Why You Should Let Employees Work From Home (At Least Sometimes)
You may be reluctant to let your employees work from home, but it’s an arrangement that can lead to more productivity than you might think.
From happier and more productive employees to significant cost savings, here are 7 reasons to give your employees the option to telecommute… at least sometimes.
1. Flexibility can improve productivity
Allowing your employees access to flexible working opportunities can actually lead to more things getting done. There's a growing body of research demonstrating this fact, and a Stanford article summed up one study perfectly:
“An analysis showed (home workers) answered more calls and worked more hours because they took shorter breaks and used less sick leave. The home workers also reported being happier than the office workers, and fewer of them quit.”
2. Telecommuting can reduce turnover
The aforementioned studies also found that telecommuting reduced employee turnover.
Finding quality employees is hard enough. Convincing them to stick around can be even more difficult, and telecommuting is one way for businesses to attract and retain top talent.
3. Telecommuting is good for the environment
It might not be a direct benefit to your business, but fewer cars on the road during morning and evenings commutes is a great way to cut down on emissions and overall environmental impact.
When people don’t have to waste time battling traffic their morale is improved, too.
4. You’ll save money on office expenses
When you don’t need as much office space or supplies, you can reduce your operational costs by a substantial margin.
If you allow employees to work remotely full time, you’ll really save. A good in-between option is a virtual office space, where you can choose from shared coworking spaces to executive office suites on a rental basis.
5. You don’t have to go 100% telecommute
Create a plan that works for your business and your team. That could mean one remote working day per week, several days per week, or whatever combination will work best. A setup like this means you’ll still have opportunities for in-person meetings and face-to-face interfacing.
6. It’s easier than ever to manage a remote team
Thanks to collaboration tools like Asana, Basecamp, Slack, Twist, and others, communicating with your team and managing complex projects is simple no matter where everyone is located.
You can, and should, continue to use “old school” tools, too. There’s no rule saying you can’t hop on a phone or video call when employees are working remotely.
7. You can test telecommuting on a trial basis
If you’re hesitant to implement a telecommuting policy from now until the end of time, do a test run first. Explain to your employees that you’d like to see how the arrangement works and that everything will be assessed again in 6 months.
If it doesn’t go well you can always return to in-office work times (or assess what went wrong and why.)