The Yahoo decision to curtail work-from-home options has telecommuting policies front-and-center for many HR departments, but, looking a recent Staples survey, it’s more telework options that employers should be considering, not fewer.

Unsurprisingly, employees are fans: 93% of surveyed workers say that telecommuting programs are mutually beneficial, according to the second annual Staples Advantage survey, which released last month. Most of the business decision makers agree, with 59% saying telework leads to more productive workers.

Seventy-five percent of leaders say they see happier employees with telecommuting, and 37% report decreased absenteeism. Forty-eight percent of remote workers say they are less stressed, up from 25% in last year’s survey.

“Telecommuting can help achieve balance between workplace demands and life obligations,” says Tom Heisroth, senior vice president for Staples Advantage, “but being successful isn’t as simple as just sending employees home with their laptops.” Heisroth notes the survey indicates several areas with room for improvement on telework:

  • 33% of teleworkers say dealing with IT issues is one of the most difficult aspects of working from home.
  • 50% of companies that offer telework options don’t provide any furniture installation services, which can save time and improve productivity.
  • 59% of telecommuters do not use their company’s data backup system, putting potentially sensitive information at risk.

According to, the number of regular U.S. telecommuters is expected to grow 69% by 2016, to 4.9 million.

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