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New report says teleworking has benefits for Utah employees and employers…with one drawback

SALT LAKE CITY – Teleworking has been praised for helping keep Utah’s air clean during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the jury’s out on that, a new report from the Utah Foundation says teleworking does have benefits for both workers and employers.

The foundation looked at several surveys done by Gallup and the government of Utah, among others, and found that employees who work from home are about 20% more productive on average.

Employees are also more likely to report enjoying their job and less likely to quit for greener pastures.

Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard thinks teleworking could help rural Utah as well.

“If you can telework and live outside of the more populated areas, that’s actually providing potential employment in areas that in our state need it most,” Reichard said.

All this is a benefit to employers, who the report says can also potentially save on the cost of rent because they will not have to lease out bigger buildings.

However, there is one big drawback. Employees who work from home are 60-80% more likely to feel isolated than their coworkers at the office.

“Some of them can feel isolated and disconnected from the overall thrust of what your business or governmental enterprise is up to,” Reichard said.

Reichard said the improvement in online video platforms is helping employees feel less lonely, and he feels having a good manager can also help employees who are isolated.