Should you let your staff work from home?

Remote working, or working from home, is all the rage. There are clear benefits to the employee, but If you are thinking about introducing remote working to your business then you need to consider a few things.

There are several important pros and cons to allowing your staff to work from home, so let’s look at some of the benefits and some of the possible drawbacks.

Working from home – The benefits

Less office space needed
Allowing your staff to work remotely means that you’ll need less office space and fewer desks. Maybe you could downsize to smaller offices and save costs on rent. Maybe you could take on more staff without moving to bigger offices.

Offering your staff the option to work remotely gives them more flexibility over the hours they choose to work. Giving your employees more control over their work/life balance could see them rewarding you with more loyalty.

Wider talent pool
You don’t need to employ staff only in your local area. If you offer remote working as an option then you can employ people from all over the country for certain roles. Casting your recruitment net nationwide gives you access to a much wider talent pool.

Employees save time & money by not commuting
And the cost benefits of remote working aren’t only for you as an employer – your staff also benefit from not commuting. They’ll save both time and money by working from home which could again lead to more loyalty from your staff.

Working from home – possible drawbacks

Productivity & trust
But do you trust that your employees will actually put in as many hours or work equally productively when they aren’t in your eyeline? Many studies suggest that many people who work remotely actually get more done over the course of a week than those who don’t, but this will depend heavily on the individuals that you employ.

Less staff interaction – team work suffers
Another possible negative with remote working is that your team has less face-to-face contact. This could lead to a less connected workforce. If everyone works from home all of the time then team building efforts could suffer.

Written-only communication can lead to misunderstandings
Face-to-face contact is also usually more transparent than written communication. If your staff are all working remotely and only contacting each other by email – or even over the phone – then misunderstandings can happen.

The work-life balance
On the whole, offering your staff the option to work remotely can lead to much more flexibility for both themselves and for you. Sometimes, however, some individuals actually feel more trapped when working from home as they feel like they should be on call 24 hours a day.

Working from home comes down to trust at the end of the day. Staff that take it up will generally value and appreciate the added flexibility, and work hard to make it a success to keep the benefit open to them.

CCS – Supporting businesses in Bristol, Bath and the South West.