Will Allowing Employees to Work From Home Work for You?

Set Policies in Place Before Allowing Employees to Work From Home

“Telecommuting”, “working from home”, or “remote work” is commonly offered among employers. Telecommuting is an important factor in recruiting and retaining staff.  Telecommuting allows employees to work from home either on occasion or as part of an agreed-upon schedule. The option to work remotely maximises limited office space and improves productivity; telecommuting provides a range of possible benefits to both employees and employers.

Before jumping on the bandwagon and offering the option to work from home to employees, however, Human Resources have a lot to consider. Hidden costs, information security, the safety of the home office, and other variables all need to be evaluated. These factors will decide whether telecommuting makes sense for the organisation. If the decision is to allow employees the option of working from home, HR staff should set specific policies before proceeding.

The Pros of Telecommuting

  • Environmental benefits:  Employees who work from home don’t commute. As a result, they spend less time in vehicles or on public transport, and less time spent commuting means lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced stress to roads and infrastructure.
  • Increased productivity:  Less time spent in transit minimises time risks. Traffic jams, delays, and inclement weather are all avoided. This time would be wasted, but remote employees can spend it doing actual work. Employees who work from home also save time that is typically wasted on office distractions and interruptions.
  • Reduced expenses:  By reducing your on-site employees, you reduce your required office space. Employers can save on space-related expenses, such as rent, utilities, and office equipment.
  • Improved employee attendance:  Telecommuting leads to fewer unscheduled absences. This includes less use of vacation time.

Making Telecommuting Work

  • Security concerns:  Companies must take extra security steps. Information security safeguards should be in place wherever employees are working. This includes within the company and at the employee’s home. Another security concern relates to the risk associated with potential compensation claims or other insurance liabilities. The company must know which devices staff are using when they work from home.
  • Policies in place:  Policies need to be in place before staff begin working at home. These policies should clearly define responsibilities and roles. They should also define expectations related to communication and accessibility. Policies should include the use of email, social media, devices (both personal and company-owned), and confidentiality.

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Decided to take the leap into utilising a remote workforce? Learn best practices that will increase productivity and employee engagement, regardless of where your staff is located.

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