Cars in snowstorm

Northeast Region Employers Stand to Lose $1.3B Per Snow Day

Research just released by Global Workplace Analytics estimates a single snow day can cost Northeast region employers over $1.3 billion in lost productivity. That estimate is based on Global Workplace Analytics’ research about who can, who wants to, and who already does work remotely in the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, New York and Boston metro areas.

“Winter storms are always a wake-up call for companies that haven’t adopted flexible workplace strategies”, said Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics. “If people are already familiar with working remotely or telecommuting, when the weather stops traffic cold, they can keep right on working.”

Estimates suggest more than 60 percent of employers allow workplace flexibility for some employees, though very few allow the majority to do so.

Nearly half of U.S. employees could perform much of their work anywhere there is an Internet connection, but less than 3 percent does so half-time or more (the only frequency tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau).

“Disaster-preparedness is one good reason for the integration of remote work into an organization’s workplace strategy, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Lister. Global Workplace Analytics’ research shows a typical employer can save more than $11,000 a year for each half-time telecommuter; the result of a combination of increased productivity and reduced real estate, turnover, and absenteeism. “And flexibility is something employees are desperate for,” says Tom Harnish, Senior Scientist at Global Workplace Analytics. “Nearly 80 percent say they would like to work remotely at least some of the time. Not surprisingly, leading organizations are using it as an attraction and retention strategy.”

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