I recently wrote an article for Bar Leader on whether Bar Associations allow their employees to telecommute for all or part of their job. Opinions varied, and naturally some jobs lend themselves better to telecommuting than others; it would be hard for a receptionist to greet visitors to the Bar if he or she was at home. But the desire for telecommuting is on the rise.
One of the biggest factors driving the push for telecommuting is cost, said Robert M. Skelton, chief administrative officer for the American Society of Association Executives. “You’re not paying for office space for those staff who aren’t going to be in the office.” In cases where people are working part time out of the office, associations can have office-sharing arrangements to decrease their footprint, Skelton says, noting that for most associations, rent is the second largest cost, after salaries.
Another big benefit, he adds, especially for associations in large metro areas, is reducing or eliminating the commute for employees, leading to increased quality of life and higher employee satisfaction.
Some employers were concerned about how to verify that an employee is in fact working all the hours he or she is being paid for. Others said it was a case-by-case decision, based on how well they knew the employee, and what kind of work the employee was involved with.