The work-from-home dream seems to be more prevalent for employers and employees. Even before COVID-19 was a factor, companies were pushing to improve the numbers of virtual staff.
There are a few reasons that have pushed these firms to do this.
Firstly, technology has been amping up its impact over the last few years. Virtual conference software, authenticator applications, and cloud computing have made virtual work even safer and more accessible.
Employees are just as happy because they benefit from this new approach in many ways, which you will soon discover. Many jobs can be performed more efficiently from a home
office, such as administrative tasks.
Yet, even if employees would love to work from home, employers must also see an upside to allowing this. Let’s find out why it’s an excellent idea for your employees to work from home.
Less travel time
When your employees work from home, they don’t have to travel via public transport or in their car. This saves time for everyone and can even mean productivity improvement for your company. Employees can start working at their start time, without rushing into the office flustered and then take time to start their day. Along with less travel time, the added benefit is fewer cars on the roads meaning fewer carbon emissions and impact on the air quality. Your company will feel the saved time in increased productivity and higher work quality, not to mention lower stress levels. Your employees have more time to take a break, have a well-prepared lunch, and even meditate if they choose.
You save money
As a company, the bottom line is always top of mind. You have to consider salaries, overheads, coffee machine maintenance, filters and of course space. Working from home policies means that less of your staff is at the office, which means less use of space and coffee, meeting rooms, and heating and cooling costs. Employees will be impressed too as they save in the form of lunch, travel, car maintenance, and that expensive morning latte. It adds up. There are clear financial benefits that come with your employees working from home. The data shows that employers can save over $11,000 per telecommuter when it comes to half time commuters (employees who work half a week in the office). On the other end of the spectrum, employees can save up to $4,000 in costs related to travel, parking, and lunch.
Working from home does tend to help curb spending. As soon as your employees leave their homes, they’re spending money on either transport costs or gas costs. Not to mention the wear and tear on their vehicle. If they lease a car, they could effectively be pushing up costs like insurance, down payments, monthly payments, and more.
Spruce up your communication
The good news is that your team has many options to communicate virtually. For starters, there are the standard instant messaging services available for most smartphone users. If you prefer professional video conferences, there is high-quality video readily available from Zoom, a video conferencing software. We know that the features are growing significantly, where almost 300 million people used Zoom in April 2020 according to the business of apps. They’ve recently updated to accommodate a virtual background so that all your employees can switch it up to suit their mood for the day. They can discover the best virtual backgrounds for zoom and give their virtual space a makeover in minutes. Not to mention, the functionality that offers high-quality recording of video and audio can be reviewed later for any actions required after the meeting. You can also use your phone, tablet, or desktop to stay connected. Life has changed significantly, and the way we communicate has also improved due to evolving technology.
Say goodbye to those distractions
Working in an office is filled with distractions, and the biggest of those distractions include other people. People are more likely to procrastinate when they are close to others; it’s a need to socialize, ingrained in us. Then, of course, we all know the employee’s who are forever asking questions. Questions are not inherently harmful, but it can be when individuals do not put any effort into finding the answer. Many of your top-performing employees can often be noted to carry the lower performing staff. Your top-performing employees report lower productivity, more frustration, and it leads to disengagement on their part. Employing a virtual workforce may start to give you indicators of poor performance, and mechanisms can be put in place by your managers to improve the staff members’ knowledge or productivity. Additionally, your managers will steer clear from calling too many meetings opting to take more initiative in their roles.
Mindset appears to be a new catchphrase these days and for a good reason. When your employees have a great mindset, they manage stress more effectively and build better coping mechanisms. It means more productivity and affects the bottom line of your business. We all want our employees to be engaged, and working from home can prove to be a great way to fight the stress, where working from home even once a week will give them a break from the hustle and bustle of office life. Interestingly enough, Gallup did a study showing that companies who offer work from home options report better employee engagement and health.
As the working world has evolved, it is now indicated that almost 50% of the workforce includes millennials whose preference is autonomous work, and that often can include working from home. You can certainly improve your company’s performance by catering to the needs of your majority workforce, such as offering more virtual work opportunities or telecommuting roles.
Overall it becomes a win-win situation where employees are more engaged, save costs on traveling, and employers reduce costs related to space management and other overheads. Please make no mistake; it’s a big commitment on both ends where motivated, organized individuals are the best to provide such opportunities too. On the other end of the spectrum, you will need to ensure that your managers are well equipped to manage virtual teams.
If you’ve considered these aspects and looked at all sides of the working from home concept, you will find that the benefits are immense for both employees and employers.
Did you enjoy reading this post on why working from home is a great idea? If so, you will probably enjoy this article on improving your employee’s productivity through office design!