Coming into the office Monday through Friday may eventually be a thing of the past. In fact, according to Forbes, one in five people are working from home at least once a week already. This workforce flexibility is sought after by many employees and can play a large role in employee retention, and a decreased chance of burnout.
According to the same website, Forbes, working from home is expected to increase by 63% in the next five years. Whether you choose to hire remote employees, or let your current employees work from the office less, knowing how to keep them productive when working from home is essential.
Whether your employees are working in the office or working remotely, incentives should always be in your budget and not seen as an expense, but an investment. Yes, working from home is a perk of the job, but additional incentives may help employees complete their work in a timely manner.
First, develop an incentive system. Incentives can vary greatly from one company to the next depending on policies and culture, so do what works for you. One example of an incentive system would be a point system. For each task an employee completes, give them a certain amount of points. Communicate to them how many points you expect them to earn in a month, and if they meet your requirements, reward them.
Be sure your employees know that working from home isn’t a right—it’s a reward and an act of trust. If your employees fail to meet deadlines or aren’t completing enough projects, limit their work-from-home days until they can prove it’s something they can handle in a responsible and reliable manner.
Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from working from home; a company can benefit just as greatly from a remote employee or an employee who works from the office less.
For any human resources department, either outsourced or internal, employee retention is extremely important. Companies may find better luck retaining employees if they enact a work from home benefit. Stanford professor, Nick Bloom, did a study to evaluate the benefits of working from home. He found workers were more productive, worked longer hours, took less breaks, and used less sick time as compared to in-office employees. These employees were also less stressed and stayed at companies longer than those who went into the office on a regular basis.
In addition to employee retention, allowing employees to work remotely can aid in recruiting and hiring top notch employees. By allowing employees to work remotely, you can hire the best of the best while not limiting yourself by office location. In fact, opening the talent pool can even allow your business to grow. By having employees in several states, or even countries, new clients can possibly be obtained in different areas as well.
People who work from home may have an easier time with work-life balance. Being able to eat healthier at home, and having more time to spend with your family can help you feel less stressed, which will make for happier and more productive workdays.
Whether it’s a stressful commute to work, not enough breaks throughout the day or an uncomfortable work environment, working from home can help ease stress for many employees.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
When it comes to working from home, every employee is different. Everyone has different personalities and different work styles, so what works for one person, may not work for the next.
Working from home seems to come down to personality type and the type of work being done. Some employees don’t like loud work environments and distractions, while others may not be able to fathom working at home with a TV nearby and all of their comforts of home surrounding them.
Certain jobs, such as tech jobs, that require a strong attention to detail and long hours of focus may be better performed by employees who work in solitude. Working from home can reduce the amount of distractions these workers face, allowing them to get more done during work hours.
Giving employees freedom to maintain a healthy work-life balance can keep them from feeling tied down. Not all options will work for every business or every employee, so determine the benefits before you start implementing changes.