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More Accountants and Finance Professionals Are Working From Home

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Apr 10th 2015
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Thanks to new technology and increased flexibility by employers, more accounting and finance professionals are now able to work from home.

The work-from-home trend has been slowly but steadily picking up over the past few years, says Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, a division of Robert Half that specializes in temporary staffing for accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals.

“Employees see it as a perk,” says Driscoll, who admits to working at home occasionally, but otherwise commutes to his job in downtown Boston. “It offers flexibility, no commute time, and better family time, which is important to people.

“I see it as a healthy trend,” he continues. “The most important thing is to have communication between the employer and their supervisor.”

According to the results of a recent Robert Half survey of CFOs, the number of work-from-home and other remote-working opportunities for employees has increased in the past three years.

According to the survey, 68 percent of CFOs at companies with more than 1,000 employees see remote-working opportunities on the rise – double the percentage of CFOs at companies with 20 to 49 employees (34 percent).

Thirty-five percent of CFOs said the primary benefits include higher morale and retention, and 28 percent said working at home increased productivity.

“With technology becoming more sophisticated, working from home is a definite perk that is becoming increasingly more common and accepted,” says Driscoll.

With affordable and accessible mobile technology, Driscoll says that even smaller firms can  invest in these tools to compete for talent and offer flexible work options to their employees.

Accountemps offers employers the following five tips for setting up a successful remote workforce:

1. Establish guidelines. Determine which roles are eligible for telecommuting and other requirements, such as a steady and positive performance record and proven ability to work with minimal or no supervision.

2. Clarify expectations. Make sure participants understand program parameters, such as being accessible during certain times or keeping similar hours as their in-office colleagues.

3. Pick up the phone or use video conferencing. For remote arrangements to work, “out of sight” can't be “out of mind.” Email is handy for conveying facts, but hearing an employee's voice or seeing his or her expression makes for better communication.

4. Promote the perk to prospective and existing staff. Promote your company's remote-working options to prospective and existing staff. A fail here is a missed opportunity for your organization and could impede recruitment and retention efforts.

5. Be vigilant about software security. Be sure remote workers are well-trained in security matters, such as maintaining virus protection, keeping software updated, and safeguarding confidential information.

With these few things in mind, you may soon be firing up your laptop from the comfort of your home.

Related article:

Survey Reveals Majority of Workers Would Rather Work from Home

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