Cisco Systems Inc. estimated it saves $277 million in productivity annually by allowing employees to telecommute, the company announced this week along with the findings of its Teleworker Survey of nearly 2,000 company employees across five regions globally.
The study, which was conducted to evaluate the social, economic and environmental impacts associated with telecommuting at Cisco, revealed 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.
According to the survey, the average Cisco employee telecommutes two days per week. Approximately 69 percent of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remotely, and 75 percent of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved. Two-thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents said their overall work quality improved when telecommuting.
Cisco employees spend about 63 percent of their time communicating and collaborating. By telecommuting, 83 percent of employees said their ability to communicate and collaborate with co-workers was the same as, if not better than, it was when working on-site. Forty percent of respondents said they are not located in the same city as their manager.
Respondents said 60 percent of the time saved by telecommuting is spent working and 40 percent is spent on personal time. Eighty percent of respondents reported an improved quality of life through telecommuting.
Telecommuting can also lead to a higher employee retention rate, as more than 91 percent of respondents say telecommuting is somewhat or very important to their overall satisfaction.
The Teleworker program at Cisco also has had a positive environmental impact, according to the study. In 2008, Cisco teleworkers prevented approximately 47,320 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the environment due to avoided travel. The average distance for round-trip commutes varied among global regions: employees in United States and Canada reported on average a 30-mile round-trip commute; Asia Pacific employees cited a distance of about 14 miles; Japanese employees cited a 26-mile commute; employees in emerging markets commute an average of 16 miles; and European employees reported a 46-mile commute. Cisco employees report a fuel cost savings of $10.3 million per year due to telecommuting.