The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic in March 2020. By the end of that month, millions of Americans quickly set up an office and began working from home. According to an MIT study conducted the following month, as many as half of working-age Americans became part of the virtual work revolution due to the virus and millions remain in home offices three months later.
Of course, the setup doesn’t work for everyone. It has primarily been office workers who use a computer for much of their work who now work at home. Some jobs, such as those in the manufacturing industry, will always require employees to work onsite. As strict restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus start lifting in many states, some employers and employees may decide to make the work-at-home arrangement a permanent one.
Thousands of People Working in a Single Building May No Longer Be Practical
Even when health officials have the coronavirus under better control, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of more stringent public health measures in all types of settings. Returning to an office where thousands of people work in close physical proximity to one another now seems riskier than it did at the start of the year. There’s also the fact that the cost to implement changes to ensure social distancing and other measures can be staggering for companies.
With many already having a successful work at home experience, employers from the smallest companies to the largest corporations must seriously consider that business cannot return to the old definition of normal. The ones that have the most success moving forward will be those that view the transition of work as an opportunity rather than a burden.
The Benefits of Allowing Employees to Work from Home
Flexible work arrangements from home can benefit employers just as much as employees. Here are some benefits to consider before deciding whether your employees should remain working at home indefinitely or not:
- Save on overhead cost of providing office and workspace for each employee.
- Productivity may improve when employees don’t have to spend an hour or more each day commuting to work.
- Employees tend to feel happier when their life feels more balanced, something that working from home can help them achieve.
- Telework greatly increases your employee pool. You can hire whomever you wish without the limitation of geographic location.
- Employees will call in sick less often since they’re not exposed to the typical germs and seasonal illnesses of co-workers.
- Project management programs such as Asana or Basecamp make it simple for remote teams to communicate and for you to assign work.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to commit to allowing every employee to work from home 100 percent of the time, even if that had been your arrangement during the pandemic.
Need More Help Weighing the Pros and Cons?
Before the need to work from home became urgent, a common concern among employers is that people simply wouldn’t get their work done without supervision. The arrangement can also mean that your teams don’t come up with spontaneous ideas simply by talking to each other throughout the day. At Juvo Business Group, we understand that you have unique challenges and benefits to consider when deciding if this arrangement is best for your employees. We invite you to schedule a consultation with us today to explore this option further or to discuss other business concerns.