Do people work or do they spend all day napping? ????
When it comes to working from home, you often get one of two viewpoints. Critics fall into the camp of listing the distractions that can arise when people work from home, and think that no one will get any work done. Those for the idea think that working from home makes people happier, healthier, and, actually, more productive. So, who’s right?
Well, in typical neutral fashion, technically both sides could be right. It’s not quite as simple as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to working from home policies. In fact, it comes down to what your company does, the size of the business, the technology you use, where your team are based, how they like to work – the list goes on and on. But there are some commonalities when it comes to the pros and cons of putting this kind of policy in place.
Remote working done right
Do any research into working from home, and you’ll find a whole host of studies claiming benefits around everything from reducing stress and boosting productivity to actually making people physically healthier.
In tests, employees who trialled working from home said that they were less stressed and had a better work-life balance, as well as being able to eat healthier during the day. Cutting out peoples’ commutes alone can be a big morale booster, as well as having a positive impact on the environment due to a reduction in transport usage.
Research also suggests that companies which support working from home can actually save money in the long run, with options to reduce office space and pay for fewer extras like office supplies and snacks. There are even studies that show that people who work from home take less sick days, which is good for your bottom line.
Finally, thanks to the fast-paced tech world, options like video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless Internet means that it’s easier to stay connected to colleagues than ever before – even if you’re not sitting in the same building.
When working from home goes wrong
Well, it’s not necessarily that something goes wrong, but more about the impacts that allowing employees to work from home can have on your company culture.
A sense of community in the office can be a powerful tool for building connections and generating a sense of camaraderie between teams, and working remotely means that this is hard to create. There’s also no room to grab someone for a quick face-to-face chat, or just to ask how they’re doing if they look a bit glum. Sometimes, even at work, a personal connection can make all the difference to a team.
Communication as a whole can be a concern with remote working. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get hold of someone for a simple answer – only they’re not answering their phone, or responding to their emails. Poor communication is one of the biggest negative factors when it comes to working from home, and something that it’s crucial to nail down if you’re considering creating a policy within your own company.
When the GIANTs left the building
This month, we ran an extensive working from home test as part of our Brexit preparations. Over the past year or so we’ve moved all of our GIANTs to laptops, to enable them to work from home effectively and securely, as well as ensuring that we have tech like solid video conferencing solutions in place to make sure that everyone is contactable. We found that having almost all of the business work from home went pretty smoothly, with us even holding a company meeting remotely – with just under 30 people calling in from outside of Folkestone.
While this solution may not work for all businesses, we were pleased to see that actually – nothing set on fire, the GIANTs in the office didn’t run riot, and all of our clients continued to see the same high levels of customer service as they’re used to.
So, what have your experiences with working from home been? Does it work for you? Let us know.
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