Is it time to let more employees work from home ?

In case you weren’t aware your employees paychecks are getting squeezed.  They are probably paying higher health insurance premiums and now they are paying more at the gas pump which in turn means they have less to spend on things that are really important to them.  Most employers could care less about rising gas prices but if you want to keep your good people loyal maybe it’s time to rethink where  and how they work.

In the United States the proportion of workers mainly working from home has almost doubled in the last 20 years. In 2010, according to the Census Bureau, 4.3 percent of the workforce worked mainly from home. The trend has been especially attractive for working moms and has enabled women to further enter the workforce while being able to actively raise their children. But combining work and home isn’t new. In fact, remote work is just a further evolution in how and where work is done that over time has changed with technology and had major impacts on family dynamics.

The results of a recent study showed that for those who worked at home their productivity increased by 12 percent. About two-thirds of that productivity gain came from working more, as they took fewer sick days and missed less work due to commuting. Another third of the gain came from a quieter working environment, according to the authors.

Not only were they more productive, home workers were happier, and the number of workers who left the company during this time fell by 50 percent compared to those who selected to stay in the office.

Another  survey from CareerBuilder found that 35 percent of those telecommuting from home rather than visiting the office work eight or more hours a day, up nearly 20 percentage points from four years ago.

So why aren’t you working from home today ?   Well first a lot of employers think that when employees work from home they are essentially taking the day off.  We now know this to be untrue but that is the perception.   The other reason is the belief that we need to be present to attend meetings.  Frankly with advances in communication including video conferencing nobody needs to physically be in meetings.

The bottom line is that we all should work to live and right now we are having to work a lot harder and longer just to pay for necessities such as gas and health insurance.   Mangers should seriously consider allowing people to work from home until the rises in gas prices stabilizes because right now they are loosing money compared to last year and at some point in time they are going to ask “why?”

 

2 thoughts on “Is it time to let more employees work from home ?

  1. Hi Rich,

    Thank you again for your insights. But I’d like to say that, personally, I prefer working in an office with other adults. Yes, you have to pay for gas and maybe tolls to get there. But I worked at home a fair amount in my previous job and found it to be lonely and boring.

    Maybe I’m not typical. But that’s just my opinion.

  2. I prefer to work from home to be with my kids more. I also go to college online already, so my kids are already trained that when “Mommy and Daddy are doing school work” that they have to be respectful and play quietly. They treasure having us both home.
    Joshua, I do understand the feeling of wanting to be around other adults. I’m in the same boat to some extent. I just wish I could have the best of both worlds. Let me work half of my hours at home and the other half at a place of business. :)

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