One of the most controversial topics in the workplace is if employees should be allowed to work from home. Many employers think that unsupervised and left to their own devices, employees would have a hard time resisting their beds, their tv, and their fridge. These things can present very real threats to an employee’s productivity.
However, we are no longer in the age of the Industrial Revolution where people are required to go to the factory to make actual products or machine parts. Many companies offer services, and that does not even require going to an office at all, if you think about it. All you need is a dedicated workspace, complete with tools and some peace and quiet. Still, the point of contention will always be productivity.
According to a study by WMS.org, the number of employees in the US who telecommute has tripled over the past 30 years, although it’s still only 2.4 percent. But to put that into perspective, “Out of the 150 million Americans who work, that means roughly 3.6 million Americans work from home.” In other parts of the world where the digital connectivity is steadily improving, between 10% to 20% of employees work remotely, at least part-time .
Many companies are now adopting the work from home model for parts of the week. For example, some companies allow their senior managers to work from home for 2 days a week, as part of their promotion. The work-from-home option can also be given as a perk, as a raise or bonus, or as a contingency plan for severe weather conditions.
While, of course, it is still up to the employer to decide whether to allow their employees to work from home some days of the week, here are some other great points to consider when contemplating working from home.
It takes advantage of mobile technology – many employees have mobile gadgets that can allow them to telecommute. Major cities are now wi-fi enabled and most homes have advanced digital connectivity that allows employees to stay connected to their teams at the office, while working from home or any place that offers a wi-fi connection like a co-working space, a business center, or a coffee shop.
Company issued laptops now have cloud-based programs and software that mirror the programs and tools most commonly used on-premise, at the office. Not only that, they are equipped with Data Encryption and Data Protection Software that can wipe company data in case a laptop gets compromised. Examples of these products are TrueCrypt, Symantec, CheckPoint, and BitLocker.
It solves logistics problems – A lot of companies have headquarters in and around major city hubs where the traffic is most concentrated. Working from home helps keep a number of these would be commuters or drivers off of the streets. They help ease the congestion and they are also spared from the hassles of a long and tiring commute., which, coincidentally, is one of the major causes of attrition. Understandably so, because no one would want to travel for 1 to 3 hours to and from the office. So, employees quit their job in the city and move to a job that’s closer to home. For some, employers, this also solves the problem of availability of seats. An office expansion would entail acquiring more office space to be able to house the growing workforce. If some of them can work from home, some of the time, employers can manage the very expensive cost of having to rent out or acquire a larger office space.
How about you, what are your thoughts on allowing employees to work from home? Please let us know in the comments. Stay humble and hustle hard!
Written by: Jaie O. – The Help