Why Home Working Benefits Employers And Employees Equally

Working from home might seem an unattainable goal for many office-based employees, but modern technology is gradually bridging the gap between ambition and reality. The rollout of high-speed broadband has created a stable link to corporate resources, while IMAP email accounts and cloud-hosted software programs are becoming the norm whether people are hot desking or working over hot coffees in Starbucks. The days when staff needed a bulky desktop computer to connect to a departmental J drive are long gone, with modern laptops offering specifications and connectivity that would have seemed unimaginable a decade ago.
Clearly, some careers can’t be undertaken remotely; surgeons and pilots would struggle to accomplish much down a fiber broadband connection. But as American employers gradually transition towards service industries, more and more positions are becoming suitable for home working. A couple of examples would include the following professions:

Sales and marketing positions.

VoIP services like Skype simplify virtual client meetings, with presentation software such as Prezi increasingly supplanting PowerPoint presentations. Email is the ultimate conductor of files and discussions, while cloud storage enables people to access documentation from online devices anywhere in the world.

HR and personnel roles.

Online calendars may be augmented or replaced by collaborative working tools like Slack and Trello, while departmental meetings are easily conducted through Zoom and its rivals. Home-working staff can clock in and out using Replicon or TimeStandard, with ClockShark generating real-time activity reporting and Hubstaff permitting client invoicing and staff payments.

Home working offers benefits to all parties, and some of the key advantages are outlined below:

Employers

#1. Reduced absenteeism.

People are less likely to take periods of sick leave if they can fall back on home working (even from their sick beds), without having to struggle through lengthy commutes. Viruses won’t be able to spread around a department, creating a domino effect of illness. In addition, bad weather doesn’t hinder productivity.

#2. Greater staff retention.

Trusting staff to work remotely builds trust, and is a valuable perk many employees wouldn’t be able to attain at rival companies. Such privileges are reluctantly surrendered, potentially saving considerable sums in recruitment and selection, as well as the costs of training and mentoring new personnel.

#3. Higher efficiency.

Long commutes are a draining start to any working day, especially towards the end of a week. Eliminating the tyranny of train journeys or nose-to-tail traffic jams will enable staff to start each working day with more enthusiasm and less of a hangover from commuting stresses. This significantly boosts productivity.

#4. Financial savings.

Home-working staff free up desk space and reduce hardware requirements. Smaller offices will slash rent and energy costs, so savings can be reinvested in marketing, wages or new technologies. Retaining a limited number of hot desks also allows people to work in the office when they want or need to.

#5. Extended working hours.

Working at home dilutes the historic distinction between working and personal times. Home-based staff will often be tempted to respond to out-of-hours emails, or finish a project in a spare half-hour at the weekend. Small contributions improve corporate efficiency without increasing resentment.

Employees

#1. Additional free time.

A one-hour commute isn’t unusual for city workers, and this time quickly accumulates over a five-day working week. Think of how you could exploit an extra ten hours of free time – shared family mealtimes, an improved social life, some indulgent me-time, and potentially even a few hours of extra work.

#2. Greater flexibility over where you live.

Being freed from the necessity of living near your place of work (or direct public transport links) opens up new avenues, literally and metaphorically. Being closer to family, in the catchment area for good schools, greater affordability or simply additional living space…anything is possible.

#3. Lower outgoings.

The two previous points feed into the wider subject of savings. Abolishing commuting might enable you to sell a car or surrender annual train/bus tickets. Cooking a homemade lunch tends to work out cheaper than buying meals and coffees, and there’s less expenditure needed on work attire, social events, and so on.

#4. Customized working conditions.

The soulless open-plan office has become the stuff of clichés, with buzzing fluorescent lights and waist-height screens. A workspace at home lets you introduce full spectrum lighting, your own choice of hardware and software, orthopedic seating and anything else to improve your working conditions.

#5. Family flexibility.

Beyond core hours, home working may offer flexibility for work to be completed when it suits individual employees. That’s ideal for new parents, or people with family commitments. Project management software ensures key milestones are met, and push email maintains 24/7 communication.