Microsoft study shows CSR business benefits of working virtual | Miratel Solutions

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Microsoft study shows CSR business benefits of working virtual

There are a large pool of factors that contribute to an overall CSR business strategy as you know. I think striking the right balance with your initiatives is crucial plus seeking out strategies that above all else make sense and are relevant to your industry. Fair trade sourcing is naturally less poignant if your company does not import materials or goods, energy consumption takes on greater importance if you are a manufacturing firm. A survey done by Microsoft is very interesting as it targets an area that can positively impact your company’s environmental impact, overall employee satisfaction and increase productivity.

So what exactly can provide CSR business benefits to all three you might ask? Telecommuting, working virtual, teleleworking – it’s known by many names but a study by Microsoft in 2011 revealed not only does technology now provide greater ease to work remotely but that the demand for the option currently outstrips the provision by many companies both large and small. The study revealed employees can save significant amounts of expense by telecommuting on occasion and also that productivity increases for those who work virtually as workers tend to put in longer hours in preference to the accrued hours wasted by commuting. The environmental benefits are self-explanatory – imagine if companies better embraced the option across the board? Its easy to see how 10% of all vehicles could be taken off of the roads immediately not only leading to lower emissions from those missing cars but potentially shortening the commute times for many others.

There are many CSR benefits to offering telecommuting and home office options

The study showed that nationally (in the US) workers wish to telecommute twice as often as the current average of four days per month for those who do so. Workers on average can save   3.75 hours per week without having to commute time that would in part then be afforded back to the company. Naturally those commute time averages greatly from city to city, I know many people in L.A. and Chicago who would love to have a daily round trip near the national average of 46 minutes. Based on experience I’ve also seen the option boost employee survey results for company loyalty and improved work/life balance when the option is on the table.

The survey ranked cities based on their support for working virtual with Atlanta topping the national list. 57% of businesses in the city have an official telecommuting policy in place which is also the national average. 80% of all companies in Atlanta do have suitable technology in place so that such a choice can be supported from an IT standpoint.

Cleaner air, fewer emissions, increased productivity and happier employees seem to be a strong list of reasons why a CSR policy should have formal telecommuting policy in place. Naturally it doesn’t have practical applications for all workplaces and roles within every department. What has been your experience?

You can review the finding of the the entire report as a PowerPoint presentation “Microsoft ‘Work Without Wall’ by visiting this link.  Microsoft ‘Work Without Wall’ Report: U.S. Telework Trends 2011. It will be interesting to see how these trends play out in 2012.

Are you incorporating working virtual into your 2012 strategies?

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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