Boost staff motivation by offering the ability to work from home

Does your organisation allow staff to work from home? Offering people the opportunity to do their work from their own home – either permanently or on an occasional basis – can be extremely beneficial.

Of course, this isn’t suitable for all organisations, but it is often possible for those who are normally based in an office and don’t tend to have face-to-face contact with clients and customers to carry out their tasks while in their living room or study. Copywriters and HR professionals are just a few of those who may find working from home beneficial, for the following reasons:

Benefits for staff

As obvious as it may sound, being able to work from home means employees will not have to commute into the office every day. Staff who are faced with a long bus and train ride each morning and evening to travel between the office and their home can quickly feel demoralised, even if they love the actual job they do.

Allowing staff who have particularly long journeys to work from home, even if it is just for a couple of days a month, can help them to relax a little. Not only will they appreciate the prospect of spending a bit longer in bed before they have to get up and start work, but they may also reduce their transport costs.

Being able to work from home can also prove useful for those who have essential commitments away from work that cannot be missed. Whether they have young children to look after or medical appointments to attend, the flexibility that working from home provides can help people to achieve a good work-life balance.

Benefits for businesses

Working from home can not only be beneficial to employees – it can also help businesses.

As the recent events on the East coast of North America indicate, extreme weather such as flooding and heavy snowfall can often prevent workers from coming into the office. In these circumstances, employers should have a contingency plan so that employees can access systems and files remotely.

If this is an option for your business, it’s important you ensure your organisation’s data is not compromised. Rather than allowing staff to work on their own personal computers, you might wish to provide company PCs or laptops so that your IT team can exercise greater control over the security of sensitive data and ensure that nothing is compromised. Before you allow someone to work from home, remind them that any business-critical information should remain confidential. As such, care should be taken if employees save documents to their desktop at home and / or use remote email access.

Issue remote workers with branded USB flash drives so that if employees need to come into the workplace for any reason, they can bring in copies of documents from home and carry on working from an office computer.

And finally…

If a substantial proportion of your employees work from home, whether occasionally or full-time, it could reduce office overheads such as utility costs. In addition, with fewer staff in the office your business should be capable of headcount growth without the step-change in property costs associated with finding larger premises.