Working from a remote location can be beneficial for both the worker and the company, if things are done right, boosting productivity and increasing company loyalty.
Telecommuting is something that many employees dream of, but it isn’t just beneficial to workers; it can also be an excellent choice for employers. If you are a small business owner contemplating allowing some employees the option of telecommuting from home, keep in mind that it isn’t the best option for everyone.
Before you offer this option, take a close look at your employees and their characteristics. Look for anyone who is:
- A good self starter
- Quiet and a loner
- A hard worker
These are the employees who will do best working in a home environment. They prefer a quiet atmosphere to work in and are good at motivating themselves. However, you will likely have some employees with more bubbly and outgoing personalities. For someone who loves to chat around the water cooler and thrives on personal interaction, working from home is not likely to work out. For this reason, you may prefer to extend the opportunity to telecommute to just one or two employees. It’s also possible to limit the number of days that they can work outside the office. For example, you might require at least three days a week to be completed within the office environment.
Make sure you have checks in place so you know if your employees are advancing in their work or not. If they aren’t doing well at home, it will be necessary to move them back to the office.
For those who work best on their own, a home office is the best place to work. The home worker has far fewer distractions, which makes for more concentrated work times, but that’s not all. He can also choose his own hours and work when he is most productive. Some people do better working later in the day or even at night.
This is beneficial to the worker because he is more comfortable and able to work without the usual constraints of the office. For the company, it has the benefit of increasing employee productivity. If you could get more done without hiring anyone new, wouldn’t that be worth letting an employee work from home once in a while?
When employees work from home, the carbon emissions from their vehicles are eliminated or greatly reduced. It also helps conserve energy, benefiting the planet, which in turn benefits everyone living on it.
Go eco-friendly and you can use this in your marketing campaigns, which can greatly improve your company image. This works for any type of business, since green is particularly popular right now, making any business with an eco-friendly attitude more likely to receive business.
Employees that work from home are far less stressed than those who have to show up at the office on a daily basis. This is due to a number of reasons:
- Flexible hours
- Lack of social interaction (for those who prefer to be alone)
- Reduced child care worries
Of course, the list is different for each person, but in general, people feel more relaxed while working at home. A more relaxed employee means fewer sick days due to stress related issues and can even prolong the amount of time an employee stays with the company.
Keep Your Employees Happy
Content employees will be more productive, healthier and far more likely to stay with the company. For this reason, some business owners choose to offer this benefit to workers who are considering leaving the company. Even if you can’t raise his pay, simply allowing an employee to work from home a few days a month can make all the difference in their decision to stay or go.
This is also an excellent way to ensure that you have the best employees for the job. With telecommuting, you can easily hire someone from across the country and integrate him into your company without relocation being necessary. The employee is able to stay in his home town and still work for you. It’s a win-win situation. This is also excellent when the employee’s spouse has a job in another town, since no decision as to which job wins has to be made.
Reduce Overhead Costs
If you allow most of your employees to telecommute, you’ll find that you don’t need as much space for your business. This means lower rent, which will drop overhead costs drastically. While you may need to provide office equipment for your workers, most will have their own computer and equipment, so you can stick to a fairly basic office and save money. In some cases, it’s possible to eliminate the need for an office altogether.
Telecommuting is rapidly becoming the norm for companies where location isn’t as important. It’s possible to carry out many tasks virtually now and that makes it much easier to have employees working from remote location. The benefits are many and they don’t just apply to the employees . . . as a business owner, you’ll benefit, too.