It didn’t happen overnight–it took equal parts consideration and deliberation but our agency, Findsome & Winmore, established a work-from-home policy and has reaped the benefits of doing so ever since. On the surface, a work-from-home policy may seem to only provide the opportunity for an employee to slack on his or her responsibilities. What we have found, however, is that if you venture just past the assumptions and misconceptions associated with the practice, you may be surprised at the very real business benefits hiding just below the surface.
The Truth About Starting a Work-From-Home Policy at Your Office
Though not every business can consider a work-from-home policy for its employees, for many modern companies that mostly rely on internet connectivity, emails and conference calls to get a day’s work done, many duties can be easily tackled from home offices, coffee shops or public workspaces. But again, the salient question you, as a business owner, may have when approached with any new idea is, how it will benefit my business? As we have encountered with the introduction of our own work-from-home policy, this is a system that, if incorporated carefully, can lead to long-term benefits for not only your business but the people who make it tick every day.
A work-from-home policy can:
- Improve Employee Attendance: Every time an employee is forced to take a day of PTO for a doctor’s appointment or a head cold instead of being able to work around such common life hurdles, your company is losing out on a full day’s worth of productivity. That is not to say that a work-from-home policy will prevent an occasional sick day or span of planned vacation time, but it can help prevent unnecessary absences.
- Show a Consideration for a Healthy Work/Life Balance: Company culture is something our CEO, Matt Certo, has long expressed the importance of in any modern company. Few things show a respect for an employee’s life inside and outside of the office like allowing him or her to more easily manage life’s many demands. This consideration, plus the trust placed in team members, can go a long way in making that employee feel like a valued asset to the company. This has the business benefit of slowing turnover by improving employee satisfaction, saving companies an estimated $260 per employee per year on reduced turnover alone.
- Boost Productivity: Though an office may seem like the perfect environment to get work done, some cannot focus in a space that is full of chattering coworkers and the click-clack of keyboards and mouses. Conversely, others actually prefer a bit more background noise than an office can provide. As we have mentioned in a previous blog post, a work-from-home policy allows your employees to create the perfect backdrop to going heads-down on a task and maximizing output. It’s no surprise that 91% of remote workers feel they’re more productive at home than in the office.
- Widen a Company’s Talent Pool: When hiring, you may look at competency and character to determine if a candidate is the right fit. However, even the perfect future employee could be forced to look elsewhere if they reside out of town or out of state. Why limit the success of your company by physical proximity when so much of modern business is conducted virtually? Moreover, according to the AARP via Remote.Co, work-from-home policies also allow seniors to work well into their 70s and beyond due to the added flexibility.
At Findsome & Winmore we have reaped the substantial benefits listed above, as well as many others. Our work-from-home policy has allowed employees make important doctors’ appointments, feel respected and trusted as human beings and assets to the team, and go heads-down on assignments that require the utmost focus and unbroken concentration. As a company, it has allowed us to retain talent and the productivity of said talent.
Sure, it is easy to make doom-and-gloom assumptions about trusting your employees to respect a work-from-home policy, but our experience has been largely a positive one. To be sure, we did have strict guidelines in place before starting this program. Our employees must get work-from-home time approved by a supervisor, be available via email and our internal messaging service, as well as clock a full-day’s work. With those simple guidelines in place, there is no confusion and our team is free to enjoy this common-sense policy.
Though a work-from-home policy is no guaranteed success for every business, it is also far less scary of a proposition than it may seem for many companies that operate predominantly via laptop and smartphone. When thoughtfully considered and properly implemented, you may be surprised at just how well a work-from-home policy works for everybody.