Working from home is a dream I think we all aspire to at some point. Who doesn’t like the idea of getting out of bed, putting your dressing gown on and casually heading to the living room nice and warm to sit in front of your laptop to do some work for the day? It certainly beats the early morning commute in the rain! But is it as rosy (and cozy) existence as it sounds? There are boundless positives to working at home, but is it all cracked up to be? If you’re running a business that has homeworkers, or you’re thinking about ditching the premises to conserve costs, have a read of this before you tell everyone to “go home”!
The Technical Impact
The question you need to ask yourself is, can you run a business from home with the same efficiency as in an office environment? You need to factor in things like logistics. This is where technology comes into play. With the internet, it is incredibly easy to send emails, IM’s, etc. In an office scenario, you would have the standard landlines, with a staff member quickly reachable at their extension. In a working from home situation, can you guarantee efficient contact?
Concerned business owners may wish to install a phone system like a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). It’s a way of being able to make phone calls via the internet. If you are looking for certain phone systems for your business, there are many services online, like https://www.voiceonyx.com/phones. VoIP systems also provide mobile options. This gives remote workers access to a business’s phone system from their mobile device. So if you are contemplating the idea of running a business from home, you need to make sure that your colleagues are with the right tech. Or supply them with the tech, especially if one of the staff doesn’t have a mobile phone- it’s rare, but it happens!
When it comes to VoIP systems, if you are in an area with poor internet connectivity, this can cause frustration. Having poor phone reception is annoying at the best of times, so if you are reliant on constant phone contact, it may not be the best approach.
The Impact On Productivity
Working from home from the perspective of the business owner and the employee’s point of view are entirely different.
The employee could treat it as a working holiday lasting from Monday to Friday, and the boss will need to make sure the business is running smoothly. But the owner will also be busy with meetings and the like. In an office, there are people delegated to keep the organization running in the absence of a leader. Line managers, team leaders, whatever you want to call them. In a home working environment, that role is almost reduced to basic email contact.
So, how can productivity be tracked? Regular contact is one way. But making sure a back-office system is installed will be one way to “police” your staff.
Ultimately, when it comes to home working, the onus is on the worker to be productive. So, having self-reliant staff is a fundamental way of making a gamble like this payoff.