Working from home – save the planet and be more productive?
Working from home (flexible working), also known as telecommuting or homeworking, is a well-known term across most industries today. It can involve anything from time split between the office and home, going into the office for meetings, travelling for work with time in and out of the office and home, and more.
Studies have shown that working from home, for the most part, can improve productivity and reduce stress, along with the potential for you as an employer to save money. Happy employees are better employees. Working from home can have a direct impact on their loyalty and job satisfaction.
With the constant improvements in technology making it easier for employees to work from home effectively, what’s stopping you? Here are a few potential benefits to having a flexible workforce:
- Save money – lower your rates, rents and utility bills by reducing office space.
- Improve staff recruitment and retention – you can recruit people who usually struggle to find work, such as single parents and those with disabilities. It also can remove issues of long commutes giving you access to a wider range of candidates.
- Better staff morale and motivation – employees will feel valued, having a direct impact on loyalty and engagement. Improved flexibility and job satisfaction leads to engaged employees.
- Fewer sick days – less frequent commuting reduces stress, as well as avoiding exposure to bugs spreading like wildfire throughout the office. Employees may also wish to work at home whilst they are recovering, depending on the illness.
- Helping the environment – assist with your corporate social responsibility goals. Less staff commuting means lower emissions from car travel, also saving your employees money. Fewer people in the office also reduces power usage and creates less waste.
- Employees will be more productive – (most) employees have less distractions, feel they can work longer hours, and have a greater feeling of responsibility over their work when at home. You will also be enabling them to have a better work-life balance, giving them time for themselves and their family
One size does not fit all organisations though. You need to consider your specific potential pitfalls and stumbling blocks. From the beginning, set expectations and properly consider all practicalities. Make sure your employees understand the balance of trust and check in to make sure they don’t abuse the freedom of working from home.