If you are an employer you might be suspicious about letting employees work from home. Are they really going to put in a full day’s work?
The research might surprise you. There was a long study which compared 250 employees working from home with a similar group of 250 employees in an office. The conclusion was that, on average, those working from home were 13% more productive.
13% is quite a lot. It is 65% of a day. Assuming the statistic applies to your business, this means that you could possibly reduce your wage bill. If you currently have eight employees, allowing them to work from home could mean you only need seven.
Actually, there is an even better potential improvement. After a while some employees found that home working didn’t suit them, so they went back to the office. The overall productivity improvement from those who continued to work from home was 24% – that’s over one day per week. Imagine an employee who does 5 days work but who you only need to pay for 4 days.
There is also a potential saving on space. Whilst you need to provide a facility for all employees to come to the office sometimes, it is unlikely they will all come at once so you may not need to pay as much rent. This could be as much as a 50% saving along with savings in light, heat, business rates etc.
One of the reasons for the improved productivity is a reduction in absenteeism. Another survey found that remote workers had 63% fewer unscheduled absences. Since absenteeism in the UK is estimated to cost an average of £522 per employee per year, there is a saving.
Home workers are also better off financially. Consider how much an average employee pays in travel costs each year, not to mention the time taken by the daily commute. Eliminate the travel cost and this is money going straight to an employee’s pocket. And don’t forget the environmental benefits gained by reducing those emissions.
If you are happy for employees to work from home, you will also have a larger, and possibly better, pool of potential workers to choose from. Consider a well-qualified mum (or house husband) who doesn’t have the time or desire to travel to a job with fixed hours. Working from home means she (or he) could fit in work around a couple of school runs.
To make home working effective you need a good infrastructure. Cloud computing has made that possible. We use and recommend cloud bookkeeping software which can be accessed from anywhere. Emails and other software have no distance barriers. It may make sense to provide a home worker with a laptop to work with.
Bear in mind that home working doesn’t suit everyone so don’t force it on people. Also, building up relationships with co-workers is important so it is a good idea to make sure that everyone comes to the office occasionally (although not all at once) to meet and communicate with fellow workers.
We can’t cover every aspect of home working but can definitely cover the accountancy and bookkeeping elements. Also, depending on your particular need, we may be able to put you in touch with someone to help.