As people adjust to working from home, companies are starting to ask whether it is worth maintaining, even after the pandemic ends. Whether you are an employer making a decision for your employees or looking to transition to full-time work at home, these are three of the biggest advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
Better Work-Life Balance
The most obvious benefit of a home office is the increased time you get to spend with your family. You can forego leaving a little early to avoid traffic, but rather enjoy a little extra time in the mornings and evenings. Take the time to set up your home so that you can get the most out of your new office space. This should include creating a schedule and boundaries to help you not bring work into your personal life. Don’t forget to lace up your white leather sneakers and give yourself a break during the day, to help you improve your work.
As an employer, one of the biggest concerns about not having an employee in the office is a lack of accountability. While this is certainly not without merit, overall, this has proven to be a misguided concern. When you entrust employees to set their work schedules, work productivity improves. In a study, companies crunched the numbers, and they showed an increase in productivity from employees. When you are working from home, you will find that by setting new boundaries and reestablishing your work hours to better reflect your needs, you can do more and do it more effectively. By giving control to employees, employers can get more out of them.
While considering transferring to a full-time work from home environment, you may be concerned about any additional costs to implementing it. However, there are a few ways both employers and employees can save money by working from home. Companies can decrease expenses such as real-estate costs, utilities and even taxes. Employees are seeing a reduction in commuting costs and saving money by eating at home more often. These cost-savings advantages give are a major boon to wanting to continue the work from a home environment. If you are not certain if you are ready to commit to a full-time home office life, do a cost-benefit analysis and see if it is truly right for you.
While there are a lot of benefits to implementing a work from a home office, you will find that there are also some difficulties that it brings. One of the biggest challenges is training employees, particularly new hires. Many employees are not used to the remote working environment and need support in understanding the new rules, regulations and technology involved in the switch. These problems get compounded further when a company needs to implement new policies and strategies. Fortunately, there are some techniques you can utilize to help support the transition. Be sure to set aside some time to ensure that the system in place is working for you.
Coordinating Staff Meetings
Meetings are an important aspect of any company. When everyone is in the office, these are easier to plan and organize, even at the last minute. However, with a majority of the workforce at home, new challenges are raised in coordination between staff. There are a few different strategies you can take advantage of to help support meetings, but these only work if everyone has the right tools on hand. As you make the transition to a work-from-home environment, go through with everyone about their technical capabilities, and limitations, to help you create a winning strategy. Communication is key as you plan and implement your new office setting.
One of the biggest concerns as companies move to a remote environment is managing feelings of isolation among staff members. Offices are centers of social activities and give people the necessary opportunities to talk with their peers and with those in leadership positions. Working from home, you may find that these chances are much more limited. To help fight these challenges, it is important to first recognize the signs of isolation. Once you know how to see where a problem may be forming, you can get involved in finding a solution. Additionally, encourage leadership to provide opportunities for the staff to have interactions with them.
As you weigh the benefits of working from home against the drawbacks, take the time to consider what is best for you and your employees. Just remember to keep communication clear and open.