Eight reasons why working from home is the future
Working from home or remote working is very quickly on the rise, and many huge worldwide corporations and businesses are making great efforts to embrace it. Although working from home is quite a modern concept, it has traditionally been associated with professional working adults who needed flexibility to look after children.
Now, though working from home has become more popular and is an option for any employee – not just by parents who chose to do it. Many people feel more productive working outside the office environment, and some have a very long commute to work; employers are beginning to understand this and accommodate for remote working. But, is working from home the future? Let’s look at six reasons we believe it is.
The primary reason people choose to work from home is because they feel and claim to be more productive, as they are not in a loud office environment with co-workers and other distractions.
Obvious advantages of working from home are things such as being able to avoid the dreaded morning commute, being able to work in your pajamas and being in a familiar and comfortable environment, surrounded by your home comforts. But, the benefits stretch far beyond this. Working from home can help you to increase relative productivity because the traditional distractions of the office environment help you concentrate and keep your mind on your work, not the latest office gossip!
No Commuting Time
Commuting to work – especially if you live in cities such as London or New York – is a nightmare; a stressful and unpleasant experience which uses up valuable time which could be spent on working or doing something else productive.
Employees who work from home cut this morning commute out of their schedule and have far more time to dedicate on work commitments. Also, they spend less money on train fares, petrol and taxis, which could cost companies money who have to cover travel expenses.
Less Money Spent on Office Real Estate
Commercial properties and offices aren’t cheap. If you have a large number of employees who are working from home, your company needs to spend less money on office space, supplies, technology and furniture.
Office space can be a major cost for companies, and by having employees who work from home – even if you have a rotational scheme where some employees work from home on Mondays and others on Tuesdays – you can save tens-to-hundreds of thousands on office space and other associated costs.
Fewer Sick Days
Employees working in an office environment are more likely to utilize their sick days than their home-working counterparts. Employees who are able to work from home can still do so even if they have a cold or a mild sickness which would render them unable to work in the office environment. However, office workers would be more tempted to use these minor ailments to take the day off and stay at home.
Additionally, employees who can work from home have a better work-life balance and are inherently less likely to become sick in the first place, as their stress levels are lower and they are not stuck in an office full of germ-carrying colleagues.
Employees Stay Longer
Employees who can work from home are much happier in general and are less likely to quit. Additionally, if your employee brings a child into the world they can still continue working for you, because they can balance their work with childcare without having to take paid leave, or quitting their job altogether. Working from home is viewed by employees as an attractive incentive to join a company and employees who have experienced working from home and know that the option is there are far less likely to leave your company.
Not surprisingly, younger or ‘millennial’ age workers view the option of working from home as essential; people who have grown up around technology and understand the flexibility it provides are far more likely to want to use these technologies to work from wherever and whenever they want.
Better Quality of Life
Employees who are able to work from home are able to spend more time leading a better, whole and balanced lifestyle. For example, if you have to be in an office from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday week in, week out, where do you fit in an appointment to go to the doctors or dentist? Where do you fit in time to go to the gym, around other evening commitments such as cooking, cleaning and getting ready for bed? In winter, employees who are stuck in an office don’t get chance to enjoy the daylight hours.
All of these considerations mean that an employee who is able to work from home will lead an overall better quality of life which, in turn, means better overall health and a lower chance of losing employees to sickness or stress.
Employees Won’t Constantly Long for a Vacation
When employees work from home, it gives them a break from the office environment. A break from the office environment is a major reason which leads employees to longing for holidays and vacations. By working from home, employees get the chance to spend more time with their families and recharge, making the need for a two-week family vacation to Hawaii less important. Allowing your employees to work from home gives them a chance to enjoy a more balanced way of life and prevents them from burning out.
More Work to Get Done
If an employee has the chance to cut out the commute to-and-from work, they can spend more time focussing on getting work done. If an employee is able to work from home, he can get out of bed and be sat at his desk within a matter of minutes, but the average American commute can be as long as 45 minutes to an hour.
Is it the future?
There are many benefits to working from home for both the employer and employee. Primarily, the main benefit to the employee is the freedom to work on an as and when basis, wherever and whenever they please, at times which suit the employees’ individual lifestyles. Suddenly, the worry about having to squeeze dropping the kids off at school and then making it to the office before 9am is gone. Working from home can lead to an increase in productivity; workers are no longer facing office distractions or fretting about the morning commute.
For employers, the benefits are also great, with the potential to retain employees and spend less money on the office environment being the major ones. But, there is a stigma around working from home. Employees become more isolated from their colleagues and the management team; employers have a duty to ensure they look after their staff and having employees who work from home makes this difficult. In addition, there is less of an opportunity to build a company ‘culture’ – which some businesses pride themselves on – because colleagues have less of a chance to meet each other and mingle.
However, remote working is absolutely not simply a trend which is going to disappear. It is an essential, modern and acceptable way of working with many industries going to great lengths to embrace it. It is now part of modern working life and it is something which is going to keep gaining prevalence as we dive further and further into the modern era; it is a practical and beneficial way of working which both employers and employees can take advantage of.