Today’s employment landscape differs greatly than that of past generations. Years ago, the idea of working from home for many was hard to conceive – impossible even! Yet now (powered with all of our technology!), we have the ability to conduct business just about anywhere. However, work-from-home policies are not for every organization, every job, or every employee. Here are a few factors to consider when determining if working from home is right for your company:
One of the first questions you should ask is “Can this job be performed outside of the office?” Some positions require the individual to be physically onsite (e.g., front desk receptionist). However, other positions may offer flexibility in how and where the job can be performed. The employee and manager should discuss the job responsibilities to determine if the job is appropriate for a work-from-home arrangement. Consider under what circumstances it is acceptable for an employee to work from home versus when they are needed in the office (e.g., online research, preparing presentations versus team meetings, client visits).
One area that is often over-looked is ensuring the employee’s home office is acceptable. Does she have an appropriate home office to perform her job effectively? What resources will she need (e.g., hardware, software, messaging capability?). Remember to consider equipment needs, workspace design, potential distractions, and scheduling issues.
Set Clear Expectations
Before you start allowing employees to work from home, make sure you have a few simple guidelines in place so that expectations are clear. If everyone is on the same page regarding deadlines, quality, and content; ultimately, it may not really matter where your employees are working — as long as the job gets done.
Make a Schedule
Require employees to have work-from-home days approved in advance. The last thing you want is people calling in at 9:00 am to ask if they can work from home that day. When work-from-home schedules are irregular, it can be a challenge to manage your team. Designating specific work-from-home days and hours for individual employees allows you to offer flexibility while at the same time ensuring the team is together when needed most.
Considering offering a work-from-home option? Need additional guidance on how to get started? Give us a call. We can help you implement new programs that boost productivity, morale, and efficiency.