Advances in new technology has opened up new possibilities for businesses.
Part of this newfound potential includes decentralising the workplace - effectively, allowing employees to work from home or anywhere else with an internet connection. Despite the many advantages that this provides to business owners, it seems that many managers in Australia are still hesitant to implement such policies throughout their departments.
A study by Microsoft has suggested that the reasons behind the slow adoption rate is the fact that employers are not prepared to relinquish direct oversight over their workers. The implication is that, without constant supervision from higher-ups, employees will not be able to work efficiently.
While it may seem like a legitimate concern, this issue is easily overcome by installing a new office phone system that allows supervisors to stay in direct communication with their employees wherever they may be based.
Once you have the correct infrastructure in place, there are many benefits to be enjoyed by both you and your employees.
Your workers are more likely to feel satisfied in their roles if you provide them with a sense of autonomy and allow them to work from locations of their choosing. In fact, employees find flexibility to be the No. 1 advantage to working from home, according to figures collated by research firm McCrindle. Greater job satisfaction means greater employee engagement, which will ultimately help propel your company to new plateaus.
From noisy colleagues to water cooler chat and fire drills, the office can be a minefield of distractions that detract from workplace productivity. By adopting work-from-home policies, you're providing your employees with a domain that they have complete control over. This allows them to adjust their home environment to be perfectly tailored to their working needs and requirements.
Of course, the home is also full of things that can divert the attention of a less-focussed worker, so make sure you have structures in place to ensure that your employees are using the opportunity to your mutual advantage.
3. Cost cuts
This is another benefit that swings both ways. As an employer, by allowing employees to work from home you can run the business from a smaller space, allowing you to save on rental costs. From your employee's point of view, they'll be able to cut costs by eliminating lengthy commutes and reducing other work-related expenses such as purchasing and maintaining expensive business attire.
There are many advantages to working from home, for both your business and your employees. As Australian companies continue to come to terms with these mutual benefits, will we see more of the workforce moving away from traditional office-based employment?