“Work from home” is a concept that has been adopted by many companies that are looking to promote work-life balance as part of their company perks and policies. By allowing employees to spend some or even all of their work week away from the office you help them cut their commuting costs as well as spend less time on the road. As an employer, you need to clearly consider the pros and cons of allowing your employees to work remotely before you add it to your company policy.
The pros of allowing employees to work from home
1. Higher retention
Allowing employees – and especially parents – to work from home when needed, gives you a competitive advantage over your competitors by allowing you to attract and retain top talent from different geographical locations.
2. Improved work-life balance
Providing your employees with the flexibility to work from home when required allows them to feel more in control of their life. By implementing the right instant messaging and project management tools you can make sure that communication is maintained when team members work remotely.
3. Wider pool of talent
You will have access to a wider pool of candidates including people who live far away from your office, people with disabilities, as well as new mothers who are looking to re-join the workforce.
4. Reduced unscheduled absences
We all know that sometimes when employees call in sick, they’re actually not. It can simply mean that they have personal or family issues that they need to deal with or they might be stressed out and not in the mood to go to work on that day. By allowing remote work when employees can’t drive into the office, they will stay on top of their work even when they have personal matters that they need to attend to at home.
5. Increased productivity
Workplace distractions and commuting time are eliminated when working from home, which saves your employees a lot of time, and consequently, they will be more productive.
The Cons of allowing employees to work from home
1. Security concerns
Employees who occasionally work from home can potentially face security issues when remotely interfacing with your company’s network. By connecting to home wireless networks or accessing corporate accounts using unsecured public WiFi, this can jeopardize the safety of your confidential information.
2. Relying on trust only
You cannot be sure that the employee who’s working from home is actually making the most of every hour of his/her work day unless you really trust him/her. But in the end, results speak louder than assumptions.
3. Lack of communication
Due to the decreased face-to-face interaction between team members who work in different locations, this can lead to less opportunities for team bonding and can lead to poor communication.