Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?
Considering instituting a work from home policy for your business? Ask yourself these three questions first.
As the supply chain becomes increasingly digital, many employers may be considering implementing a work from home policy. After all, we know one way to attract millennial talent is to allow for this kind of flexibility.
But before you make the decision to open the door to a work from home arrangement, consider these three questions.
3 questions to ask before implementing a work from home policy
1. Are your employees organized and self-motivated?
Ask any employee who works remotely, and they’re very likely to tell you that working from home makes them happier and more productive. And they aren’t necessarily wrong. There’s certainly evidence to suggest that with today’s technology, there’s essentially no downside to working from home, and it does often enhance productivity.
But working from home isn’t for everyone. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, marketing strategist and Duke University Professor Dorrie Clark suggests that workers considering a work-from-home arrangement first take a moment to introspect and understand how they work best.
According to author Natalie Sisson, “If you’re good at managing your own time, and you’re productive and have discipline, you’ll be able to do work from anywhere. But if you need to be in one place, and you need to go into an office, or need to be surrounded by the same people all the time, it probably won’t work for you.”
2. Is there a wealth of local talent?
One of the less-often-considered factors when businesses consider remote work arrangements is actually an important potential benefit for employers. Not every location has a tremendous amount of local talent, but that doesn’t have to limit your business. If you’re in an area where finding qualified employees is a challenge, making remote options available can be a big resource — essentially, the world is your oyster!Not every location has a tremendous amount of local talent, but that doesn’t have to limit your business. If you’re in an area where finding qualified employees is a challenge, making remote options available can be a big resource. Click To Tweet
Consider having remote hires come onsite for training, team-building, or orientation, and make sure they’re equipped to meet the requirements of their positions. Once that initial foundation is laid, and expectations are clear, they can work from anywhere in the world — and save you the office space.
3. How much collaboration is required?
Are you considering remote work options for positions that require extensive collaboration with other employees? If so, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it does require some additional forethought.
With the technology available today, remote collaboration should theoretically be a piece of cake. But it’s important that everyone be on the same page about expectations. If remote workers are needed in a scheduled daily meeting, for example, it’s important that that expectation be made clear from the outset.
It’s also crucial to make sure that remote workers are given the resources they need to collaborate with their colleagues, and that they have a good understanding of the technology they’ll be using.
Work from home arrangements can be beneficial for employees and employers alike. But it’s important to consider all the variables to ensure that it’s the right thing for your business.
- Working From Home Is Transforming Business Culture
- The Economic Case for the Remote Workplace and Flexible Scheduling
- France’s Radical Workplace Idea: No Emails at Home