In the past, a home office job was usually reserved for those in niche industries such as architecture, where the member of staff could still complete their work at home without the need for office space, or to be in an office environment. In recent years, however, this has changed drastically and there are more and more industries that can now enable its staff to work from home. Just last week I was chatting with a very good friend of mine Bharat Bhise HNA CEO and someone who is very keen on the idea of allowing, where possible, his employees to work from outside of the office.
Despite this being a viable option for so many businesses, there are many owners who are still too stuck in their ways to make it a reality for their staff, despite the clear advantages that this will offer. With the exception of dealing with clients face to face or handling super sensitive documentation, we have all the technology in our hands that will allow our employees to work from outside of the office. Task management, video conferencing and all communication can now be done remotely, and the benefits which this can have for business are incredibly vast.
The first thing to dispel here is the idea which many business owners have that if they allow their staff to work remotely that they won’t actually be doing anything. There are ways and means by which this can be tracked and monitored, and if owners are worried that staff can get around those measures, they are blind to the fact that staff can get away with slacking when they are in the office, let alone away from it. Studies have shown that employees who are given the freedom to work from home are infinitely happier than those who have to work in an office. These men and women don’t have to commute and they can work from the comfort of their own home. Employees can also save money on food, gas and transport money, which also keeps them happy.
This is a very positive step to make from an environmental point of view which will help from the position of the business and from the position of the employee. The office will spend far less money on energy than it does when every member of staff is in there, a reduction in lighting, air conditioning or heating and a reduction in electricity usage from computers. This is going to significantly help the business save money and reduce its carbon footprint. Employees are also going to be doing their bit as they will not be using transport which is also going to contribute greatly to reducing the impact on the environment.
Reduction in Sick Days
We have also seen further evidence that staff who are able to work from home will take far fewer sick days. The reason for this, at least, for the most part, is that employees are still going to work even if they are feeling slightly under the weather, whereas they may take a day off when feeling like this if they had to go to an office. Sick hours can do great damage to a business over the course of the year, not only in lost money but also in lost resources. Giving employees the opportunity to work from home will give them much more incentive to work unless the member of staff is completely wiped out.
What so many business owners miss out on here is the great opportunity this is to save money. Companies are going to be able to save huge amounts of money on their energy bills, some may even be able to downsize their office space, which again will save money on renting or even buying a building. Beyond this, there are far more savings to be found such as employing less service staff such as cleaners and cooks. Those businesses who have already done this have reported some mighty cost savings and an increase in the productivity of their staff. Contrary to what many believe, the staff does actually work harder and more efficiently when they are given the freedom to work from home.
This is an idea that is going to help to take your business into the new world, it will show clients that you are ready to make changes that will propel the business forward and which will show them that you are prepared to move with the times and streamline the business. Why not give this a go on a trial run to start with, perhaps look at giving your employees 2 days per week home office and see how they get on. The results we have seen so far give a strong indication that this is something that can work very well indeed.