Today, distance is no longer a barrier for working with people all over the world. Companies, and even teams, stretch across geographical boundaries thanks to technologies allowing for wide communication.
Are you aware of the efficiency you can achieve when working from home? If not, we have gathered some tips and benefits that may enlighten you:
A Working From Home (WFH) experiment at CTrip (a 16k-employed chinese travel agency) allowed some of their workers to work remotely on a regular basis, and compared their productivity to their office-bound counterparts. They found that employees at home were on average 13% more productive, for example in making more phone calls. Since they didn’t have the same excuse for arriving late or head out early, they actually worked all hours too.
They also found that work-at-homers were 9% more engaged than their in-office-co-workers (measured by the hours they were actually logged into the their system and doing their jobs). The participants also reported shorter breaks and took less time off.
According to a Canada Life survey, employees working in an office took on average 3.1 days of sick leave last year, whilst homeworkers only took 1.8 sick days. This is proven to be a large part due to lower stress levels, hence a better general health.
You can’t distract your coworkers or be distracted yourself, at least not to the same degree as in the office. There is also a quieter and more convenient working environment at home (unless you live in a collective or have little children at home).
In a survey done by TinyPulse, they included 509 full-time, remote employees and compared their response about their experiences in the workplace to benchmarks calculated from "over 200,000 employees across all work arrangements. One of the questions they were asked was if they got more work done at home, in which 91% responded “yes”. For some, working in their own homes also helps them come up with their best ideas.
Today people are actively seeking out work environments designed to help them thrive, both in their professional and personal lives. Which means businesses are increasingly looking for ways to make their work environment more flexible, engaging and efficient in order to attract the best talent.
Employees working from home can lead to improvement of health and well-being. A study from Staples found that those who worked from home experienced 25% less stress. They also reported that they were able to maintain a better work-life balance, as well as eat healthier. Attrition rates were 50% better with the ones working from home.
It’s hard to measure happiness quantifiably, but the employees who worked at home “reported higher job satisfaction”. They also reported substantially higher psychological attitude scores. The freedom and flexibility they have in working from home, may play an important role in this.
In the survey from TinyPulse they asked how happy the participants were at work. The ones working from home answered 8.10 on a scale from 1 to 10, while the ones working at the office answered 7.42. Results from the same survey also showed that “many would be happy to work every day”, in trade for a few hours less each day.
Save time and money
Save time (and let’s not forget the environment) from not having to travel back and forth from the office. You’re not limiting yourself by geographical restrictions when you allow your employees to work remotely. You can potentially get amazing insights to local markets when having employees working all over the country/globe.
The experiment from CTrip showed a 50% lower quitting rate when people were able to conduct their work from the comfort of their own home. With these numbers, managers will be able to save time and money because they don’t have to use it one training and hiring new employees. CTrip saved about “$2,000 per year per employee” on office space.
Read more: 5 ways to save time and money with Videxio
You need a company policy
Communication is key, so establishing a company policy is important to make sure things will be running smoothly. The policy should include the do’s and don’ts of remote working, and details like:
- Information on who can work from home and when.
- The procedure for how to request remote working options.
- Expectations for working hours, meeting attendance, etc.
- How to deal with any time zone differences that may occur.
When your employees and teams have clear procedures to follow, there will be less confusion and time spent figuring out how things should be done. Time that should be spent on doing important work.
How to fix the downside
The frequency of working from home has been rising rapidly in the U.S. and Europe, but there has not surprisingly, been some skepticism and uncertainty around the effectiveness of it.
In this survey the employees at the office felt they had a better relationship with their coworkers compared to the ones working from home. The work-at-homers felt they were more isolated.
One way to solve this would be to stay connected with your team via videoconferencing when working from home. Throwing around ideas with your team can help spark your creativity, even if it’s just for 10-minutes while you’re drinking your morning coffee.
Even though there are a lot of benefits coming with working from home, how can you ensure efficiency is always in place? If you want to know how you can guarantee success while working from home, download our “Guide to working from home” and read the most important things should have nailed down.