Does your company expect its employees to work 9am ‘til 5pm in the office, five days a week? It might be time to rethink this traditional set-up. Such a working model might have been appropriate in the past, but the digital revolution has given us access to advanced technology and the Internet wherever, whenever we want; so shouldn’t we be taking advantage of this flexibility?
At first, allowing your staff to work from home might sound like a crazy concept. I had only worked eight hour days in an office before I went to work at a social media marketing agency, where the team works two days a week from home.
Based on this experience, I now understand why there are so many supporters of the telecommuting concept and it’s not only your employees who can benefit from this flexibility – business owners can profit in many ways too.
Here are three reasons to embrace, or at least experiment, with telecommuting:
1. It builds trust
Trust is one of the most important factors in personal relationships and it’s exactly the same in a working relationship. I appreciate that my manager gives us the flexibility to work from home and that she trusts us. Because of this respect, I probably end up working harder at home than I do when I’m in the office.
Of course, it’s crucial that your team is genuinely working at home – there will be people who abuse this privilege, so it’s important that you’re seeing the results of their homework. Ensure you’re always connected with your team when working remotely. My coworkers and I communicate via Google Chat and we’re asked to be logged on and available throughout the working day.
2. It saves money
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that working from home can cut costs for business owners and employees. For example, it eliminates the cost, not to mention the misery, of the daily commute to work. And thanks to the rise of telecommuting, snow and sick days aren’t costing the economy as much compared to previous years, with staff increasingly doing what they’d be doing in the office, but in the comfort of their own homes.
3. It supports working parents (and retains important staff)
As a society, we should be supporting busy working parents. Perhaps if there’s the opportunity for your staff to work from home, some mothers (or fathers – I’m all about equal opportunities) who might have otherwise quit a job to look after their child full-time, may decide to keep working for your company if they can work from home. Telecommuting may be the way working parents can truly ‘have it all’ – and business owners won’t lose important team members.
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