Work From Home: What Worries Employers?

A while back, Spark Hire talked about the benefits working from home can have on your employee engagement. Not only are you showing them trust, but you are offering a flexible environment that most people would love to work in. Many employers may be hesitant to offer a work from home option though even if it would be feasible and beneficial to their workers. Why is that? Well, when employers hear that in the office their employees are wasting about five hours a week on non-work related sites they probably think more time would be wasted if their employees were unmonitored.

These concerns are understandable, but the work from home benefits may greatly outweigh them. Let’s take a look at some of the concerns employers may have about work from home and see if they are easy to combat.

As stated previously, the fact that employees have free reign to do what they’d like if they work from home concerns many employers. As stated in a Forbes article, “business leaders assume employees who work remotely and take advantage of the policy are not really working. This is because of the loss of control. Employers lose direct oversight and cannot witness productivity firsthand.” That may be a rational reason to reject work from home, but on the other side it may suggest that you have an issue with your employees or your management style rather than an issue with work from home.

In fact, studies have shown that employees that are allowed to work from home are actually more productive than those that work in the office. On top of that, they are at less risk for health issues. To be specific, the study states that work from home employees are 13 percent more productive than their office-working associates. With this statistic, it is hard to argue that employees are less productive when working from home.

The loss of control may be difficult for many managers to grasp, but it shouldn’t be. Good managers set goals that their employees must meet in order to be deemed productive. Now, does it matter where these goals are met, as long as they are met? Most would say no. With steady goals- and goal tracking- employers can tell where the production levels are lacking. Simple presence in an office does not denote productivity.

Another reason employers may want to stay away from work from home is because they are afraid it will hurt their company culture and teamwork. This can be true, but it depends on the kind of work your company pushes out. If you have a team that needs to be in the office to collaborate with other team members, then clearly work from home is not an option. However, if your company is made up of a handful of workers that primarily work on their own, then offering work from home may actually improve your company culture.

Furthermore, it will work towards driving top talent to your company. Work from home has become very popular lately since most everything is done digitally these days. If your company does not offer work from home, you are behind the curve. Top talent will want that option available to them and will choose to work for the company that offers it rather than the company that does not.

If these reasons weren’t enough to convince employers to think of offering work from home, then consider the health of your employees. The average commute of a working American is 46 minutes round trip. To those workers: congratulations! For many travelers that’s how long a one-way trip to work takes. Studies have shown that employees with a long commute are much more prone to high blood pressure and many more health complications. This may be reason enough to consider thinking about work from home if your company doesn’t offer it yet.

It’s soon to be a new year and it’s important to remember that happy employees are more productive employees. Top that off with the 13 percent increase in productivity you get with work from home workers and you may be on your way to increasing not only your company’s productivity levels, but it’s happiness and culture as well.

Do you work from home and find that you are more productive? Do you work for a company that does not yet offer work from home? Share with us in the comments section below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by puresolitude