The telecommuting debate continues to dominate the headlines, reaching its peak in late February after Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyers banned telecommuting by employees.
Think Beyond the Label believes the benefit of telecommuting outweighs the potential risks. This is a cost-effective technological accommodation and a great option for attracting and integrating more people into the workforce, especially people with disabilities, for whom telecommuting may be more than just a “perk.”
Many companies believe that telework options make their workplace more successful. In Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For shows that eight of the top 10 companies offer telecommuting, at least part time. The top 10 companies to work for are Google, SAS, CHG Healthcare Services, The Boston Consulting Group, Wegmens Food Markets, NetApp, Hilcorp Energy Company, Edward Jones, Ultimate Software and Camden Property Trust.
Similarly, DiversityIncTop 10 Companies for People With Disabilities ranks the best companies to work for if you have a disability. The most recent list gives the top awards to Ernst & Young, Procter & Gamble, IBM, KPMG, WellPoint, AT&T, Kaiser Permanente, Prudential Financial, Microsoft and Accenture. Offering flexible work arrangements is one criterion for winning the award.
These two entities perform independent reviews of companies to identify those with the best hiring practices and work environments. They use separate sets of criteria, and therefore it is reasonable that the conclusions are quite different. Not one company appears on both Top 10 lists. However, even though the organizations use different metrics, it is fascinating that of the 20 companies listed, at least 17 embrace telecommuting schedules. A simple cross-reference indicates that a company can strengthen its image and therefore recruit the best candidates by offering telecommuting options to its employees.
Certainly we cannot base our entire mode of thinking on two Top Ten lists. However, it certainly cannot be overlooked that as the many recognized best places to work are telecommuter-friendly, and satisfied employees contribute heavily to these awards, telecommuting is a great way to attract candidates and keep them happy.