If You Want to Keep Female Employees, Let Them Work From Home

Survey showed 100 percent of women said remote work policies affected their decisions to stay with employers.

As federal IT shops look to recruit and retain more women into their ranks, leaders may want to take notice of a new study about the impact remote work has on the willingness of female employees to stay in their jobs.

survey of 202 employees by ConnectSolutions found that 100 percent of female employees surveyed reported that remote work policies make them more likely to remain with their current employers.

“With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that women currently make up 47.9 percent of private sector employees in the U.S., and even more in the public sector, that’s a result that should make every employer in the country sit up and take notice,” the report said.

Still, the case for remote work can be made for more than just retaining women; it can benefit all workers, helping them lead healthier, happier and more productive lives, the study found. For example, 40 percent of male and female teleworkers said the option allows them to get more sleep, 32 percent reported getting more exercise, 33 percent reported having more time to spend with their significant other, and 63 percent said telework contributed to a more positive attitude.

More employers also are offering remote work options to employees, with 32 percent of respondents saying they telework at least some of the time, and 27 percent saying they do it full time. Home is the top location for remote work, though cafes, libraries, pubic parks and even the swimming pool also ranked as top locations for remote workers.

More than half (55 percent) of remote workers cited reducing the length of their commutes as a critical reason for choosing to work remotely, citing average savings of $4,628 per year in gas and public transit costs.

Most remote workers (80 percent) also reported feeling more connected to their co-workers, though the level of connectivity varied depending on what technologies their employers used. For example, 85 percent reported feeling connected to colleagues when working remotely via unified communications, while just 48.5 percent felt connected while working remotely via video conferencing technologies.