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Remote Control

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Should You Let Your Employees Work From Home

They say a watched pot never boils. Well, a new study suggests that the same goes for the workplace. According to the Institute of German Economics, amongst 60% of those surveyed, employee productivity actually increased when it was subjected to less managerial supervision.

This raises the question: What are the pros and cons of letting your employees work remotely?

For the employee, the benefits are clear:

  • Their morning routine is basically cut in half with no need to dress up or fight the morning commute.
  • Child care can in some cases be eliminated, and certainly reduced.
  • They can work from a familiar space where creativity and comfort could potentially promote higher-quality work output.

But for employers, there are potential downsides:

  • Can they be sure that distractions at home aren’t getting in the way of productivity?
  • How can they effectively manage workflow if several team members are remote?
  • What will office-bound employees think about those who get to work remotely?

Employers want all their staff member to be as comfortable as possible –but never at the expense of productivity. It’s an employer’s responsibility to facilitate efficient production and to get his employees working as a cohesive team.

But employers are facing a new business reality, particularly amongst the younger members of their workforce: if companies want to retain top talent, they need to incorporate flexible work options into their employee culture – In fact, 95% of millennials are demanding it.

Running an office with a remote workforce comes with a unique set of challenges. An employer may feel they have less influence or control over the work being done. But you have to ask yourself: did you ever really have control in the true sense of the word? People only work as much as they’re willing to. And if an employer embraces that idea – and helps create the optimum work environment for each individual employee, they will motivate employees to be more productive.

My advice to employers: consider establishing a remote work policy. Don’t rule anything out. Assess each situation individually. Is a particular employee able to work unsupervised? Are they capable of it? If it’s an issue of quality, I doubt sending them home will suddenly change that. But if the work is good and motivation has become the problem, perhaps a more comfortable environment will do the trick.