Working from home is past the point of being popular, if you’re an employer you’ve probably had a slew of requests from your staff asking if they can work from home. Reasoning can be out of necessity as the way people go about their daily lives has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic or out of reasons such as, “well my friend at another company is working from home.”

No matter the reason, with the technology readily available today, it’s possible to perform jobs from remote locations without any drop in quality or collaboration. Giving your employees the option to work from home comes with both pros and cons and it’s up to you to try and weigh your options and see which is best for you, your staff, and the company as a whole.

Pros Of Letting Your Staff Work From Home

  1. Increased productivity and job satisfaction: Take away the commute to work and add in a flexible work schedule, what do you get? Hours of your day back. Your staff will be able to save time and energy on the preparation and commute to work. This alleviates a huge chunk of stress felt every day. As your staff will be more comfortable in their home, they can easily settle in and focus more. The combination of a more flexible schedule, less stress, and the ability to use more hours of the day results in higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction.
  2. Reduced stress and burnout: As mentioned previously, the offloading of commuting and preparation to start their day equates to taking stress off of your staff. For staff with children, the extra time added to their day with a flexible schedule means a whole world of difference. For those without kids, it means extra time in their day for anything they want. From catching up on missed sleep, working out, or watching that series they couldn’t previously due to all the work they had, giving time back to your staff removes stress and the added time helps stop any feeling of burnout that may be building up.
  3. Lower overhead costs: Not having the entirety of your staff in the office running their PCs and all other associated systems all at once help lower costs. Essentially, any costs involving the physical office, meaning rent, utilities, and office supplies are lowered. In some cases, offices can even be downsized if enough of the staff is able to work from home reliably.
  4. Work-life balance/Work-life blending: Whichever your staff subscribes to will be available to them. Again with the added time to their days, they can enjoy doing what they want. Additionally, if you’ve given them the freedom to have flexible schedules as long as work is done, they’ll be incentivized to work efficiently in order to have more time to pursue personal interests.
  5. Wider Talent Pool: Opening up work-from-home allows you to recruit talent from anywhere. In addition, more and more people are leaving their companies to search for opportunities that allow them to work from the comfort of their homes, so you’d have an abundance of people applying.

Cons Of Letting Your Staff Work From Home

  1. Potential for distractions and reduced accountability: At home, there are certain variables that can’t be controlled. Any children, pets, or neighbors, may prove to be a disturbance during productive hours. These distractions, depending on the staff member in question, can reduce focus and accountability, which will lead to less overall productivity.
  2. Personality-dependent results: Increased work-life balance/blend is mentioned as a pro, but depending on the person, this could have a negative effect. Those who have a healthy dose of both work and personal time will benefit from working from home, and those who can’t separate the two will burn out at an increased rate. If you choose to send everyone to work from home, it’s important to set boundaries to avoid burning out your employees.
  3. Increased security risks: As your staff will be on their personal wifi they’ll be more susceptible to cyber-attacks. In order to protect your data from this, you need to have your IT department give your staff access to secure networks and whatever security technology you implement. This will ensure that your sensitive data is protected.
  4. Technical issues: Without an IT department living inside the homes of each of your staff, it would be a logistical challenge to troubleshoot all of them. Internet issues, for example, would depend on who that staff member’s internet service provider is. Software compatibility may also be an issue as people have different operating systems at home, although this can be solved by sending staff home with their work PCs or sending staff hired elsewhere a PC. Hardware malfunctions would be the hardest fix as this is easily fixed by technicians onsite, and walking someone through a solution over a call prove to be impossible at times.

The Wrap Up

Working from home has its pros and cons, but with the right strategies in place, it can be a beneficial arrangement for you, your employees, and your company. To get the most out of WFH setups, it’s important to invest in the right technology and support, establish clear expectations for productivity, and regularly check in with employees to ensure they’re focused and on the right track.