Why Companies Should Allow Their Employees to Work from Home

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Evita of Evolving Beings

It seems that as technology expands forward, it is allowing more and more people the freedom to not be tied to a desk at their office any longer.

More and more people are either being approached by their company with an option to work remotely, such as from home, or are themselves suggesting the option to their company.

4 Hour Work Week

“It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.”
– Tim Ferriss author of 4 Hour Work Week

Working from home definitely takes a certain kind of discipline, but I always had this theory that it would make one more productive. Well, after having read “The 4-Hour WorkWeek (Expanded and Updated)” by Timothy Ferriss, and seeing my husband do it, I am even more convinced. In the book Timothy explains how, just because you are at work, does not mean you are actually working and how much more productive one can actually be through telecommuting.

It is actually too bad that more companies are not open to embracing this approach because it could prove very beneficial for both the employers and the employees.

Cost Savings

For starters, it can greatly cut down on costs. Less employees in the office equals less desks, which equals less space needed. This in turn tremendously lowers rent costs.

Overall facility costs can also be significantly decreased. These take into account various bills for the company like electrical, heating, and air conditioning. Some companies also provide small treats or stationary items for their employees, and even those may be small expenses, in the end it all adds up.

As for benefiting from decreased costs, it is not just for the employers. Employees who work from home normally save on the transit they would be paying for, work attire and food on the go. These costs quickly accumulate for an employee, to the point that working from home can translate to an immediate pay raise, based on all the money the employee is saving. And of course a happier employee, results normally in a more productive employee.

Proof

On the topic of happiness, studies have also found that employees who work from home are actually happier, healthier and more productive.

A 2007 study by the American Psychological Association, found favorable effects on perceived autonomy, work–family conflict, job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent, and stress. Another study in 2008 by CompTIA Research found that 67% of companies polled said employees were more productive, just from cutting back on the commute to and from work.

Where health and happiness is concerned, not going into the office protects and benefits the employee in many ways. First off they most likely get to avoid a normally stressful morning routine, commute to and from work, and work environment. Secondly, working from home normally increases the amount of home cooked meals or just more balanced meals eaten. Most employees will be able to get more sleep as well. This all, as well as decreased exposure to others, decreases chances of infections and sick days, while increasing the general level of happiness. In the end, it results in a win-win situation for both employee and employer.

At a time where our awareness for being environmentally conscious is growing, our discussion would not be complete without also considering the environmental benefits from telecommuting. Less people traveling on the roads naturally decreases the greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation that would be used. On a national or global scale, this can quickly add up and make a huge difference where the state of our climate is concerned.

Why More Companies don’t Offer Tele-commuting

So by now you may be wondering – “if it is so good, why don’t more companies go that route?”

For starters, not all jobs can be done remotely. Some obviously require the employee to be physically present.

However for those who can work remotely, the biggest road block why more companies don’t take advantage of this type of work environment, seems to be the old stereotype that still hinders many companies. And that is, that their employees will slack off at home or need to be monitored. The truth is normally very different.

Most people who work from home actually feel more compelled to prove themselves in that they do not need to be monitored, and thus deliver better results, not to mention how much wasted time they avoid. This alongside the mentioned benefits above, can mean a very logical decision in the end for a company who wants to increase its own, and its employees happiness.

Evita’s next post will explain how to apply 5 important rules when telecommuting.

Do you work from home?

What are the advantages and disadvantages when telecommuting?

Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN – is the main author of EvolvingBeings.com where she writes about spiritual and personal development. She hopes to inspire people, to truly live out the life of their dreams and awaken the highest version of themselves. She is also the main author of EvolvingWellness.com where she writes about nutritional science and holistic health for optimal health and longevity. Learn more about Evita Ochel or Follow Evita Ochel on Twitter.

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Image courtesy of Scott Adams

Comments

  1. I’ve worked both in offices and telecommuting, and in both cases the disadvantages AND advantages to me were the same: people and availability

    One thing that I find interesting is sometimes people expect a faster response when you’re telecommuting – after all, you’re always at your desk right? For some reason, coworkers may expect you to reply sooner than if you were physically in the office, perhaps because when you’re actually down the hall from them, they can see you working and understand it’ll take time to get to your request

    I like both, but I think the time savings from telecommuting are the biggest advantage for me, and the reason I would prefer that.

    • Hi Sid

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      And your point about others misunderstanding or having the wrong expectations is a very good one. I do know that some people indeed have the mind set that “working from home” is like some kind of vacation for the person – when in truth anyone serious about their work, knows that is so far from the truth.

      So it does take time I think to re-condition some peoples views of what their co-workers are really doing at home or what that is like.

      Thanks again for your input!

  2. Perfect quote from the 4 hour work week.

    There’s a lot to be said for setting the goals and getting out of the way … and it’s the trust that makes the difference.

    • Hi J.D.

      Great point about the trust. That seems to be a make it or break it point in almost all aspects of life, especially when it comes to all relationships, whether personal or in the workplace.

      Thank you for your comment.

  3. On the rare occasion I was allowed to work from home (when still in corporate) I definitely got more done. Less interruptions, and as Evita mentions that psychological piece of not wanting them to think I was slacking off! I say: Go telecommuting! It would certainly help stress levels.

    • Hi Stacey

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It is wonderful to hear the various ways we approach this subject and learn more about what works for people and what doesn’t.

      And in today’s society I so agree with you, lowering stress should be a big priority.

  4. Evita, I’m so glad to see you guest posting here and WOW, what a topic! Karl, thank you for hosting Evita!

    I recently started a job where I work from home 90% of the time, and it is GLORIOUS! For all the reasons you mentioned and so many more. I can take a walk in the middle of the day if I want, and get to wear whatever I please most of the time (including pajamas!). My desk faces a window, so I can see outside all the time, which is a HUGE step up from my last windowless corporate office.

    It’s just really, really good, and while I never thought I’d be a work-from-home kind of gal, I can’t imagine ever going back to a formal corporate setting again.

    • Hi Megan

      Thank you for your comment and feedback – and how wonderful to hear you are having such a great experience working from home.

      You know, I feel completely the same way. Having worked at a location for 7 years and than having the privilege now to work from home, I too honestly could never imagine going back.

      I know it is not for everyone, some people would actually be perhaps unhappy at home and like the “corporate or office” scene, but for me, like for you, it is working wonders and I couldn’t be happier :)

  5. I’ve worked from home in my pajamas my whole life because I have the best boss in the world. Me! Employment is so restrictive. Some folks have enlightened work situations but self-employment is light years ahead of working for the man. ope they wake up before the whole system collapses like the US auto industry.

    • Hi Tom

      Wow I love your enthusiasm for this topic!
      I have just had the pleasure of working from home since July 2009 and yes it has been phenomenal.

      I think a change is definitely in the air more and more, our planet, our resources just can’t handle it, and perhaps more importantly we, as employees don’t want to. People are choosing a new path for themselves and making it work really well too. That I think is so good to see and such a symbol of change.

  6. You might enjoy our five part series on Remote Work at

    http://www.slaughterdevelopment.com/2009/07/05/remote-work-week/

  7. Hi Karl and Evita,

    I’m all for working at home and have most of my work life. The last two years I did counseling in my home vs an office to cut down on expenses before moving to AZ. Many question the boundaries when therapists do that…it worked out fine for myself and clients.

    • Hi Tess

      That is great to hear! It is as I mention so good to hear different people’s experience with this type of working environment.

      Great to hear that it is working for you too!

  8. Hi Evita — thanks for this. I’d add one deeply personal reason — which is that, when I was in a corporate setting and I got to work from home, I could listen to heavy metal, and that would help me get my work-related frustrations out! I could even sing along!

    • Hi Chris

      LOL – that is a great addition for sure :)
      I think an environment where we are free to listen to music, dress how we want, eat when we want or whatever the case may be, definitely that alone has great benefits for our productivity and happiness!

      • I think the greater question is *why* wouldn’t you be free to do those things at the office? What does it say about our workplaces that they are places where we are not allowed to do the things which allow us to get work done?

        The great advantage of working from home is not the freedom of being at home, but the responsibility afforded by being in control of your work environment. We shouldn’t have to leave the office to get work done.

  9. This is fact and truthful. I am one of those who are fortunate to work predominately from home. The discipline is required, however, my output is greater than when working from the office. The interesting fact is that I can do lunch with friends, I can finish early, work later and still be much more efficient than when I work from the office.

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