The Business Case for Homeworking – How ‘Working From Home’ Can Benefit Your Business

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Every day, millions of people waste an hour travelling on packed trains and congested roads, at great expense, to get to offices where they'll do work that could just as easily have been done at home.

Your company's employees are likely to be among them.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Almost any company with an office can benefit from allowing some staff to work from home at least some of the time.

Make Your Staff More Productive

Surprisingly, studies show that far from slacking off, the typical homeworker puts in MORE hours than they're supposed to do. This is probably because staff are keen to get work finished and to show that they are actually working.

Those who are working from home usually face fewer distractions than they would face in a typical open-plan office, allowing them to concentrate more easily.

Make Overtime More Convenient

We all have too much to do and too little time in which to do it.

Homeworking solutions can give your employees access to their emails and files from home so they can do overtime without having to stay late at the office or come in at the weekend.

Staff are far more willing to help out on their day off if that involves spending 2 minutes booting their computer than if it involves 2 hours commuting to and from the office.

Retain Staff

For some of your staff, there will come a point when their decision to stay with your firm is marginal. They like their job, but their commute is so time-consuming and expensive that it undermines the benefit of working for you.

This is particularly true of staff who travel long distances, or who don't get to see their kids much during the working week. By allowing these staff to work from home more often, you may be able to retain these employees longer, saving you the hassle, cost and uncertainty involved in trying to find suitably-skilled replacements.

Attract Staff

Most businesses have had the experience of interviewing a qualified candidate, making a job offer, then being turned down by the successful applicant because the salary & benefits package wasn't seen as good enough.

By indicating you are willing to let staff work from home occasionally you add an attractive benefit at very little cost to your business.

Stop Data-leakage From Staff Creating Their Own Ad-hoc Homeworking Solutions

If you don't offer homeworking solutions, homeworking will still happen. It will just happen insecurely.

For example, employees may email the files they need to their personal email account. Or if you give your staff administrative rights over their work computers, some of the more tech-savvy staff members may install remote access solutions and file syncing services without your knowledge.

By offering a secure homeworking solution to employees, you reduce the incentive for staff to use their own insecure homeworking tools.

Reduce Business Disruption Caused By Snow, Flooding, Rail Strikes, Tube Strikes, Roadworks

You can't do anything to stop it snowing. But you can ensure that your staff aren't forced to waste hours fighting travel chaos to get into an office to do work that could have been done at home.

Reduce Your Office Space Costs

Every empty desk in your office costs your firm thousands of pounds in rent, business rates, service charges, insurance premiums, lighting costs and heating bills each year.

Over the long term, homeworking can cut these costs. When your office lease comes up for renewal, homeworking might allow you to move to significantly smaller offices that cost far less to rent. If you’re not moving, you may be able to consolidate unused office space and sub-let it, subject to landlord approval. If your organisation has a growing number of staff, homeworking might allow you to work from your existing office for longer, putting off the day when you need to move to a larger, more expensive office.

Reduce Sickness and Absenteeism

Sometimes your staff are well enough to work, but not well enough to come into the office.

For example, a sports injury might impede someone's mobility, making commuting impractical. Or perhaps someone has the flu, or a really bad cold, and you don't want them coming into the office to infect everyone.

Homeworking lets these people work from home, instead of having a day off sick, at short notice.

Sometimes your staff will need to be at home for a delivery or to let the builders in. If you don't allow staff to work from home, your staff will have to take days off, at short notice, which is far more disruptive than letting them work from home.

Fulfil Your ‘Flexible Working’ Legal Obligation Cheaply

Parents have a legal right to request flexible working. Letting staff ‘work from home’ on occasion may be one solution. Other options such as flexitime, staggered hours, job-sharing and part-time working can all be made more convenient by combining them with homeworking.

Be Seen To Be Green

Homeworking reduces your organisation's carbon footprint, and boosts your environmental credentials.

Boost your Business Continuity Plans

Homeworking can be an excellent contributor to your business continuity plans.

It helps you cope with adverse events that are likely to happen – such as travel chaos caused by adverse weather conditions and strikes.

And it helps you cope with unlikely catastrophic events such as office fires, floods and extended power outages.

Our remote working solutions let staff access their work files & emails from home. Our phone services can extend your existing office phone system, so homeworkers can use it too.

We've written a free guide to remote working that may be of interest.

This blog post was first published in 2015. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered office life, with hybrid working becoming the new normal.

To learn more, visit our page of hybrid working statistics for the UK, primarily from 2022 and 2021.

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