How often do you work from home? Is it once in a blue moon, when you’re too sick to get your buns out of bed and into the office? Is it every once in a while when you want to get down to work without the distractions of the workplace? Is it a few times per week when you need to drive your kids to their music lessons, soccer practice and that other thing that they do that you always forget? Whatever your reason is for working from home, the ability to do so has been one of the biggest changes to the working world of the past few decades. Depending on your job, it’s possible that you could do that work for anyone in the world, from anywhere in the world! Despite the growing popularity of working remotely among employees everywhere, there is still some resistance on the part of the bosses. Since this week on the Accolo blog is all about the ever-changing norms in today’s workplace, today’s post is all about the realities of remote workers in this country.
The first thing to get straight is that remote workers are, for the most part, still putting in just as much work in at home as they do in the office. Letting go of the reigns has been tough for a lot of bosses and many more view working from home as a chance for employees to slack off. According to an article on remote working from the Wall Street Journal, “While the spread of communications technology is making it easier for workers around the world to work from home, for some critics, home-based work evokes images of employees dawdling in their pajamas. Giving further fodder to critics, home-based workers are more likely to work from home on Fridays and Mondays, potentially extending their weekends.” While there are definitely people out there who will abuse the privilege, these impressions of remote workers are just that, impressions.
The truth is that the vast majority of remote workers actually report more productivity when they work from home. According to a survey from the ConenctSolutions blog, 75% of workers said that they worked for at least 30 extra minutes on the days that they stayed home. Indeed, the number one reason that respondents said they worked from home was the extra time that they saved by skipping their commute. I mean, wouldn’t you rather get some extra sleep and still “get to work” before everyone in the office is done making coffee in the break room and swapping stories about their weekend?
Just make sure that your company has clear, fair policies about working from home. If you still want your employees to spend the majority of their time in the office, try a policy that allows employees to work from home a maximum of 6 days per month. Telecommuting is growing more popular with each passing year and your employees will appreciate the option to work from home when they need a quiet place to work or need to deal with personal/family matters. So forget your suspicions about remote workers. They’re still doing the work that they normally do, just not at the place that they usually do it.