WORKING FROM HOME: DOES IT WORK?
It’s a debate that has gone on for years. Is working from home helpful or not for employees and their employers? Do the comforts and familiarity of home aid in production or is it better in the office space, a place traditionally dedicated to work? The answer is complicated. “It depends’ is the typical response you’ll hear from researchers and employers alike. The answer isn’t really “yes” or “no”, because it all depends on the company and the employees who work there. For some, the opportunity to work from home even a couple days a week is beneficial to increasing productivity. For others, being let loose from the desk and office is a recipe for disaster.
Check it out: Benefits of Working From Home (Video)
- Save money by reducing overhead expenses associated with in-house staffing.
- Increase productivity. Dedicated employees only.
- Attract the best talent. Give potential employees the edge their looking for in their next job.
- Better work-life balance. Attract more intrigued people by having flexibility to have that balance.
- More distractions. Chores, pets, kids, etc.
- Won’t work with a team.
- Worker’s compensation risks. Lack of control over office space while at home and on the clock.
- Lack of communication. Quick questions can go unanswered if colleagues aren’t around.
- Security concerns. Sensitive company information is at higher risk the further they travel from the office.
Check it out: Bridging the Work-Life Balance (Infographic)
If you think your company can benefit from employees working remotely, but are still concerned about the potential costs associated with them working away from the office, consider these possible solutions for creating the best possible working environment they can have at home.
- If you are concerned with a lack of communication between yourself as an employer, employees at home, and the team as a whole, try to meet together in person at least once a week, month, year, etc. Whichever works best for your company.
- Provide a central online meeting place to help foster open communication. Try using software such as Skype for business, Slack, or another video conferencing tool to help connect the team, so isolation doesn’t have to be an issue.
- If you are concerned with reliability and productivity, the first step is to just make sure you get your hiring right and keep an eye out for applicants who have the most experience or have even run their own business in the past.
- Use productive tools like Google Drive so every document and file can be synced on any device.
- If you’re nervous about a rogue employee sharing passwords for sensitive information, try using a password manager like LastPass or Dashlane. That way, all accounts employees have access to are only using one password, even though the accounts have separate security passwords. So, if they leave, you only need to change the one password to be protected again.
- Don’t forget to keep the anti-virus updated and run a daily scan.
No one knows your employees and their work ethic and habits like you do. This is why “it depends” is the typical response to the million dollar question all companies have asked as some point.