Increasingly people are choosing to work from home. With most work being done online, it’s now easier than ever to work remotely from a computer or laptop and you can virtually do this from anywhere with an internet connection. This opens up many new possibilities for the way businesses organise and structure themselves but also creates new responsibilities for both employer and employee. Here we take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
The benefits for business and employees are:
- Productivity gains – with no commute and less chance of colleague interruption, many people report getting a lot more done when they are working from home.
- For a business, working from home can open up a much wider pool of potential applicants which can include people who are geographically distant and also disabled people who may find it easier to work from home.
- Better work/life balance – employees based at home for all of the week or even part of it feel it leads to greater health and well-being.
- Convenience – a business can recruit sales staff much closer to clients rather than have them based at the office.
- Financial savings are also made with no need for large office spaces and other associated facilities.
- Employee retention is improved as workers with children, for example, find it easier to cope with home working hours around their parental responsibilities.
The disadvantages can include:
- Difficulty in monitoring performance – it is much harder for employers to keep tabs on performance and manage their home based staff.
- Information security will be more at risk as you are not in complete control of what networks people are using to connect to.
- Telecommunications cost may rise as there will a greater amount of time spent on telephone calls and a business mobile might be needed for every home based worker.
- Staff development becomes much harder and it’s difficult to upgrade skills if you don’t have a physical presence.
- Isolation can become an issue for some home workers who may feel disconnected from the organisation after long periods of working from home.
- Being at home all the time can lead to a loss of morale and boredom setting in. Often we need a change of scenery to stay fresh and focused. If you will be working from home for long periods, it might be worth investing in a special area set aside just for work so your home can remain your home. For Summer Houses Northern Ireland, visit http://www.morrowsectionalbuildings.com/summer_houses.
- Team spirit is harder to foster when members of a team rarely see each other and not all jobs suit home working.
Some jobs are better suited for home working than others. Ideal jobs for home working include customer service, telesales and marketing, accountancy, writing, editing and translation work. To be successful when working from home, you will need to be able to manage your time effectively, be self-disciplined, motivated, self-sufficient, be confident with technology and good at communicating.