Many employees in the everyday grind dream of working from home. Depending on your work responsibilities, however, this can either be a true possibility or a fanciful dream. Home offices can benefit both employees and employers, and lead to decreased costs and increased productivity. Here are some advantages to allowing your workers to stay at home.
First, working from a home office is not suitable for all workers. However, with more work being done digitally, huge amounts of work can be completed from a home computer and simply uploaded to the company server or e-mailed to a supervisor. Obviously, strict deadlines must be set by your supervisor before allowing trusted employees to take company files home. Some companies even use specialized software installed on employee home computers to ensure that company secrets are not replicated or stolen.
If you have children, a home office can be a godsend – allowing you to spend more days around them while working. The average American workweek is approximately 40 hours and cuts deeply into family time. Although you may not be able to do anything extensive with your kids – like take them out to a baseball game – just being around them more is likely to improve your family relationships.
Working at home will also free you up from office distractions – such as chatty co-workers – and allow you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. You may find that you can accomplish much more in the same amount of time at your home office than at your regular workplace. Finishing all your work ahead of schedule can free up the rest of your day – which you can take for yourself or spend with friends and family.
Most companies don’t reimburse their employees’ fuel bills, and working at home can reduce gas bills considerably. It also helps contribute (on a minuscule scale) to sustaining our environment by reducing carbon emissions.
Letting your employees work from home might be a micromanaging supervisor’s nightmare. It’s important to make sure you’re sending trusted, experienced employees home, and not the newest guy at the office. Make sure these are people who have consistently made deadlines in the past and have earned the right to telecommute.
With fewer people in the office, the cost of office materials and utility bills should decrease. Less coffee, toilet paper, pens, and paper clips coupled with lower water, phone and electric bills should make any employer smile. You can even reduce the number of available desks and computers and rotate them among the staff working at the office and the ones working at home. You may even be able to cut out cumbersome phone lines and extensions altogether and opt for an all-Internet workplace, in which office staff and home staff can seamlessly interact with each other via e-mail, instant messaging, or Skype.
Allowing more experienced employees to work from home also increases their overall job satisfaction, and as studies show, also keeps them healthier. If your company is paying for their health insurance, your bottom line may benefit from reduced healthcare costs.
Don’t be afraid to renovate your offices to allow some employees to work from home. Studies show that a well-structured rotating office-home workforce can produce happier employees and cut office costs substantially in the long run.