Pros and Cons of Working From Home

by Lauren Ascroft on 16 Dec 2015

With the winter months threatening to disrupt travel, as a business you will no doubt be considering all options to make sure you have a contingency plan in place to keep your business running and productive throughout. So have you considered the pros and cons of working from home?

Home working is not just a consideration when contingency planning. Many businesses are under pressure to deliver goods/services as and when their customers demand – and it is no longer the traditional 9-5. Equally your staff strive for a balance between work and home life, and their commitments demand a greater flexibility from their employers.

So with the increasing flexibility requirements from both your staff and customers home working seems a no brainer, right? But can home working in fact be profitable for businesses? Here Rockford IT has a look at the pros and cons of working from home, for your employees and your business.

Having your employees work from home can:

1. Save on Costs

Having a significant amount of employees working from home can save on office space rental, electric, heating, and so on;

2. Motivate Your Staff/Reduce Stress

A recent study found that people who worked from home at least three days a week were less stressed and happier about their work life balance due to the greater flexibility this afforded them.* If you can give your staff this flexibility your employees may in return be more motivated in their job. This especially applies to those with family commitments or for those who have difficulty in getting into the office;

3. Increased Productivity

Many employees may find they in fact have fewer interruptions that they get in an office. Not only that, but by increasing motivation you will in turn increase your productivity;

4. Remove Problems With Getting To Work

This is particularly applicable during adverse weather conditions in the winter, and gives you a good step towards your continuity plan;

5. Ensure You Get The Right People

Allowing your employees to work from home widens the base from which you can recruit, and thus boosts your chances of recruiting successfully;

6. Improve Customer Service Levels

Being able to recruit employees near your customers can improve the service they receive from you;

7. Reduce Sickness Levels

If an employee feels under the weather they may be happy to sit at their PC and work from the comfort of their home, instead of not working at all;

8. Help The Environment

If you are like us, you will do your bit to help save the planet. Having your staff work from home – especially those travelling long distances every day – will contribute to your eco-friendly commitment.

However there can be some disadvantages…

Difficulties In Managing Staff

How do you know that the staff you have working from home will do just that? With distractions more readily available an amount of trust must be there, not to mention some monitoring or performance structure in place to ensure a high quality of work is maintained;

1. Difficulties Of Maintaining Staff Development And Upgrading Skills;

2. Lack Of Competitive Spirit/Social Interaction

While home working can motivate your staff, it can also have the opposite effect. Giving employees a feeling of isolation/loneliness and not part of the ‘team’ working environment;

3. Initial Costs Of Setting Up Home Working

Some may view this as a constraint to setting up home working, although the cost and ease of setting up remote, secure connections these days are better than ever before. Significant developments in technology lets your employees connect remotely and securely to your network, and the provision of VoIP telephones allows teleworkers to communicate cheaply and easily. The value that may be gained over the longer term can also greatly outweigh the shorter term costs.

Nick Deane, Head of Sales & Marketing at Rockford IT commented:

‘The concept of home working gives a good argument. But why settle for one or the other? Giving staff the flexibility to work from home or in the office can have very positive results. A shift towards home working doesn’t mean employees only have to work from home. Splitting time between both the home and the office can be the most productive solution, ensuring your staff are kept involved and informed, but given the flexibility they may need, and in return boosting motivation and productivity.’

*http://www.workingmums.co.uk/working-mums-magazine/all/page_5/1471831/benefits-of-homeworking-outweigh-disadvantages-says-study.thtml

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