Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?
There’s a lot of chatter out there about company culture and developing an environment where your employees will thrive. Working from home or creating an open-style office (think no doors where even the CEO works in a cubicle) are all the rage for startup companies looking to attract talented millennials. Do the advantages of remote work outweigh the disadvantages? Or is it better for your business to require employees to work at the office? In truth, both styles have merit depending on your business needs and priorities.
Pros of Working at the Office
- Innovation Driven by Proximity. The more closely people work together, the more likely they are to produce creative and innovative results, according to Dr. Isaac Kohane of the Harvard Medical School. “If you want people to collaborate, these findings reinforce the need to create architectures and facilities that support frequent, physical interactions.” said Kohane.
- A Closer Connection to the Business. Working in an office gives your employees an in-depth knowledge of the company they’re working for. This makes it much easier to work together toward your company’s long-term goals.
- Better Communication. There’s substantial room for misinterpretation when your primary means of communication is email. Having your employees in the office makes it much easier for you to update everyone with important matters surrounding the company and significantly reduces the risk of information being lost in translation.
- Increased Networking Opportunities. When all of your staff works in the office, everyone has the opportunity to meet valuable players, whether they are vendors, contractors, or potential partners. You will also notice the boost in productivity your employees get from leaning on one another in a team environment.
Pros of Working from Home
- Less Time Commuting. Eliminating a commute can be a big morale-booster and a huge time-saver. If your employees work from home, they’re at “the office” from the moment they wake up. The money saved on gas or public transportation is also an attractive job perk.
- Increased Productivity. One Stanford study found that employees who work from home are 13% more productive when compared with their in-office counterparts.
- Easy Access. Telecommuting is becoming easier than ever thanks to more accessible wi-fi and tools like GoToMeetings, Google Meetup, and Skype.
- Larger Hiring Pool. Working with remote employees gives you the ability to hire anyone in the world. You’re no longer limited by geography when it comes to hiring, which means you can find the perfect person for the job, even if they live on the other side of the country.
Sometimes having a hybrid staff is the best solution. It’s best to evaluate which jobs can successfully be done from home and whether or not the employees performing these jobs have the skill set required to work remotely. It’s a delicate balance, but with the right management, allowing employees to work from home can be a win for both parties.