repetitive work.

That said productivity soars when telecommuters are performing creative tasks. Remote workers are about 20 percent more productive when they get to think outside the box.

Working from home isn’t just for homegrown freelancers. Executives are also taking advantage of the “no-commute” commute by traveling to their home computers, and the common denominator here is VoIP.

Prior to Internet communications, places of business had standard working hours, usually 9-5. The once normal eight-hour workday has morphed into an “always on, always ready” day, so much that if businesses haven’t gotten on board with modern communications, they’re not likely to stay relevant to compete.

Workplace freedom and flexibility has increased greatly because of the tools available today, primarily VoIP communications services. This also means that employees can make the best use of their time; some employees do their best work long after business hours have ceased.

In 2011, Skype commissioned a survey to look at the way businesses are changing their workforce, particularly when it comes to in-house employees versus telecommuters.

About 20 percent of those surveyed said they now use VoIP calling at least once a week and a slightly lower number are using desktop video that often. Skype cited this as evidence that "less formal tools" are starting to reach a "critical mass."

In general, telecommuters are almost twice as likely to work more than a 40-hour workweek. In fact, only 28 percent of non-telecommuters work beyond 40 hours, while 53 percent of telecommuters extend their work hours.

One of the best ways to offer a telecommuting option to employees is to search for the right VoIP system. With VoIP, it becomes easy to access the advanced features of a phone system from a remote location.

By Michelle Amodio, VirtualOfficeResource.com