Every company would love to hire the best talent in the market. And that right there is the problem. Competition for the most productive people is intense. That means companies must distinguish themselves from the rest by highlighting the multiple benefits an employee stands to gain by working for the organization.
Money is always an important factor but there are other reasons people will choose one employer over another. Workplace flexibility is increasingly becoming a low cost way for employers to attract and retain great workers. The proliferation of people management tools such as Humanity employee scheduling has made this easier than before.
The following are some of the reasons why businesses should let their staff work from home.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
If your employees must report to a specific location on every work day, the potential number of people who would be eligible to work for you is greatly diminished. Whenever you are hiring, you are likely to attract applications from people living within the same geographical location as your premises.
That automatically rules out a large number of talented people who live in a different city, state or country, and are unwilling to move to your area. Location thus takes upon an outsized role whereas your focus should primarily be on who can best do the job irrespective of where they are. By allowing employees to work from home, you get rid of the constraints of location.
Work Life Balance
Studies have long shown that rest and relaxation is vital to ensuring workplace productivity and effectiveness. While many employers recognize this, the lack of sufficient rest time for employees is often not within the employer’s control. Long distance commutes and perpetual traffic jams are a particularly common cause of lost rest time.
Despite leaving work in good time, employees may find themselves spending little time with friends and family because of how late they get home and how early they must leave. When your workers have the option to work from home, that eliminates commute from their daily schedule.
Ergo, they can have more time for themselves, sleep a little longer and get the necessary rest to ensure they always have their best foot forward. Work life balance is one of the benefits that most directly impacts productivity.
The cost of renting office space may vary from place but what is certain is that it’s a significant expense. One study found that a single employee will cost the average company about $10,000 each year in office rental fees. The cost of an office is not just about the rent though.
Think about computers, fixed line telephones, cabinets, chairs, desks, utilities (electricity, water and gas) and even office coffee. Running an office costs money and with every new employee, overall office expenditure rises. Companies that allow teleworking could therefore see drastic reduction in their overheads. It’s a one of the rare win-win benefits.
Expenses that would be completely borne by the employer are therefore transferred partly or wholly to the employee. Remote work can also help minimize the frequency of unscheduled absences. For instance, an employee with a leg injury who wouldn’t otherwise be comfortable coming to the office can continue with their work almost uninterrupted if they can telecommute.
Employees have limited control over the office environment. The design of the office as well as who (i.e. work colleagues) and what (i.e. office equipment) is in it, is a decision someone else makes that each staff member has to be ready to live with.
A worker may find themselves seated next to someone they abhor but have to tolerate the entire day. This only adds to the stress that already accompanies everyday work pressure. By working from home, employees have a much greater say in who and what they want around them.
They can change home office design as frequently as they need to in order to consistently be in the right mood. They can work next to friends and family and even spontaneously bounce ideas off someone who isn’t a work colleague and can provide a fresh perspective. This encourages employee creativity and grows problem solving capacity.
Flexible working can deliver these benefits and more. However, having your employees working from an office also has certain advantages. To enjoy the best of both worlds, you can incorporate some aspects of onsite work to your telecommuting program.
For example, you can schedule a face to face meeting (physical or virtual) with a remote worker every so often. You could also build camaraderie by setting aside one day of each week or month when every employee must be in the office.