As the snow from the ‘Beast from the East’ melts into memory, it’s worth thinking about the £1bn a day that it cost Britain’s businesses, the vast majority of this cost was caused by employees unable to get to work and businesses having to run at reduced capacity or shut entirely.
Businesses large and small were forced to either shut down completely or to send grovelling text messages to customers apologising for lengthy queues to get through to them. How is this even possible in this day and age? It’s understandable that businesses that rely on customers travelling to their actual location would shut, but why would businesses like insurance firms, banks, marketing agencies, architects, software houses need to be closed?
The truth is that in spite of the technology being in place for many years, most businesses simply haven’t embraced remote working either as a normal business practice or as a contingency. The simple face is that in the recent bad weather, businesses that enabled employees to seamlessly work from home will have had a competitive advantage.
Not convinced yet? Here are our top reasons you should allow your employees to work from home:
- Your employees will be happier. Whether it’s cutting down commute time and cost, or simply improving the work/life balance, employees that are allowed to work from home are measurably happier.
- Productivity will increase. Studies consistently demonstrate that employees that work from home are more productive. In one 2014 study employees were 13% more productive!
- Costs will reduce. While there may be some short term increases in IT costs these are more than offset by long term reductions in areas such as office space and equipment, office supplies and other sundries.
- Hiring employees becomes easier. You’re no longer tied to recruiting within commuting distance of your offices, and because your employees are happier they’ll be less likely to quit (further reducing costs).
- Absences are reduced. Mild illnesses like colds and food poisoning can make employees feel wretched in the office, so they’ll often take time off sick to recuperate. Employees that work from home and feel mildly sick are more likely to get their work done and as a bonus they don’t share their germs around with their colleagues.
- Employees work longer and with a positive attitude. Removing the commute means that employees can often get out of bed later but still be at their desk and productive earlier.
- It’s easy! Enabling employees to work from home is technologically easy these days. Whether it’s enabling employees to answer phone calls as if they’re in the office, or accessing files and servers on the office network, working from home is easy and low-cost to enable.
- You don’t have to be a big business to benefit. Even small businesses can benefit from the employee satisfaction, extra productivity and reduced costs that come with working from home.