Should You Let Your Millennials Work from Home?
A common theme that emerges when discussing Millennials in the workforce is their strong desire for work/life balance. One major contributor that helps Millennials strike that balance is telecommuting. Now the question becomes, how much telecommuting should you, as a company, allow your employees? Should telecommuting even be an option at all? Here are some pros and cons to weigh when considering the addition of telecommuting to your company’s benefits package.
Attract top talent
If you want to employ the best of the best, the cream of the crop, then you may need to allow them the freedom to hammer out their duties in the environment they prefer to work in, whether that be in the office, at home, or at the local Starbucks. The option of telecommuting is very attractive to most candidates, especially to Millennials, and can help you reel in that blue chip talent that will push your company forward.
Increased productivity and focus
This benefit does come with some risk involved which will be discussed later. However, studies have shown that dedicated employees, especially those with highly technical or numerical tasks, experience greater productivity and focus when working in a remote environment they have control over. Employees working from home can work with less interruptions which would lead to higher accuracy, greater quality, and sounder decision making.
If your company is an advocate for greener practices and a better environment, allowing employees to telecommute will reduce the use of utilities such as electricity and water and help your office cut down on waste. Fewer bodies in the office means less resources being used.
The other edge of the telecommuting sword is the potential for distractions when working from home. It can be tempting for employees to tend to household chores or scroll through social media should any downtime occur (i.e. after completing a task, waiting to hear back from a co-worker, waiting for a co-worker’s contribution to be sent, etc.). Normally such distractions would not even be possible in an office setting but are completely real when working from home.
Breakdown in communication
Working remotely can present some communication issues between employees, especially project team members. A breakdown can happen through misinterpretations (electronically either via emails or messaging applications) that are usually avoided or resolved with face-to-face interaction or through response delays or lag because a team member became distracted.
Insurances may need to be provided by your company to cover employees working from home should anything happen to them. Even though they’re not physically under your roof, they are performing company work on company time. Other risks such as worker’s compensation and ergonomics should be considered when discussing telecommuting.
Telecommuting, like most services, has its rewards and risks. If your company has instilled a strong culture and trusts its employees to perform their roles effectively no matter where they are, then telecommuting can be a very valuable tool to boost employee morale and attract or retain top workers.
For more articles on the benefits and risks of telecommuting, check out:
Should Millennials Work from Home when Given the Option? – Jon Simmons, Monster.com
5 reasons why you should let your employees work from home – Drew Hendricks, Earth911.com
The Pros and Cons of Allowing Employees to Work from Home - Symmetry Software, Symmetry.com
Telecommuting and productivity: pros and cons of working from home – Nathan Zeldes, Knowmail.me