Why companies should let employees work from home

In recent times we’ve seen more and more people change their opinion in favour of working from home. Now, over 4 million work from home in the UK. There are a few potential reasons for this change in attitude.

One could be that with changes in technology working from home has become easier for more people. With more and more people working from home due to these technological advances, it’s become a little more normalised. Thus, when searching for jobs people look for the working from home option a little more. People can then apply for jobs further afield where they can commute in to work a few days a week and work from home for the rest.

Work-life balance is another topic that is being talked about more and more every year. For those with long commutes into work, they save a fair few extra hours a week just through working from home.

Younger generations are also prioritising work-life balance more than any of the previous generations. In order to attract graduates and talented young employees, companies are under more pressure than ever to ensure they can help them achieve a good work-life balance.

Companies can become more appealing to potential candidates of different generations by considering what different generations look for in their job.

Before companies consider implementing working from home practices, there’s a few things they first need to consider.

Things to consider first
Of course, first and foremost you need to think about whether it suits your employees and the company. For example, what are the reasons they might need to be in the office? Do they need to work closely with their team members or other departments?

Some people get around these and still work from home by calling into the office or place of work. However, this isn’t always feasible. In a nutshell, you need to decide whether working from home could hinder the person’s ability to work closely with others and thus, does it affect their productivity or output.

Another thing to consider is whether employees want to work from home or not. Also think about whether they’ve worked from home before and if they found it to be beneficial or if it affected their productivity. The statistics say that working from home does improve productivity, however all employees are different. Ignore the statistics and judge it for yourself.

You’ll also need to consider the technology and cost involved. Chances are you’ll need to provide your employees with laptops or some form of equipment where they can remote access in to their work station. However, for some employees the cost could go further than that. If employees can’t remote access in to their work PC, they might need separate licenses or programs that they get at work, which could be costly.

Benefits of working from home

  • Less time spent commuting – Employees save money on fuel/commuting costs and have better work life balance
  • Increased loyalty – Offering something that other companies may not offer will help reduce staff turnover
  • More attractive to potential candidates – Talented candidates, especially younger ones will want to work for you
  • Broader reach for potential candidates – You’ll be able to take on new hires from further afield
  • Reduced office space cost – Employees working from home could help free up office space
  • Increased productivity – A study by Stanford University found that employees who work from home are 13% more productive
  • Happier employees – With all the benefits that come with working from home, employees will be happier!

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Of course, whether you introduce working from home initiatives or not is entirely down to you and your company. As mentioned, you shouldn’t always follow the statistics as each company and employee is different. With that said, it’s important that where possible you allow employees work from home.

Not only are the benefits there to be gained by both the employee and employer, employees who are restricted from working from home could become frustrated. Furthermore, more companies are allowing employees to work from home and more employees are expecting it, so don’t get left behind!