We are on the cusp of an era where working from home will be the default policy for so many jobs. At least, we better hope so. If you’re running a startup, avoid paying for an office until you absolutely need one. If you’re a member of a growing startup, work from home occasionally to immerse yourself in the environment that birthed so many great startups. Even if you are employee 543 of 782, the environment would really appreciate it if you worked from home next Thursday.
Here are 7 reasons you should work from home:
Save money on furniture and space
Let’s face the facts. Every employee is different. As a result, open floor plans hurt working environments for many employees. A really nice cubicle can provide employees with the added privacy they need but can cost as much as $3,000 per person. Companies looking to save on office furniture and the productivity loss brought on by open floor offices could downsize and schedule in-office days by team. If you can lease smaller offices with less furniture, you can boost your bottom line.
Parents with babies
The flexibility to work from home for new mothers and fathers is a big plus for attracting talent and it supports a healthy relationship between the employee and the employer. When you've recently added a member to your family, you know that your hours awake will shift. If you can work from home, the feeding schedule of your newborn can actually be a boon to your productivity.
Speaking of productivity, a few jobs that require in-person interaction and collaboration don’t reap this benefit, but the vast majority of jobs that can be done remotely will be done better remotely. A number of new tools have improved telecommuting by preserving many of the factors that support productive collaboration, like body language and white boards. Welcome to the age of the virtual conference room.
Sick days will plummet
Surprise! If you let employees work from home, they will call in sick far less frequently. It makes sense. Some employees call in sick because they don’t want to infect others, not because they can’t work. If an employee can stay home, then human-to-human cross-contamination should not be an issue.
Lower attrition rate
In the same article referenced in the Sick days blurb, the Stanford researchers also discovered that employees quit at about half the rate of other employees at the firm studied. Employee attrition is a very expensive issue for businesses. If working from home will lower the attrition rate, then that factor alone could mean that a work from home policy for your company is worth looking into.
Who likes to commute? Few people—especially if you’ve ever needed to drive on Highway 101 in California, or depend on the G train to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Commuting is never fun. Some routes always seem like they’re under construction. And that time adds up. If you are commuting 1.5 hours door-to-door each way (2x), each day (5x), for 46 weeks (46x), then that means you commute for 690 hours a year. In other words, you will spend 28.75 days of your life commuting in one year. That’s a year of commuting after less than 13 years of working! I hope you get to read a book for part of that journey.
Lowers carbon footprint
According to Fast Company, back in 2007 “Cisco employees stopped 47,320 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released because of remote working options.” Not only should you work from home occasionally to support the success of your business, the environment needs you to work from home.
Image Credit: Flickr/Sergio Eurico