Working from home – is it worth it?

With more and more businesses looking at flexible work options, remote work from home, libraries or even cafés have become increasingly appealing. But before you jump on the working from home bandwagon, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons and how they fit in with your work style.

 

There are some jobs that no matter what, will prove impossible to work from home. Some jobs require people to be in a shop with customers, while many roles such as IT, marketing, operations, administration or accounting can easily be done outside the office.

 

Apart from whether the function is practical, it’s also wise to consider your own individual style. When working from home, some people find it distracting and discover themselves drifting towards the fridge, television or walking the dog instead of actual work. Others however, may find the peace and quiet helpful when drafting strategies or plans.

 

If you are looking at flexible and remote work options for employees, there a few things to consider:

  • Can the job be done from home, or are their functions in the office where they are required to be in a specific location at a set time? For example, being present at a reception desk, opening a shop at 9am, showing customers products on display.
  • How does that person feel about working from home? Do they enjoy the serenity or do they need to bounce ideas off people in the office and work in collaborative manner?
  • What costs may be involved in setting up someone to work from home? What sort of device such as laptops may need to be provided? What sort of software can provide them secure access to documents? Can calls be forwarded to mobile with ease?
  • How productive is working from home? Are there employees who are producing better quality work from their house? Are there employees with little to show after a few days out of the office? Talk to employees about how they found the situation and encourage them to help identify where they do their best work.
  • Manage any briefings or events – remote workers may find it isolating if they always miss out on a birthday celebration or other team events such as team meetings at the end of the week. Consider the office as a whole when setting these types of arrangements.