Is a work from home policy in your company’s future?
To work from home or not to work from home? That is the question. When it comes to creating a work from home (WFH) policy, there are typically two opposing views. One side believes that when people work from home, they get nothing done and will instead spend their days binge-watching 80s comedies on Netflix. The other side, however, believes that allowing someone to work from home makes them more productive and happier than they would be at the office. So, who’s right? Decide for yourself with these top pros and cons.
1. IT’S A MONEY -SAVING MIRACLE
When your staff work from home, you aren’t spending as much money on overhead. The cost of supplies like paper, computers, phones, desks and chairs decreases. Heating and electrical bills also go down. Depending on the structure you set up, you might even be able to downsize your entire office space, thereby decreasing the cost of your lease. Cha-ching!
2. PRODUCE, PRODUCE, PRODUCE
According to a Stanford University study, productivity increased by 13% from employees who worked from home compared to their colleagues who were working from the office. Would you like a productivity increase of 13%?
3. IT’S SUPER EASY
Thank you, Internet, for making our ability to stay connected to the office easier than remembering to brush the dragon-breath out of our mouths before work every morning. Sincerely, Everyone Who Works from Home. Sidebar: need to call a meeting? There’s an app – or a zillion apps – for that, like GoToMeeting or Skype.
4. IT’S A MAJOR TIME-SAVER
Commuting, although necessary for folks who work in an office, is a huge waste of time. When your commute turns from an hour-long car ride into a 45-second stroll from your coffee maker to your desk in your home office, it’s difficult to argue that working from home doesn’t work. Plus, if you’ve got a huge project to work on, you’re more likely to get it done working overtime on it at home than at the office (because, see #2).
5. IT UPS YOUR HIGING GAME
Not only is a WFH policy attractive to potential hires, you’re also able to hire the best people no matter where they are. Unless you have big dollars to spend on assisting a new staffer to move from their city to yours, it’s probably a much better use of resources to create a WFH scenario for them so you both win – they with the job they want and you with the person you want in that job.
6. IT MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY
Work-life balance has been a hot topic for a while now. So, what better way to help your staff balance their lives by letting them do their work from home? WFH lowers stress levels, decreases sick days and generally results in happier employees. (Also? Happy employees don’t quit their jobs. Just sayin’.)
The Not So Good
1. NO OFFICE, NO WORK
This is the steadfast argument of those in favour of doing away with working from home. There’s always the risk that a WFH employee will ‘go rogue’ and either do the bare minimum amount of work necessary to keep working from home or do a whole lot of work right up next to their deadline to still meet said deadline but causing the quality of their work and project to suffer greatly (this is called end-loading).
2. INACCURATE MEASUREMENTS
It’s difficult to measure what you can’t see. We get it. But just like #3 above, there’s an app for that – or in this case, a highly advanced remote team management platform. Check out Asana or Basecamp and stressing about what your WFH staff are doing will be a thing of the past.
Distraction can happen no matter where you’re working from. Some claim that it’s a higher probability that WFH staffers will use work time to indulge their distractions, like doing laundry, cleaning, preparing meals or getting stuck in a 3-hour social media abyss.
4. SECURITY BREACH
If not set up correctly, information from WFH devices like laptops, tablets or mobile phones could be compromised by way of a virus or hack.
5. SEPARATING CHURCH AND STATE
WFH staff might have a more difficult time shutting off their work mode and stepping into life mode. Again, Thank You, Internet, for making it super easy to stay connected to work 24/7.
6. DIVISION SUPERVISION
If you have a policy where only some staff can WFH, those who can’t might become resentful.
The allure of working from home isn’t going anywhere. Some research, some planning and honest communication with your staff will help you decide whether WFH is right for your company. (Bonus: if they get to work from home, so do you!)
Written By Jess Campbell