Busting the myths around working from home
A Virgin Media Business survey predicts 60% of office-based employees will regularly work from home by 2022. So why aren’t we all doing it already? We examine the debate...
Cloud Services sells a dream. Working anywhere, anytime
Left your USB stick in your jacket on the train? Your presentation can be accessed in the Cloud at your client’s office.
You want to order something which can only be delivered to your house between 5am-midnight? You can work from home, accessing the same software and documents you use at the office in the Cloud at the click of a button.
This is the future we were promised in the Jetsons. So why aren’t we all clocking in from a tropical island?
Why your business should offer remote working
1. You can recruit better employees
“We wanted the brightest people on the planet” said remote working believer and CEO of Diebold, Andy Mattes, on his recruitment policy. “We were fishing in a small fishing pond.” Leading businesses are seizing the opportunity created by globalisation; just as an Indian call centre can be cost effective, the best employees might not live down your road.
Cloud computing has also made hiring flexible staff easier. Now you can communicate and share documents with a freelancer as safely and easily as with a colleague sitting next to you.
Whether for family reasons, or just because they prefer it, some millennials won’t consider a job at an inflexible business. In fact, some bloggers are encouraging interviewees to ask about working from home before they accept a job.
2. You make employees happy
We’ve all struggled to work through traffic and rail strikes, abandoned sick family members and battled blizzards. Remote working makes staff happy.
25% of us would accept a salary cut to be able to work from home. Just under a third would accept reduced paid holiday time.
Why your business shouldn't offer remote working
1. You can’t keep an eye on employees
This is the elephant in the room of the debate. We’ve all heard friends describe their work from home involving 6 hours of TV and a bowl of pasta. Employers must wonder: is this what my employees are doing, too?
Of course, we all work differently. Some of us adore the daily X-factor chat with colleagues, others find it makes their teeth grind. Some tasks need silence; others group discussion. Some workers can motivate themselves at home; others can’t. But what can managers do? Only allowing some people to work from home creates a negative ‘us and them’ culture.
A good manager measures people on output, not hours. Modern technology should have freed us from the 9-5 chained at our desks. Unfortunately, some managers misleadingly believe it’s easier to grade someone’s performance if they’re in front of you.
2. Communication can be weakened
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously issued a 2013 memo banning employees from working from home. “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings”, the memo said.
We have tools to make remote communication possible - emails, phones and messenger apps - but not everyone uses them effectively. (Some ambitious employees choose not to work from home, to benefit from networking with colleagues and promotion opportunities.)
That said: Huffington Post reported recently that Yahoo has relaxed the rule.
As you may have guessed, Kimbley IT is firmly in the ‘for’ remote working camp. Employees paying for their own laptops and phones (which, when set up correctly, are equally secure) - and feeling happy and more flexible at work - is a no-brainer.
Whether you choose to let employees work from home in an emergency - or shut your office forever - Kimbley IT fully supports remote workers as if they were in your office. Cloud services mean the technology is no longer tied to one location, so nor are your employees.