We are seeing an increase in demand from candidates for more flexibility within their working hours. Among the most common displays of flexible work is the ability to work from home. This phenomenon has increased dramatically in the last few years. In 2018, according to the Grow Remote, 216,000 people worked from home in Ireland and globally, 70% of people around the world work remotely at least once per week. That percentage is likely to keep increasing, as the stigma against working from home diminishes and technological advancement makes working remotely easier.
For those still mulling over the idea of a work-from-home scheme at their office, take a look at how this new style of work can benefit your employees as well as your organisation.
How do individuals benefit from working from home?
There are many reasons that working from home benefits employees. Working from home increases overall happiness; in one study, employees who worked from home reported higher job satisfaction. It also saves considerable time—maybe 2 hours, or more and money on commuting.
Working from home can be life-changing for families. This is particularly true as the average cost of living has risen throughout the world, something us Dubliners have been far from immune from! The reality is that many families need two incomes to account for these higher costs. This being the case, working from home is a great opportunity for parents to save on the cost of childcare and spend more time with their children, even while working. The choice is no longer solely between working and staying home with the kids: in two-parent households, both parents can be present on a regular basis.
Crucially, allowing employees to work from home also makes workplaces more equal. It is more accessible for individuals with disabilities, for example; if someone with a chronic illness is having a challenging day, physically, they have the option to get their work done without pushing their physical limits. Likewise, it is beneficial for gender equality in the workplace. Working from home benefits families with children, allowing parents the option to be at home when needed and can be a viable option offering flexibility for women returning to the workplace. Having a more diverse workplace that equally incorporates a wide variety of perspectives is essential to progress and promotes business success.
And how do organisations benefit?
When people work from home, their productivity goes up. A Stanford study showed an astounding productivity boost among people working remotely. Greater employee satisfaction due to happiness means greater loyalty, and being able to work from home also means employees take fewer sick days. Companies save money since they don’t have to pay for office space, supplies, snacks, or other such costs. IBM, for instance, has saved roughly $100 million per year since they introduced a remote-working programme. Another benefit to remote working is that employers widen their pool of talent considerably, as they can potentially hire someone from anywhere in the world. This makes it much easier to hire someone who is a perfect fit for the job, further increasing productivity and profits.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to employees working from home in a broader basis is the stigma surrounding the concept. Some employers worry that their employees will slack off; meanwhile, workers fear that they’ll appear less committed to their jobs when they aren’t physically present in the office. To benefit from these shifts, it’s crucial to reduce the stigma around working from home. It’s not “lazy,” by any means; if anything, it’s often more efficient, and more cost-effective. Thankfully, there is a cultural shift happening around home-based work, and we’ll likely continue to see that stigma dissolve further in coming years.
Mason Alexander has introduced flexible-work and work from home options for its employees and we have seen a marked increase in productivity and employee happiness, all of which has contributed to building upon our strong corporate culture. If you would like to discuss these structures or learn more about the benefits, we’d love to hear from you!