Furthermore, that number was expected to increase by more than 60% within the next five years.
Despite some companies arguing that working from home is impractical, traditional offices are soon becoming a thing of the past. Although the study mentioned above proves this, further evidence can be found within your own workplace—if you already don’t have a work from home policy in place, I’m betting that you or staff members have at least thought about it.
Should staff work from home?
It has been argued that many employers don’t trust their staff members to work from home, but they will have to embrace the modern world sooner rather than later. Instead of reacting with paranoia and suspicion, they should consider the potential benefits. For example, employers who let staff work from home could:
- See improvements in staff retention. This is especially true for mothers or parents who might need to look after children.
- Have more motivated employees.
- Save money by not having to provide a large office.
- Recruit from disabled specialists. For example, those who have no choice but to work from home might target your company when searching for employment.
Essential tools for those working from home
Desktop computers are all well and good, but laptops allow staff members to work from just about anywhere. Furthermore, staff should be encouraged to sign up with a company which provides free Wi-Fi hotspots, such as The Cloud. Consequently, in the event of a power failure or internet malfunction, this means employees can continue working from a coffee shop or restaurant—without any lapses in productivity.
A direct landline
Instead, all employees working from home should be provided with a direct landline to the office.
Furthermore, they should supply a list of backup options for when their connection fails, this could include nearby coffee shops or other establishments with free Wi-Fi.
Dropbox and Skype
An online chat system is also an essential part of working from home as this allows individuals to coordinate ideas and quickly answer questions. While there are many providers, it is definitely worth considering Skype—mainly because most people are already using it.
Performance management tools
Although this empowers colleagues to see how others are performing, it also allows employers to recognize people for excellent work. Consequently, this could create a competitive atmosphere amongst individuals.
A gym membership
The office is dead—time to abandon it
Author: Tom Chapman is a Content Specialist at Vertical Leap, a content marketing, SEO, PPC, and social media company based in Portsmouth, UK.