Working from home has become the norm for many people because of the pandemic. Some companies have told their employees that they can expect it to go on for many more months and some are considering making it a permanent situation. Employers are seeing mixed results with telecommuting and wonder whether or not it is a good idea. One of the best ways to decide if your company should go this route is to look at both sides of the equation.
Advantages of Telecommuting
- Evaluate whether it is workable
By now, your company has already seen whether it is working for you or not. Some costs that were needed to ensure that your employees were properly equipped. Besides that, ask yourself whether or not they are getting the assigned work in on time, or are they dragging their feet and needing constant motivation?
- Are Employees Able to Motivate Themselves?
Working from home also depends on whether or not employees can discipline and motivate themselves without constant handholding. Some can do it and others cannot. A few of your work at home employees will have young children at home and this means you will have to be more flexible with them.
- How Are Your Managers Handling It?
Managers will help to make or break a system that depends on telecommuters. They are probably not accustomed to it and may not have adapted well to the new situation. Some may micromanage more than ever, which only robs the employee of being focused because of increased emails, phone calls, or videoconferences. A few managers would be more than happy to bring them back into the office for their own sanity and increased comfort level.
- Are You Saving Money?
Most likely, your business has already seen a considerable drop in costs if you have made some adjustments for telecommuting. For one thing, you have seen a drop in your electric bill and may have been able to get out of your lease and rent a smaller building. Employees are glad to save money on commuting costs.
- Are Your Employees Happy Working from Home?
Some employees find that they cannot adapt to a work at home environment. They crave for the social interaction that is often present at an office. Telecommuting may actually be hurting their mental health. Others prefer the more solitary environment and would crave the opportunity to work from home forever if they could. They are apt to be even more productive working from home and most of them are less likely to take time off. When employees are happy, it increases the retention rate.
Disadvantages of Telecommuting
- It Is More Difficult to Collaborate
In an office, collaboration may be as easy as getting together for a meeting, or just walking over to another office or booth. it can be more difficult to get hold of someone when at home using emails, phone calls, or when trying to set up a videoconference.
- Work-life Balance May Be Disrupted
Because a person with less self-discipline may suffer more easily from distractions, this would result in longer work hours. This will cut into their regular life and that individual would have greater trouble balancing them.
- It May Reduce Creativity
Some research has indicated that some creativity may be lost when working from home. This is because ideas often spring up during intentional conversation or even when going to the coffee machine and talking around it.
Each company will need to evaluate the pros and cons of telecommuting. Each one will be different and have different needs. Many major companies have already decided to go with permanent telecommuting in the future and others are letting employees telecommute only on certain days of the week.