Want happier, loyal and more productive employees? Send them home. No, don’t fire them. Just allow them to work from home—at least some of the time.

Those are among the findings of a recent Staples Advantage survey. In the survey, telecommuters say they feel and work better when they can do business from home. Specifically, 86 percent of telecommuters say they are more productive in their home office.

Why are they happier? Consider the statistics:

  • Stress levels have dropped 25 percent on average since working from home.

  • 73% say they eat healthier when working from home.

  • 76% of telecommuters are more willing to put in extra time on work and say they are more loyal to their company since telecommuting.

  • More than 80% say they now maintain a better work-life balance.


It’s no surprise, then, that telecommuting is on the rise. According to Forrester Research, the number of telecommuters is expected to reach 63 million in the U.S. by 2016. But what could your small business do to make these employee even happier working from home?

The Forrester survey offers some ideas: Most telecommuters said their companies don't provide furniture (87%), office equipment (60%) or supplies (57%). Improving in these areas can help create an environment that simulates corporate office conditions and maximizes productivity.

With the right set-up and support from small businesses, telecommuting programs can be rewarding and productive options for employees. In fact, telecommuters claim they'd even be willing to sacrifice a few of their favorite things to continue working from home:

  • 54% would give up their favorite TV show

  • 48% would forgo an extra hour of sleep

  • 40% would swear off a favorite food

  • 40% would take a pay cut


Telecommuting is not an option for all small business employees. But with these statistics in mind, it may be time to consider how you might fit telecommuting into your scheduling paradigm.