Some employers have extremely generous work from home policies, while others rarely (or never) allow their teams to work from home.
Regardless of your current perspective, here are some reasons to consider not just allowing, but encouraging your team to work from home.
1. Working from home can help employees focus.
Traditionally, employers have often believed that working from home is distracting, causing reduced productivity.
While that may be true for some people, it’s not a universal truth. Research shows that while popular, open-plan offices can cause employees to be interrupted as often as every 3 minutes.
In fact, if team members need to focus on “deep thinking” oriented projects, including writing, working from home may be a good option. If you have private offices, of course, this may be less of a necessity.
2. Working from home can keep germs at home.
Have you ever had a month when it seemed like sickness spread in a cycle through your office? One person got sick, spread it to colleagues, and just when they were getting better someone else brought a new bug to the party.
Quite often, people are well enough to work but still sick. In cases like this, it can be best to encourage your employees to work from home.
People obviously shouldn’t be working if they’re too sick. On the other hand, working from home can be a good option for team members dealing with something like a cold who don’t want to use up their PTO.
3. Working from home is green.
If your organization is committed to environmental consciousness, allowing employees to work from home can be a good step.
Even with a relatively good-mileage car, the typical American commute of 20 round trip miles via car each weekday can add 1.4 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in a year.
In cities with a comprehensive public transit system, commutes will likely be greener. Even so, unless employees are biking or walking to work, working from home is the most environmentally conscious option.
Consider your company’s impact on the environment and whether developing a work from home policy will help.
4. Technology makes it easier than ever to work from home.
In the past, working from home made it difficult to stay connected. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case.
With the improvements over the years in teleconferencing, video conferencing, and messaging apps, employees can make the same connections wherever they are working.
Explore the ways you can use your existing technology platforms, like a video conferencing system you might use for clients, to improve connection with remote employees.
And make sure to develop management processes to account for employees who are working from home.
5. Working from home saves you and your employees time and money.
In a competitive labor market, your overall benefits package can be a great incentive to potential employees. Any benefits that help employees save money will help you attract better candidates.
Working from home can reduce direct costs associated with commuting as well as more indirect costs. These can include the cost of takeout lunches, maintaining a professional wardrobe, and even daycare and pet care.
Commuting into work also takes time and may add stress to your employees’ days.
If you are looking for ways to improve your employee experience, allowing them to work from home can help.
And of course, you will save money by reducing utility bills, resource costs, and even potentially your office size.
6. Allowing employees to work from home makes them happy!
As you’ve already read, there are a lot of great reasons to allow employees to work from home.
But if none of those reasons swayed you, consider this. Many employees enjoy having the option to work from home, and they will be happier in jobs that welcome it.
As a leader, your employees’ happiness is important, so consider whether improving your work from home policies would help.
I hope you enjoyed these examples of reasons you might encourage your employees to work from home!
I’d love to see your feedback and ideas in the comments.
And if you haven’t yet seen it, check out our resource on work/life balance.