Can Virtual Office Work Encourage Community Involvement?LOS ANGELES-Corporate Social Responsible is a major workplace trend in 2013, according to Sodexo. Could virtual offices help encourage the practice? Do virtual office workers have more freedom to get involved in their communities? A recent study from FlexJobs suggests the answer is yes.
According to the “Parents & Work” survey, workplace flexibility could lead to an increase in community involvement. Eighty-nine percent of parents say that a flexible job would allow them to spend more time volunteering in their children's school and organized activities. Fifty percent of those would be first-time volunteers. This is yet another benefit of allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office at least part time.
"It’s clear from the results that allowing parents the option to work from home would give them more time to give back to their community and also get them back into the workforce,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs.
The FlexJobs survey also aimed to understand what stress working parents feel during the holiday season and how workplace flexibility might alleviate that burden. According to respondents, even if they take vacation or paid time off during the holidays, 53 percent will still be expected to check in or work from home on their days off. Add to that additional childcare challenges during the holidays, which 29 percent of parents surveyed face, and it becomes clear why 78 percent of parents said the holiday season stresses them out.
"Workplace flexibility allows parents to balance and rebalance their work and family lives based on the needs of any given season or situation," says Fell, "so it's clear that flexible jobs would help to lessen the feelings of stress that so many working parents feel during the holidays."
Allowing employees the flexibility of telecommuting from a virtual office can be a boon to business. When employees are stressed out they are less productive. When employees have childcare issues they are somewhat distracted. They may even have to call in sick to take care of their kids. Virtual offices can help keep the workforce working without stressing.