The majority of employees love the idea of working from home. Its benefits are well-known; saving on commuting expenses, freeing up office space, improving employee satisfaction, the list goes on. Yet, many employers are hesitant to allow their staff to work from home. Why is this?
An employer that has drawn a line in the sand and said "no" to working from home, has their reasons for sticking to such a policy. Here are six reasons why employers may be suspect of remote employees.
Lack of Trust
Many employers will view working from home as a privilege that must be earned. If their staff consists mostly of new people that have yet to prove themselves, then, before granting their staff this privilege, an employer may first want to observe their new hires in an office environment in order to determine what kind of a worker they are. For example, if an employer notices that a new hire is consistently late, takes extended breaks, and leaves early, then all signs point to the employee being unable to work unsupervised.
It Would Be Unfair to Allow Select Employees to Work from Home
Let's say that some of your employees can be trusted to work remotely while others can't. Do you then let some of your staff work from home while not allowing others to leave the office? The problem with a move like this is that it will cause divisions amongst your staff. Those stuck in the office will become resentful of others that get to work from the comfort of their homes. Then you might have a mutiny on your hands, which wouldn't be good for productivity.
Implementing a Remote Workforce Is Too Big of a Change
If you already have a functioning office in place, complete with workstations, desks, breakrooms, etc., then making changes to your office to allow your staff to work from home would be a major undertaking. Perhaps too big of a change for an employer to be comfortable with, especially if you've spent years developing the office and setting up everything exactly how you like it.
Lack of Control
Similar to the issue of trust is control. An employee that's not in the office is much more difficult to control. For many office managers, a favorite way to keep their team motivated is to make sure that everyone is at the office. By having everyone work in the same building, a manager can better control their staff by walking from desk-to-desk, looking over shoulders and making sure that everyone is staying on task. With this hands-on approach, workers will think twice about wasting time on YouTube if they believe that their boss may walk through the door at any moment.
Missed Opportunities for Collaboration
Even though there are great technologies like video conferencing and instant messaging that allow remote employees to stay connected to the office and each other, it's still not the same as having a team work together in the same room. When workers are forced to spend time around each other, they learn to communicate in deeper ways than remote technology allows. When working together in the same room, people learn each other's quirks and gestures, making it harder to fake disapproval and easier to share ideas.
Repetitive Tasks Don't Get Done as Well At Home
It's proven that working from home improves the productivity for jobs requiring creativity, but at the same time, it actually hinders jobs that are repetitive in nature, like data entry. Home is well known for harboring many distractions, like television, video games, pets, snacks, etc. Employees who have to do repetitive jobs are more prone to being distracted by the comforts of home.
As a business owner, it's your call on whether or not to allow your employees to work from home. Allowing your team to work from home will score you some points with employee morale, while denying employees this privilege may bum them out. Therefore, having well thought out reasons like these, ready to give your staff on why working remotely isn't right for your company, will go a long way in helping them be satisfied with having to fight traffic every day to come in and do the same work that they can just as easily do at home.
If you do decide to change your mind and allow your staff to work from home, then give Symmetric Engineering Group a call at (813) 749-0895. We can equip your business with mobile solutions like VoIP that will allow you to stay connected with your remote staff in such a way that you'll feel like they're in the next room.