Should You Allow Your Staff to Work From Home?

Should You Allow Your Staff to Work From Home?

Should you allow your staff to work from home?

Many companies allow some form of flexible working by allowing employees to work at home for all or part of their working hours. Allowing them to do this certainly has both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Employees may become more productive – many people have reported that their productivity soars when working from home, when they are free from certain work-related distractions
  • You can still keep in regular contact with employees via tools such as email, video calls, telephone calls, instant messaging and a host of other technological advances. You may also want to stipulate that employees need to come in to the office say once a week, once a fortnight etc to catch up on anything they need to know about
  • Employees may be less likely to leave the company if they preceive that their needs for flexible working are being met
  • The privilege can be withdrawn at any time, unless the right to work from home is actually included in their contract of employment. This means that you need not worry about employees abusing the privilege, as with immediate effect you can demand that the individual returns to full-time office working
  • It can reduce the amounts that need to be spent on office space and office supplies
  • Advertising the option to work from home on job adverts can lead to ore applications and thus increase the talent pool you can select from

Disadvantages:

  • Employees may not be able to undertake as wide a range of tasks when working from home – for example they might only be able to carry out the regular duties of their role and might not be able to participate in special projects. This could affect their prospects of promotion or securing other internal moves
  • It may be more difficult to monitor the performance of staff who work from home
  • If homeworkers cannot carry out certain tasks, this could cause resentment amongst staff who remain in the office and have to pick up the burden
  • Having some staff at home and some in the office could damage the cohesion of what had been an effective team
  • Telecommunications costs could rise as you spend money on trying to maintain communication with home-based employees

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