Despite the fears of some business leaders, working from home doesn’t broadly correlate with reduced productivity or lower engagement. In fact, the right telecommuting policy can be seen as a major benefit and encourage workers to perform at or above the level of their colleagues who work in the company offices.
Let’s look at how remote work can be more productive work as well as address some of the traditional concerns associated with this strategy.
Hesitation around instituting broad work-from-home policies is understandable. Business leaders can quickly point to some potential issues that could arise from such an arrangement, from a lack of communication and connection with team members working remotely to concerns about reduced quality of work.
While these concerns are logical absent additional evidence to the contrary, there are a number of factors that support a modern approach to staff members telecommuting:
Productivity is another major concern that comes with a work-from-home policy. Allowing staff to work occasionally or on a regular basis from the same place they spend their free time might seem like it could reduce performance and create other negative outcomes. However, there’s plenty of evidence that a well-structured telecommuting policy can actually raise productivity.
There is a wide variety of research that supports the claim that working from home allows remote staff to be just as or even more productive than their in-office counterparts. Although it’s difficult to make extremely broad assertions about the entire U.S. or global workforce due to variations in duties, experience, and the specific work-from-home policies of various employers, many studies find a connection between positive outcomes and allowing staff to work from home. Some examples include:
When structured thoughtfully, taking different employee roles, operational needs, and other vital considerations into account, work-from-home programs have the potential to boost employee productivity.
This is a benefit that, outside of the time spent structuring the policy and the provision of hardware and software that staff would also need to use in the office, also offers cost savings. Everything from a reduced need for office space to lowered HVAC costs can stem from allowing employees to engage in remote work on a part- or full-time basis.
It’s also worthwhile to note the value of working from home to many employees. Advantages such as eliminating commuting time and reducing spending on a personal vehicle or public transportation can be powerful motivators. Companies that offer the opportunity to work remotely can keep employees happier and more engaged while realizing productivity increases and savings of their own.
There are a few considerations that should be at the forefront when creating or updating a work-from-home policy:
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