Work from home: Here’s why it is a reasonably beneficial policy to have
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines work from home (WFH) as an arrangement that allows one to “to work at home by the use of an electronic linkup with a central office”.
It is famously through different terms such as teleworking, telecommuting, mobile work, and remote work etc. Furthermore, the work settings need not be restricted to home alone. Employees sometimes prefer working from coffee houses and other places where they can work more productively.
Over the years, work from home has caught up as an acceptable practice in almost every job sector. Given its widespread prevalence, we evaluate why work from home is a sensible practice that is here to thrive.
Gone are the days when employers perceived WFH as a mere excuse that employees made to take care of household chores.
And for employees, the reasons to work from home are no longer restricted to supervising plumbing activities, taking care of a sick pet or tending to kids.
Over three thousand respondents were studied in FlexJobs 7th Annual Survey. In their findings, over 65 per cent of employees felt that they are more productive when they work from home.
The surveyed respondents cited fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues among other reasons that allowed them to work more productively. Interestingly, 65 per cent of employees also listed negligible office politics as a factor that allowed them to work better.
Work from home yields greener results
In the same FlexJobs survey, 71 per cent professionals mentioned reduced stress from commuting, to work in their favour when they chose to telecommute.
According to the data collated by U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute time to work in America is 25.4 minutes. In Indian cities like Bengaluru, this average can range from a whopping 1-2 hours for just a one-way commute.
By cutting down on tiresome commute time, employees can conserve much-needed energy to keep them going through a busy workday. In the process, it also saves fuel costs and cuts down on the emission of greenhouse gases.
This, in turn, results in reducing an organization’s carbon footprinting. Consequently, more and more companies are beginning to embrace telecommuting.
Work from home: A trend here to stay
Even a decade ago, world leaders like former US President, Barack Obama saw the essential benefits of allowing federal workers to telecommute.
As per the statistics that are given by the US Census Bureau, 5.2 per cent of U.S workforce worked from home in 2017. This constitutes a staggering 8 million people. Moreover, this rate is on a steady rise since 2000s.
Experts believe the trend is likely to thrive in a similar fashion in both booming and developing economies. So much that by 2020, the number of employees prioritizing telecommute may double up.
A policy that benefits both employees and employers
As a flexible work option, work from home can help employers retain their valuable employees. On the other hand, it allows employees to seek a better work-life balance. It leads to the improved mental well-being of employees who can follow customized work schedules.
A study conducted by Buffer in collaboration with Workfrom and Hubstaff analyzed the State of Remote workers in 2018 in their report. The respondents of the research were about 1,900 remote workers across the globe.
According to its findings, one of the biggest advantages of working remotely was having a flexible schedule (as answered by 43 per cent respondents). Being able to spend time with friends and family was ranked number two with 15 per cent remote workers listing it in the top benefits.
Among the surveys for the study, 70 per cent respondents were full-time remote workers. The rest 30 per cent who indulged in remote work frequently. It was found out that a majority of the latter 30 per cent shows an increasing interest in dedicating all their time to do remote work.
Hence, several findings and trends indicate that work from home or remote work could well be the future. It is therefore futuristic for employers and business leaders to embrace telecommuting and support employees accordingly.