Large Vs. Small Companies: Who's Winning Out When It Comes To Remote Work?

Telecommuting Gains in Large Companies Outpace Those in Smaller Firms

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing number of professionals are heading to the office without ever leaving the house, a new Accountemps survey shows. More than one-third (36 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said the number of work-from-home and other remote working opportunities has increased in the last three years, while only 3 percent have seen a decline. Sixty-eight percent of CFOs at companies with more than 1,000 employees see remote work opportunities on the rise -- double the percentage of CFOs at companies with 20 to 49 employees (34 percent).

According to an Accountemps survey, 36 percent of CFOs said remote work opportunities have increased at their companies over the past three years.

Among companies offering remote work arrangements, higher morale and retention are the primary benefits, according to 35 percent of those polled. Another 28 percent said the best aspect of this perk is increasing productivity by eliminating commute time.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 2,100 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

CFOs were asked, "Have remote work opportunities (for example, telecommuting or working from a satellite office) within your company increased, decreased or remained the same in the last three years?" Their responses*:

Increased greatly


Increased somewhat


No change


Decreased somewhat


Decreased greatly


Doesn't apply/no remote work



CFOs whose companies provide remote work opportunities were asked, "Which one of the following would you say is the single greatest benefit of offering remote working options to your employees?" Their responses*:

Improves retention and morale by promoting work-life balance


Increases productivity by reducing commute time


Saves money by requiring less office space


Provides access to a broader talent pool


Don't know



*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding

View an infographic of the full research findings.

"Employee preferences for 'anytime, anywhere' work arrangements are hard to ignore," said Bill Driscoll, a district president of Accountemps. "Although telecommuting isn't suitable for every role, it can be a powerful incentive for employees who want greater flexibility. It offers other advantages to businesses, such as greater productivity, cost savings on office space, the ability to tap into talent in different geographical areas and time zones, and more around-the-clock client service."

Driscoll added, "The embedded technology infrastructure at larger companies may make it easier for them to offer telework options. But as mobile technology has become more affordable and accessible, investing in these tools could be a smart move by smaller firms to help them compete for talent."

Accountemps offers employers five tips for setting up a 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 your 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. Make sure employees and job candidates are aware. 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. Don't forget security. Be sure remote workers are well trained in security matters, such as maintaining virus protection, keeping software updated and safeguarding confidential information.   

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at

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SOURCE Accountemps

For further information: Abby Welch, (619) 321-2964,

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