In 2017, Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom went on TED talks and discussed working from home. “Working from home has an undeservedly bad reputation,” he says. In his TED Talk, Bloom explains that work-from-home is potentially as powerful and innovative as the driverless car – and he’s dead serious.
For those who cannot seem to wrap their heads around getting to work on your couch in your pajamas, the idea may seem quite far fetched. However, with commutes becoming more and more difficult and the rent or ownership and upkeep of office spaces continue to rise in cost and the advancement of technology, more forward thinking minds have embraced the culture of working remotely. Not only is it a more cost-efficient solution for businesses but studies have shown that businesses that have adapted this practice have had an increase in employee satisfaction and retention. In fact, a recent Gallup study showed that employees who work from home three to four days a week are far more likely (41 percent versus 30 percent) to “feel engaged” and far less likely (48 percent versus 55 percent) to feel “not engaged” than people who report to the office each day.
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Let’s take that a step further and explore the implications of a business that embraces the work-from-home management strategy. By opening your mind and your business up to this set-up you open many doors that were once closed to you.
Global is the new local. One challenge in filling positions in any business is finding the right person who is an exact fit; someone who not only ticks all the boxes in terms of skill and expertise, but also someone who will fit the culture of your business and your team. By allowing yourself to explore the possibilities of work-from-home team members, you are no longer limited by geographic specifications. You get to meet more people and expand your search to wider pool of talent, thus ensuring that you find someone truly suited to the position you are filling.
Increased Productivity. In a monumental study published in the Harvard Business Review, call center employees on a Chinese travel website called Ctrip were allowed to choose to work from their home for nine months. Half of the staff volunteered to do so while the other half continued to work on site at the office as the control group. The study showed that “people working from home completed 13.5 percent more calls than the staff in the office did–meaning that Ctrip got almost an extra workday a week out of them.”
Lower Attrition Rates. The cost of replacing an employee can be high— higher than you can imagine. Recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement after an employee departs can cost up to two full years of that employee’s salary. Assuming, of course, you can find a qualified candidate–a difficult task in a hot economy. In the Ctrip study cited above, the employees who worked from home reported “much higher job satisfaction” and “quit at half the rate of people in the office,” a result that they said “was beyond what we anticipated.” Furthermore, aside from lowering your attrition rate, because you are opening yourself to a global reach, you are more likely to find high quality replacement when you need to.
Less Sick Days. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 2.8 million workdays are lost each year due to absenteeism. For some companies, this comes out to a $1 million loss each and every day.
On the other hand, employees who work remotely are less likely to call in sick as they can still work in the comfort of their home and that they get to avoid the commute and are not given the added stress of being in an office whilst in their condition. Furthermore, the rest of the people who are in the office are not exposed to their illness. It also ensures that they can recover better and quicker.
Reduce in costs. Your overhead and payroll costs will definitely see a considerable dip by using the work-from-home management strategy. Not only will you eliminate the need for large amounts of space, but you will also see lower consumption of energy and other resources. Not to mention that work from home employees will not need a desk, computers etc. from you, but will have all the equipment and furniture they need already.
Payroll is one of the largest expenses for most small businesses; consuming as much as 30 percent of a company’s gross revenue and more (and much more) if the company is a startup and not creating much revenue yet. Fortunately, the average worker will take an 8 percent cut in pay when allowed to work from home, according to the American Economic Review. That makes perfect sense when you consider that working from home reduces or even eliminates many hours per week spent commuting, time that can be spent doing other things.
While there are some responsibilities within your business that completely requires a physical presence to fulfill, take a look into your business processes and systems and figure out which ones do not. By doing so you will find which ones can be delegated to someone remotely. You will most likely find that taking this step is not only logical but you will probably wonder why you didn’t think of doing this sooner!
Find your talented work-from-home professionals at MyOutDesk and let us tell you about our blended business model, book a Double My Business Strategy Session today!