Telecommuting has become increasingly popular among businesses. This may be something you have pondered or you may have employees that have suggested or requested it. Whether you offer this depends on the job itself. Are the duties of the job doable from a home office?
Before I get into the pros and cons of telecommuting workers, there’s one factor you need to consider first and foremost. Any employee that you’re considering for a work-at-home option, must be completely trustworthy. They also need to demonstrate great discipline.
Now that those obvious points have been addressed, here are pros and cons of having a work-from-home staff.
*Employees feel more balanced with work & home life. This makes them more productive as they’re not worrying about what they have to do after work.
*Less commuting time is a bonus. This allows more productive time!
*You save money on office space, supplies, snacks and any other incidentals.
*This allows you to hire qualified people no matter where they live. This opens doors to more candidates and gives you different perspectives on markets in other locations.
*Telecommuting cuts down on good people leaving for a variety of reasons. Some people find a long commute every day to be too much. That in addition to personal responsibilities is why working from home
*Fewer employers take sick days since they stay healthier. The time saved on commuting allows more time to exercise. Furthermore, we tend to eat healthier than the junk brought into the office.
*People work harder so that they don’t lose the privilege of working from home.
*Another benefit is that you won’t feel bad when YOU work from home.
*Telecommuting is better for the environment. When less people are on the road, less emissions pollute the air. Less people on the road also lowers the chances of auto accidents.
*Some employers believe collaborative environments are lost when people aren’t in the office working. It’s believed that the energy one gets from an office setting is too valuable to offer working from home.
*As mentioned earlier, you must have full trust in those you grant remote working to. Data security is something you should consider when contemplating this option. There are certainly tracking software programs to help monitor your employees work from home if you feel the need. Though, if you feel that need, why offer it to that employee anyway?
*If you aren’t offering all employees the opportunity to work from home, jealousy among co-workers may become an issue. When you offer telecommuting to specific employees, be clear on how and why certain employees were chosen.
*If a member of your remote staff has Issues with home equipment, there’s no IT person on site.
*Home-based employee need to have designated office space.
*Distractions are part of any environment, including the office. Home distractions like children and chores can get in the way of people that don’t exhibit more discipline.
*If a remote employee you’ve hired lives in another city (or state), they will have to pay taxes where they reside and where they work. However, that can happen with people working in your office now.
*Accidents that happen in the home can pose an employer liability. Be sure to do your homework on that.
*It’s difficult to monitor overtime.
*Check laws on home-based businesses in your community as some don’t allow it.
As you can see, there are as many pros as there are cons. Worst case scenario is that you give it a go and see how it works out.