I worked in an office for around seven years prior to taking the leap and becoming a freelancer. While there are definitely things I miss about working with people (such as, the in-person interaction and staff birthdays) the remote schedule released a ton of anxiety that I never knew I had before.
For one, every time there was snow on the ground? I panicked. I checked to see if the office was closed, and worried about how much prep time I needed to de-ice the car. Driving in the snow isn't one of my best attributes. These days, the thought just hasn't entered my mind. When I woke up in the morning, technically, I was already “at work.” All I needed to focus on was my job.
Here are other reasons why a remote set-up will make your employees much happier.
A lot of trust goes into hiring a remote worker. You need to believe that they'll be enough of a self-starter to get assignments in on time, and still be presentable for an online meeting. When a boss gives the okay for work to be done remotely, they're more or less saying that they know you're already good at your job. That kind of benefit can go a long way. When an employee knows they'll be able to have some more control over their schedule, they'll do everything they can to stick with your organization
It makes sense to stay home when you're sick. Infecting the team will only make everyone's job slightly harder. However, it's often tough for an employee to make the call to stay home. Many worry that their boss might assume they're bluffing. Others who aren't salaried just can't afford it. CNBC ran a report saying that just around 90% of office employees have gone to work when they're not feeling their best — which is slightly ridiculous. By working from home, they can get the job done in a safe and comfortable environment. It's the best of both worlds.
It seems crazy, but dogs can be very beneficial to someone's work environment. “Pets remind people to pause and step back from whatever they are involved in,” states The University of Southern California. “Short walks, a little playtime, and temporary distractions allow mental breaks so as not to overwork and become stressed.” If your employee has pets at home, they'll be able to take a walk mid-day to help them stay energized. Or, they can also work at a cat cafe, if that's an environment that brings them peace.
Raise your hand if you've ever gotten annoyed at a cubicle neighbor before. ****When you work remotely, you don't need to deal with your coworker's small quirks. That means if they overly click their mouse (which I do, personally) or happen to cough a lot, you can get your work done and be blissfully unaware. You might even be able to play your favorite music in the background. It's also a plus for new moms. As they often have to pump during the day, they can do so without worrying that a coworker might barge in.
The parents out there have it rough. Both mothers and fathers often feel guilty returning to the workplace and putting their kids in a daily program or daycare. A remote set-up will allow workers a little more flexibility. They can schedule their hours around what works best for their child, or just work with their kid by their side. If a remote set-up shaves a few days off of daycare, you might also be saving your employee some extra money by offering remote positions.
Of course, this depends on what they have in their fridge. Office workers often bring their lunches in, but sometimes those lunches just look unappealing by the time 12 pm hits. Since they're also around other people, there's more of a push to chip in for a pizza or a McDonald's run. When you have the opportunity to make fresh, hot lunches from home, you'll realize the temptation to sit around and wait for a delivery person is no longer there.
Think about it. People who get hurt at work have to undergo a bunch of paperwork and follow-up. If it was something dangerous on your end, there may also be a lawsuit. “People often slip, trip, or fall at work; have poor posture or strain their eyes; and are at risk of items falling on them, fires breaking out, or having to deal with poor air quality, to name just a few things,” writes Michael D. Shaw from Corporate Wellness Magazine. “Long hours sitting in one spot; repetitive motions such as typing; and a variety of office hazards, can all add up to numerous negative consequences for your health.”
Being able to work from home makes employees feel like everyday tasks are a little easier. They can throw a load of laundry in while also checking out a recent sales database. They can also prep dinner while sitting in on a work meeting. The best remote employees are fantastic at multitasking. A remote set-up will give them a little more breathing room, which they'll truly appreciate.
Yes, you should keep in mind that an employee also needs a good personal life outside of the business. But if there happens to be an emergency, they'll probably be fairly easy to reach — and have all of the material you need right in front of them. Just remember that after their designated sign-off time, they don't technically owe you a response. But, you'll probably get one — just because they're happy with their overall arrangement.
Employees are happier with a little bit of freedom, and the knowledge that you trust in their work. By offering a remote set-up, you're telling your employees that you value them and know that they don't need to be in the office to get the job done right.