The modern workplace is changing, creating more flexible workday options that are very different from the traditional 9-5 workday at the office. This includes flexible working hours and, of course, the option to work from home. Here’s how this affects productivity.
In the USA, recent census reports showed that around 8 million Americans work from home for at least half their time during 2017, making up more than 5% of the working population. Regular telecommuting has grown by 115% since 2005 and the number of employers offering work from home has risen by 40%.
What are the Benefits?
Although working from home is still in the minority, it’s growing in popularity – and it’s not difficult to see why companies would choose to offer this perk:
- Reduced overhead – You don’t need to supply the equipment, office furniture, office space or utilities for work-from-home employees.
- Increased job satisfaction – Employees are more likely to stay in a job that offers work-from-home, reducing staff turnover, increasing morale and helping you attract talented team members.
- Increased productivity – Employees respond to greater autonomy and fewer distractions with better productivity and quality of work.
- Reduced environmental impact and stress – Employees reduce time spent in traffic congestion, lower your organization’s carbon footprint, and are able to more effectively reduce stress levels and achieve a better work-life balance which reduces absenteeism.
What are the Drawbacks?
Working from home does have its drawbacks for some organizations, including:
- Not for everyone – While some roles work well from home, others simply don’t translate as well.
- Development and monitoring of new policies – Many organizations express concern that employees won’t be as productive if they work from home. This means drawing up comprehensive policies to manage communication and expectations.
- Lack of collaboration – Face-to-face communication is still essential for fostering engagement and collaboration, for sparking ideas and for encouraging innovation, and this means bringing people together.
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