Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.
There are two main schools of thought when talking about work from home options. The first is that people will get nothing done when they work at home. The second is that people are more productive and more effective with their jobs.
Recent studies have supported the idea that working from home – for the right people – can increase productivity and decrease stress. Research also suggests that companies that encourage and support a work from home protocol have actually saved money in the long run, which is definitely a bonus on the employer side.
In many industries right now, work from home is a preferred option, and it definitely adds value to the company as a whole. Take the tech industry, for example. This industry is well known for its flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities. This makes sense considering most tech companies are web-based, and online technology is their greatest resource when working anywhere.
Work from home, or telecommuting, has its many benefits, and employers should consider it as a viable option in their company for the following reasons.
When it comes to a company’s work from home policy, everyone is different. Employee productivity and overall success with working remotely depends entirely on an individual’s preferred work style. That’s also the reason why it’s hard to find any solid data on whether people are more productive at home.
Some people, in the presence of personal home computers or television, can find themselves easily distracted. Some people love to be in their own room, and find themselves more productive there.
Let’s sidestep that issue for a minute and discuss something that can be studied.
Success in working from home highly depends on the type of work one does, and recent studies can back that up. Researchers have found that telecommuters performed as well as their in-office coworkers. Furthermore, telecommuters want to be seen as “good citizens” of the company in order to justify their flexible work arrangements.
Big Employer Benefits
Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from working from home; a company can benefit just as much from remote employees.
For employers, telecommuting can limit absences, increase productivity, and save money. This is most common in the tech sphere because tech companies have the infrastructure to maintain remote workers. With telecommuting, the idea of the office space is changing, but many are saying that it is for the better.
The talent pool for a company opens up wide when telecommuting is an option for work, and it’s great for the company.
Additionally, employers are not limited to hiring locally. For example, if you’re a New York City-based company, you can post to job sites in Buffalo, or even as far the West Coast. You just have to make sure that timezone differences won’t be an issue.
If the company demands work that can be done remotely, such as writing content for websites or an online marketing campaign, then the company can easily hire employees from anywhere in the world and have them work remotely.
This is also a great way to find freelancers for specific projects that the company might not need a full-time employee for.
Companies might also retain more employees if they enact a work from home benefit. A study has found that workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took less breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts when they work from home. These employees are also happier and tend to stay more than those who go to the office on a regular basis.
Studies have also shown that a good percentage of employees would choose working from home over a pay raise. If the employer can offer the option of telecommuting to a prospective employee during the interview process, the business may find a more enthusiastic employee ready to work and produce. Again, this results in improving the talent pool of the company.
Having that work from home option, especially for many start-up businesses and SMEs can help save a lot of money with their operation costs. Allowing several members of the staff to work from home can result in a big savings on office expenses and office space in general. If there is no large office to begin with, it only makes sense to allow some employees to work remotely, especially if they are only providing service part-time.
A horde of employees using the printer, making coffee in the break room, using janitorial supplies, and basically taking up much of the office space can quickly add up to a lot of expense. However, employees who work remotely can help the business save significantly on office supply expenses.
Health Benefits for Employees
People who work from home have an easier time eating healthy and striking a manageable work-life balance. Eating healthier and having more time to spend with their family can help them feel less stressed, which can make for a happier and more productive workday. Generally, employees can be able to maintain a better work-life balance and keep themselves much healthier.
It is easier to keep a healthy diet while eating at home, especially because anyone can buy groceries and cook for themselves. When going to the office, employees tend to be tempted more with a wide array of unhealthy options just to calm their nerves with the stresses of in-house work. Moreover, employees can save a lot of stressful hours that would have been spent commuting. The bottom line is that employees can construct a comfortable work environment for themselves when working from home.
Company Growth and Revolution
Companies are certainly catching onto the trend, and most have the flexibility to work from home, if not at all the time, at least when needed. It’s changing the way people approach employment.
While it may not be for everybody, employers may find they can save money and increase productivity for some workers, as mentioned before. Productivity through work from home options can easily be managed, especially when the employer is ardent about it.
For some employees, work from home benefits may be the difference between an enjoyable and stressful work life. Slowly and steadily, employees are choosing telecommuting over working in the office. A lot of people also go by the idea of work from home being available, like having an option to do it once or twice a week.
It’s not a bad idea for smaller companies to at least give that method a try.