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CompTIA Survey Quantifies Telework Benefits

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Telecommuting Boosts Worker Productivity, CompTIA Survey Finds
Cost savings, staff hiring and retention and improved employee health also cited as benefits

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., October 7, 2008 Companies that give their workers the option of telecommuting are benefitting from greater productivity, lower costs, more options for finding and retaining qualified staff, and improved employee health, according to a new survey released today by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

More than two-thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents said their organization has experienced greater worker productivity as a result of allowing employees to telecommute either full-time or part-time. Improved productivity is principally due to workers spending less time getting to and from work.

“With ‘anywhere’ connectivity, faster broadband options and high-quality video and online conferencing choices, the opportunity for virtual offices is greater today and more affordable for businesses of all sizes and types,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA.

Companies who utilize telecommuting are also benefitting from cost savings through reduced use of office-related materials and resources and lower vehicle-related expenses. Nearly six out of ten respondents (59 percent) to the CompTIA telecommuting trends survey identified cost savings as a significant benefit.

Telecommuting is also helping organizations find and keep qualified staff, and keep their employees healthier.

According to the CompTIA survey, 39 percent of respondents said their companies have access to more qualified staff, especially those who may not otherwise be geographically accessible, because they offer telecommuting as an option. Another 37 percent of respondents said telecommuting helps their organization improve employee retention. One-quarter of survey respondents (25 percent) said telecommuting improves employee health, mainly though reduced stress levels associated with commuting to and from work.

Other benefits of telecommuting, as revealed in the survey, include promotion of safety through reduced highway use (18 percent); and environmental benefits (17 percent).

The survey was intended to better understand the benefits and challenges of telecommuting; and to determine how organizations are addressing these challenges. Businesses represented in the survey include information technology service companies, government, manufacturers, technology solution providers, not-for-profit training organizations and schools, telecommunications, healthcare, entertainment, and real estate. The Web-based survey was conducted between Aug. 27 and Sept. 23. It closed with 212 responses and has a margin of error of 5.6 percent. For more information on the telecommuting trends survey and other CompTIA research, visit www.comptia.org/research.

About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, please visit www.comptia.org.

Summary of “Trends in Telecommuting: Organizations are Realizing Benefits and Addressing Challenges”

About the Study

With advances in mobile technologies and enhancements in security technologies, telecommuting has become a more common practice within organizations in the U.S. and worldwide. We’ve heard of the possible benefits associated with telecommuting for both organizations and employees, such as cost savings and improved employee productivity, but where is the data?
In order to gain a better understanding of telecommuting practices in organizations and obtain the data, CompTIA conducted a study to determine the top benefits and challenges of telecommuting in a wide range of industries, including but not limited to IT, government, education, insurance, and telecommunications. The Web-based survey was conducted among IT and other professionals from August through September of 2008 and closed with 212 total responses.

Key Findings

  • The majority of respondents (78%) report that some employees within their organizations telecommute, at least part-time.
  • However, most organizations do not have a high percentage of full-time telecommuting employees. The vast majority of organizations (82%) say that less than 25% of employees telecommute full-time.
  • Employees in IT management (41%), field technical support (37%), and administration (35%) most commonly telecommute (part-time or full-time).
  • Top benefits of telecommuting to organizations include improved productivity (67%), cost savings (59%), access to more qualified staff (39%), employee retention (37%), and improved employee health (25%).
  • Significant challenges of telecommuting to organizations include securing corporate information systems (53%), limiting use of unauthorized and unsupported devices (38%), and controlling personal use of corporate mobile assets (33%).
  • Measures that organizations have taken to meet challenges of telecommuting include upgrades in network circuits and VPN equipment, expanded security, training, and implementation of new virtualization technologies and applications.
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