An office is expensive, limiting, and not always easy to get to. Here are a few reasons why working from home is the future
Delayed trains, traffic, rent costs and de-motivated employees; all these things and more can make an office a poor investment for your business. Allowing your employees to work from home provides both them and your business with a greater degree of flexibility. It can bring a greater degree of efficiency to your company, better ensure the health and wellbeing of your staff, and remove a lot of external factors that might otherwise impede productivity.
As more and more businesses shift towards flexible working, we’ll list below the seven main benefits home workers could have on your business, courtesy of Syntax IT Support London.
Perhaps you feel that letting your staff work from home will result in a drop in productivity. Maybe you’ve heard stories of people working in their pyjamas in front of the telly, doing just enough work to stop the boss from becoming suspicious. Well, we don’t know about the pyjamas, but a recent Canada Life survey found that people who work from home feel more productive than those who work in an office environment. This is because home workers are free from the usual office distractions, like overly chatty colleagues, or an excess of background noise. If employees aren’t distracted by the workings of others, they are much more likely to get their head down and finish the task at hand.
Fewer sick days
When you’re ill, even just with a mild cold or dodgy tummy, the thought of getting up, ready and heading into the office can be unbearable. It is unsurprising therefore, that people who work from home, and thus don’t have to put on a brave face for eight hours, are far less likely to call in sick. On average, they take 1.8 sick days a year, compared to 3.1 for office workers. This is because mildly sick people can still work, but it’s the other things, like the commute and making an effort with colleagues that seem to push them into writing off an entire day, and also because home workers are less likely to get sick, as their stress levels are lower.
Commuting can be stressful, and fraught with unforeseen obstacles, like traffic jams, delays and cancellations. The time spent commuting can instead be spent doing something more productive, like preparing for the day ahead. People who don’t need to travel to work are also not going to ask for an increase in pay to cover travel expenses, potentially saving the company money.
Improved employee retention
Employees who have experienced a more flexible working environment are less likely to leave for another company that does not offer the same benefits. Flexible working greatly appeals to parents of young children, older workers, and younger workers with a greater appreciation of technology’s potential.
A larger pool of talent
If it’s not a requirement for employees to travel to the office every day, the pool of potential talent your company can draw from becomes much larger, including those who do not live in your specific area (including overseas), older workers, disabled workers, and younger workers who place a greater emphasis on work-life balance than previous generations.
Time to go to appointments
Rather than taking an entire morning or afternoon off for a doctor’s or optician’s appointment, home workers have more time to go to appointments in their lunch hour or before and after work, since they don’t have to travel from the office. They can also take some time to exercise and stretch while working, which they may be embarrassed about doing in an office. This may sound like a silly reason to introduce work from home days, but it could reduce joint and back problems, keeping employees healthy and sick days to a minimum.
Fewer office costs
By giving employees more days working from home, you reduce office costs on technology, heating and energy bills, and supplies. This could save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds in the long term.