As a Freelance SharePoint Consultant I have worked in many different “Management Styles” over the year, with some requiring me to be on-site 9am-5pm, some allowing me to work at my employers offices with their team and going into client site as required, some completely off-site connecting in as required and the most recent having me work from home 90% of the time and travelling into the office when required for face-to-face meetings.
Bringing all this experience together I am certainly a huge fan of virtual and remote working. I find myself to be so much more productive when I can establish the correct place to work each day.
In this blog post I want to give an overview of some of the benefits that I have found and maybe some of the potential risks of opening up your business to this kind of model. I am not going to offer any hard research evidence on these views, but will follow up in some later posts giving more details of each point. Please reply with your comments on your experiences of remote / home working.
Benefits to the employee
- I can work at times that most suite me
- I work more hours
- I don’t sit in traffic wasting time
- I save a lot of money on fuel
- I am helping the environment by not driving as much
- I am home to take deliveries
- I save money on lunches
- I can fit work around my other priorities, such as children
- Fewer interruptions from other team members
Areas of concern to the employee
- A full week at home can lead to cabin fever
- Not as easy to build strong relationships
- Proving I am working and not slacking off
Benefits to the employer
- Employees tend to work more hours
- Employees can do their best work at the time of day that they are more productive
- Savings on office space, desks and other facilities
- Wider support for mothers and disabled employees
- Staff can positioned closer to end clients
- Increased staff motivation with reduces stress and sickness levels
Areas of concern to the employer
- How do I know my employees are working?
- Who will answer the phones?
- Where will people hold meetings?
- How can I tell if a employee is not happy if I cannot “see “ them
- Am I insured if my employees work away from the office?
- How much will it cost to implement a remote working infrastructure?
- What technology is available to help my remote employees collaborate?
- Is my information secure when employees are working outside the office?
- How do we foster team spirit and communities when the staff are not onsite?
- How do I decide what jobs are suitable to be operated off-site?
In the future I will offer more information on the benefits and drawbacks of remote / home working.