The Herman Trend Alert newsletter (sorry, no link) provides some interesting statistics from a Cisco survey:

Now the international technology giant Cisco Systems has just released a study of its own organization demonstrating these benefits and more. Using telecommuting, Cisco estimates annual savings of USD $277 Million. In its in-depth “Teleworker Survey” of almost 2,000 company employees, the company evaluated the social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with telecommuting.

The study found that telecommuting significantly increased employee productivity, work-life flexibility, and job satisfaction. In addition, the report cited that “a majority of respondents experienced a significant increase in work-life flexibility, productivity, and overall satisfaction as a result of their ability to work remotely”.

The productivity gains were impressive. Approximately 69 percent of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remotely, and 75 percent said the timeliness of their work improved. Sixty-seven percent reported work quality improvement. Telecommuting can also lead to better employee retention; more than 91 percent of participants said telecommuting was somewhat or very important to their overall satisfaction and 80 percent believed they enjoyed an improved quality of life.

Couple things here – the study does appear to be self-reporting – “…of the employees surveyed cited….”  This type of reporting is always a bit of a concern.  It would be more helpful if there was a technique for putting an objective metric to their productivity.

Second, the value of telecommuting in a candidate’s eyes is noteworthy.  91% said it is very important to their overall satisfaction.  When it comes to hiring salespeople, this is a crucial fact to keep at the top of your mind when designing a compensation plan.

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