Are you a small business owner brainstorming ways to boost productivity? Read this article to see why letting your employees work from home might be right for you.
Working from home has many benefits for employees and employers. With the growth of technology, working from home can be more effective than working from an office. Companies that allow employees to work from home often have a higher retention rate than those that don’t.
With the spread of Coronavirus, as a society, we have become paranoid about germs. Many offices have shut down and recommended that their employees work from home. Employees who work from home don’t have the fear of catching a cold from their co-workers. Being in a small office where employees are constantly on top of each other makes it easy to spread germs. Whenever an employee comes in sick to work, everything he or she touches is a catalyst for spreading their illness. In an office there are many communal objects that are inviting for the spread of germs such as dozens of people touching the same doorknobs or making coffee. Working from home prevents illness, which means fewer sick days that employees will take off.
Commuting takes time. Some people spend four hours or more of their day commuting. If people are supposed to work for eight hours, sleep for eight hours, and commute for four, that leaves only four hours of the day left for self-care, relaxation, and socializing. This doesn’t include other activities that take time such as making dinner or getting ready for work in the morning. Often, sleep is sacrificed in the end. When employees work from home, they save potentially four hours of commuting time to sleep in, go to the gym, read, or make plans with friends. Employees will have more time to spend on hobbies, relationships, and self-care. This will improve their happiness as an employee and give them more energy to put into their work.
Commuting not only costs your employees time, but also money. It costs them money in gas, tolls, and public transportation. When people work in an office, they tend to go out to eat more. Money commuting and eating out adds up. It’s easier to eat at home when you work at home. Not only will this cause your employees to save money by not commuting, but their carbon footprint will also be significantly smaller. You, as an employer, would also save money on office space and office supplies.
Many people might think that working from home is more distracting than working in an office. However, when people work from home, they have the freedom to create their own environment. If the home is too distracting, employees can work in a library or a coffee shop. In an office, there are often distractions such as co-workers chatting or fire alarms going off. Not to mention, offices often don’t have a pleasing demeanor that encourages creativity. Working from home gives your employees the option to create their own office space, whether employees might want to work at their kitchen counter to stretch their legs or work where they can benefit from the sunlight streaming through their living room window. When it comes to workspace one size doesn’t fit all and working from home allows employees to create a workspace that is best for their productivity.
When employees work from home, they get to choose their hours. If they find that they are more productive at night then in the morning, they can sleep in and work later. If employees find that they tend to be less productive in the afternoon, they can take an afternoon break. This will save you time and your employees' energy. Employees will be able to reserve their energy for times when they are most focused which means accomplishing tasks quicker. When employees work from home, they also have an option to do more with their break. They can put a load of laundry in, go grocery shopping, or maybe even work out at the gym. Not only do employees have the flexibility to choose when they work, but also where they work. If an employee is planning a trip but wants to leave a day early, they can do so without taking time off from work by working on the train, plane, or bus ride over to their destination.
Why not work in let your employees work in their pajamas? People who work from home can even work in their underwear. This will save people money on clothing that they might not otherwise wear. Clothing also shapes a work environment and giving employees the option to wear whatever they want creates a more relaxed environment.
With the invention of apps like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype, communication is just as strong outside of the office as it is inside of the office. Many people who work in an office still end up messaging other employees instead of talking face to face. Communication through online platforms cuts out pointless chit chat that might otherwise occur in the office. Since the platforms are specifically used for work, they will keep employees on task.
More Tech More Options
Many work environments have become deadline oriented. Meaning that employees can make their own schedule to complete projects on time instead of requiring eight-hour workdays. Many people leave their homes already equipped with Wi-Fi and a computer only to commute to their office where they utilize Wi-Fi and a computer. For many businesses, all they need to succeed is an internet connection. Many employees could blog, code, and respond to emails with any Wi-Fi connection that could be found anywhere, making the need for an office obsolete.
Give your employees the option to work from home and see the improved results in your employees’ productivity, savings, and overall happiness.