More companies are realizing the benefits of flexible work hours. As 4-10 or 9-80 scheduling options give employees more time at home, some companies and their employees are recognizing the advantages of teleworking. For many employees, the option to work at home would be their first choice even if it included a reduction in pay.
The Benefits of Working From Home For Employees
It sounds like it could be the punchline to an office joke, but many employees believe they’re more productive when they work from home. While they might enjoy the camaraderie an office environment creates, the atmosphere comes with distractions. Watercooler or breakroom conversations, extended meetings and overheard chatter and noise in hallways or over cubicle walls can make it difficult to accomplish work.
Some employees prefer their home office over a standard office setting because of more than being able to work in their pajamas. The ability to move around, sit on a sofa, pace the floor, stand or even throw their legs up on the desk without the disapproving eye of an office manager creates a happier and healthier employee. I personally think that working from home would make a lot more sense for pet owners as well. One of the hardest things I do on a daily basis is leaving my dog behind to go into work. Staying at home would mean endless pampering, more frequent walks and endless cuddles!
Taking a pay cut to work from home may sound like a bad decision, but when you factor in the cost of a daily commute on a bus, train or subway, the cost of gas, and possibly lowering your insurance premiums by changing the annual miles you drive, it can be a win-win decision. Some parents may even reduce their use of child care facilities.
Working from home is beneficial for people who have special dietary needs or require medications at specific times. It also allows people to work at times better suited to their schedules. Some employees also believe that they are more creative when they work from home.
The Benefits of Allowing Employees to Work From Home
When it comes to retention, a study on work-life challenges revealed that a company’s lack of flexible schedules was one of the most common reasons employees leave a job.
Fewer employees in the office means an employer can either reduce their number of offices or reduce the amount of electricity they use to run computers, printers and lights. It may even create opportunities to share office space by having employees share the same cubicle or office on different days.
Bulk office supplies, like pens, scotch tape, desk calendars and other items that often sit unused for years, will no longer be needed. You might purchase office supplies for your telecommuting employees, but not in the same bulk amounts.
The number of sick days employees take will be reduced because there will be fewer shared colds. Also, employees can remain productive if they can work at their own pace when mildly sick.
Whether you’re an employee who wants to work at home or an employer considering offering the option, telecommuting is a winning scenario. As an employer, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation, and it can be an opportunity to attract new employees or retain current ones.