Studies regarding home-based employees v. in-office employees, have reinforced the idea that working from home, for the right individual, can increase productivity and reduce stress. These studies further suggest that companies that encourage and support a work from home or remote work environment can save money in the long term, which is an added benefit for the company. In addition to increased productivity and lower overhead cost, companies also benefit from higher retention rates, fewer absences and a larger talent pool.
As more and more employees explore better work-life balance opportunities and more companies embrace flexible work policies to accommodate the ever changing workplace environment, the work-from-home option is becoming increasingly more attractive. Employees see this as the perfect opportunity to remain a key team member of the company. As a member of the team, employees are still eligible to receive all of the perks and benefits that the company offers, while enjoying the advantages of being a home-based employee.
What Makes This a Win-Win?
Flexibility. Setting your Own Work Schedule: Being a home-based employee allows the employee flexibility to set his or her own project schedule and set the pace of the work day. Employees, depending on their position, can choose what time they want to work on their projects and can base their schedule on the time of day they are most focused to do the task at hand. If the employee is a morning person, then they can work on the more complex portion of their project in the morning. If the employee is not a morning person, then they can use the morning hours to sort through their mail, emails and/or to set their schedule for the day. Employers who provide flexible work environments benefit from the increased productivity of their employees. Not all employees thrive in a structured 9-5 office environment. Some employees are more productive in the early hours of the morning and some late at night. In addition, employees that have more control over their schedules may even be more willing to take on extra work to help their company out.
Less Distraction. Avoiding the Office Interruptions: Based on an informal survey I performed, home-based employees say they are more effective at home then when they work in an office environment because they are able to adjust their schedules, modify their work space and set home rules to avoid interruptions from their family during their work day. A more focused employee produces a higher quality and quantity of work. Unexpected visitors, unplanned conversations, chatty colleagues and unscheduled meetings can have a drastic effect on an employee’s productivity thereby setting them back on project deadlines. Although these situations can happen in both types of work environments, a home-based employee who is accustomed to scheduling his or her day will have better control over these instances as they are the primary governing force of their workspace. Regular occurrence of these types of setbacks can have a negative financial impact on the company.
Commuting. Most home-based employees have non-existent commutes. They are free from the stress of traffic and they are able to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year on car maintenance and fuel charges. Working remotely, for some positions, even allows the employee to work from anywhere, not just their home. There are many lost hours of work when employees have to travel back and forth from the office. More often than not, home-based employees work over the required forty hours of work per week. The time they would have allocated to traveling to and from work is instead used as productive work time. Instead of getting in their cars or standing in line for public transportation at 6:00 in the morning, they are heading to their home office space to start their day. Bad weather days have little to no impact on the home-based employee. Employees that are late to the office due to weather conditions seldom make up the time by staying later, rather instead, they leave at their scheduled time because that is what their home life dictates.
This is a win-win. An employee that is able to achieve a well-balanced work-life tends to be a loyal employee that strives to give their best quality work.