Recent advances in technology have heralded a new age of employee mobility in which people have the freedom to work anywhere they want and choose their own hours. While studies show that people are usually happier and more productive working in their own environments using their own devices, the fear of losing control is often what makes leaders hesitant about letting their employees work from home.
Working from home does have its fair share of pros and cons, both for businesses and for their employees themselves. While more than half of the US workforce now works from home or on the move at least once per week, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down, it isn’t the best option for every organization. It’s important to understand the benefits and limitations of this style of work before you consider implementing a remote work policy.
Why do employees prefer working from home?
Tell any employee that they no longer have to commute to work and that they can work in the comfort of their own home, and they’ll almost certainly jump on the opportunity. On the other hand, some people prefer not to work at home, often because there are too many distractions, such as children or pets. If that’s the case, another option is to join a co-working space paid for by their employers. This is a rapidly growing trend, particularly among those without a home office and those who prefer to retain a semblance of professionalism by keeping work and home life separate.
It’s important to remember that working from home is just one of many options. Remote work is about allowing people to work wherever they want. Some prefer co-working spaces, others prefer home offices, and others enjoy constantly being on the move hopping between cafes. A few may still prefer to work in the office, particularly, when it comes to jobs that are highly orientated towards strong teamwork. In most cases, it’s best to leave your options open and, if in doubt, get some feedback from your employees before implementing a remote working policy.
How do business leaders benefit from remote work?
While a happier employee is usually a more productive and engaged one, thereby having an instantly positive effect on the business, there are other direct business benefits. For example, when employees are allowed to use their own devices for work, which is often the case with remote work, the costs to the business are much lower.
Businesses don’t have to shell out cash for new hardware; all they need to do is provide the services employees need to do their jobs over the cloud. In fact, cloud computing is one of the key enablers of remote work, since it keeps apps and data hosted in remote data centers rather than having to be stored on local devices, such as those owned by employees. This allows administrators to mitigate a lot of the security risks associated with accommodating remote work.
One of the most important business benefits of enabling remote work is the ability to tap into a wider talent pool. Today, companies can work with employees, freelancers, and contractors all over the world, which means HR teams no longer need to restrict themselves to local regions. There are few things that drive business growth faster than being able to work with the perfect candidate even if they’re living 500 miles away. The lack of physical boundaries also enables teams to become more diverse by working with people who are disabled or housebound for any other reason.
Don’t forget about the drawbacks
Allowing employees to work from home isn’t without risk. Fortunately, most of these risks can be easily mitigated by implementing a robust mobile device management (MDM) policy and using cloud-hosted services rather than storing data on employee-owned devices. This allows administrators to retain complete visibility into and control over their informational assets while giving employees the freedom to work the way they work best.
JAD Technologies provides the comprehensive service that today’s businesses need to drive growth and enable workforce mobility without adding risk. Give us a call today to start mobilizing your workforce!