Business today doesn’t end at the closing bell of the marketplace, nor does it take holidays or weekends off. Business is 24/7, 365 days a year and depending on your career field you may need to be available just as often. However, it is impossible to expect people to never leave their desks, take vacations or spend some relaxing time at home. Technology and portable communication devices have perpetuated the culture of never being ‘off the clock’ so to speak. Because we are reachable through email and cellular phones at all times, people are now expected to contribute to their work and business affairs even if they are not in the office.
However, people are not only working from home after work or during their vacations on a beach somewhere – some people use their home as their office every day. A growing number of North Americans are working from home. Whether they work as self-employed entrepreneurs, or they telecommute into their place of business; it is estimated that 30 million people are working from the comfort of home. Of the 30 million, 3 million never step foot into an office building for any reason, sometimes because there is no office to go to. Over half of these 3 million people, approximately 54%, say they are much happier being able to work from home. In the USA, 1 in every 5 Americans works from home and this number is projected to grow by 63% over the next five years, according to the Telework Research Network.
The TRN has also found that 47% of people who have the option to ‘telecommute’ or ‘telework’ from home, or wherever they happen to be, consider themselves “very satisfied” with their job. Of the people who do not have this option and must drive into an office building every day only 27% of the respondents claimed to be “very satisfied”. For these reasons of both convenience and job satisfaction many tech companies have been launching “drive” and “cloud” services. These services provide the opportunity for companies to put their information online in order for it to be accessed from anywhere in the world, by all of the approved employees. These companies have allowed for businesses to grow exponentially as they can now be in constant, instant communication from any corner of the globe.
Nextiva is one of the largest communications companies in the United States – with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. It was founded in 2006 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Originally the company was a VoIP provider but they have branched out into many other services. Nextiva Drive is the cloud storage service that is used by 120,000 businesses in the USA. With this service your business can store unlimited amounts of information and data that can be shared in real-time. All of the information is automatically backed up, eliminating the worry of losing priceless information.
With such a service, businesses can choose to allow flexible work environments. This has been reported to increase productivity. BestBuy reported a 35% increase in their productivity levels by allowing their employees to choose where they would like to work, from home or at the office. It has also been suggested that employees who work from home are happier, even though they are working longer and harder than people in an office building. Nextiva Drive allows for 100 users or more to be important at once, instantly syncing and therefore being able to communicate with every employee. Recording calls, checking voicemails, sending and receiving faxes, and managing call history are all possible with this service. These were once the cumbersome duties that forced people to go into the office even when working from home could’ve been a possibility, now it is a reality.
Citing once again from the TRN telecommuting research, it is estimated that 4.2 billion hours are spent by Americans every year in traffic, commuting to and from work. In major cities in North America such as; Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles etc. spend twice as much time on the road than do people who live in cities with smaller populations and a less thriving metropolis. TRN reports that after spending so much time in traffic, once at the office the employee’s productivity is cut in half. This means that $78 billion USD is robbed from the economy every year due to low-productivity due to commuting. For companies who have the luxury to allow for flexible work environments and can provide work-from-home solutions thanks to Drive services, like Nextiva’s, millions of dollars are saved annually. This is due to the fact that home-based workers can continue to work while they are sick, on maternity leave or recovering from surgery. This service also provides employees the ability to work wherever they are. For instance, if an employee has a dentist appointment they can log onto their Nextiva Drive and work from the waiting room.
Nextiva Drive, telecommunicating, and working from home have many benefits for the employer as well as the employee. There is another third-party benefactor as well. Eliminating the commute into the office everyday also helps the environment. It is estimated that 29 billion gallons of gas are idled away during peak commute hours throughout North America. This means that 58 million pounds of extra carbon dioxide is absorbed into the atmosphere every year. If more businesses consider a Cloud storage device this number could potentially be cut in half. It is currently estimated by the United States Census Bureau that 50% of the American population have the ability to work from home using telecommuting technology. However only 20%-25% of these companies and employees are taking advantage of the opportunity.
The American Community Survey recently updated their data in January of 2016 and they found that companies with Cloud services or telecommute options save $11,000 per annum per employee. Telecommuters save $2000-$7000 per annum as well on commuting costs. For massive companies and small companies alike the benefits of telecommuting are endless. The services being provided by Nextiva Drive are inexpensive ranging from $9.95/month to $14.95/month and will save your business thousands of dollars every year. Telecommuting is the way of the future, not only for the betterment of employee work satisfaction but also for reducing the carbon footprint of North America.