Back in 2013, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer sparked an international debate. The reason? She announced that Yahoo’s 11,000 employees wouldn’t be allowed to work remotely anymore.
Mayer reasoned that when employees are off-site, it has a negative impact on collaboration. But was she right?
While there is research (including studies from Harvard University) to suggest that face-to-face working does help drive innovation, there’s also plenty of support for telecommuting and working from home.
There are lots of potential benefits, especially if employees do it on a part-time basis. It means they get the best of both worlds; time at the office to collaborate with their colleagues, and the peace and quiet of home when they want to work without any interruptions.
Here are five more reasons why letting employees work from home could be better for your business.
1. Happier, harder workers
If an employee has a long commute to work – over 90-minutes each way, say – it could cut into their productivity. Rather than risking them becoming frustrated with the time they spend travelling, offering a mix of office and home-based working is a good alternative. Especially if they’re a good employee who always meets their deadlines and targets. What’s more, it’s likely they’ll work slightly longer days when they’re at home, because they won’t be spending three hours every day on trains.
2. Keep your people
The knock-on effect of point number one. According to a study from Penn State University from 2007, when people are happier with their work/life balance, they’re more likely to stay with a company for longer. And when your staff turnover is low, it has a positive impact of on your bottom line.
3. Maximise your office space
If space is at a premium, working from home could be the answer. It could mean you don’t have to move to larger premises or a new building quite so soon. And if you’re saving on relocation costs, it frees up the cash to invest in hiring the very best people.
4. Bag some positive PR
Yahoo came in for quite a kicking when they outlawed remote working. Particularly given the nature of their business. They came across as inflexible and outdated. Letting your people work from home sends out the message that you trust them. That you respect their professionalism. And that you’re up to date with the modes of modern-day work.
5. Attract the highest-calibre employees
The chance to work from home is a big draw for many prospective employees. So even if you can’t afford to pay the highest salary, offering a perk like flexible working could be just the ticket to bag yourself the best people (or lure them away from your competitors).