We often find that this subject is one that draws people into two camps, those who think it’s a brilliant idea and those who are at best hesitant.
As a small business, we’ve found it invaluable. For ourselves there was a time (like most people) of starting out when business was all done at home and as our business (and staffing!) grew, desks were operated on a timeshare basis. That said, even now things have progressed, and our office space is larger we still have employees who work from home, some all the time and some on a part time basis, this gives us some advantages we might not otherwise have.
Here are our top 7 advantages of employing staff at home
- We are able to retain good staff whose circumstances change due to parenthood, for roles not customer facing this means opportunities for parents who can manage their time around school runs and doctor appointments etc.
- Our talent pool is greater as we can employ from further away and those who may struggle to get into the office e.g. those with disabilities
- It makes us a more attractive employer. With more focus on benefits rather than just pay increases to obtain a better work/life balance, employees are often looking for employers who are generally more flexible.
- We have less absence due to sickness, by not bringing sickness into the office and spreading to others and for lesser illnesses where just being able to miss the commute and work comfortably from home means work is still achieved instead of ‘calling in sick’ altogether.
- There are less distractions, especially if you have a small office it can mean the space to really be able to focus and concentrate without interruption
- Savings on overheads, we’ve increased office space over the years, but we don’t have to have the same size if we had everyone in the office at the same time. Savings can also be made on anything from utility bills to refreshments like tea and coffee
- Improved motivation, with people being able to choose how they like to work they are often more motivated and therefore more productive, with some it may be that they like to have music on, have plants and personal belongings around them and need heating on. Others prefer quiet, a less cluttered area to work and a cooler temperature. If nothing else, it will save arguments over how high the air conditioning is.
For those not still not convinced, it’s worth noting that flexible working regulations mean you now have to seriously consider requests to work from home from all employees who have 26 weeks service at the date the application is made