Perhaps the Coronavirus pandemic has caused you to consider working from home but when this is all over, you may want to continue in this way due to the benefits of doing so.
For weeks, the coronavirus outbreak that erupted in China rocked global supply chains, wreaking havoc on major companies around the world, although often indirectly.
Now, as it spreads across the United States Europe and Asia, the virus is becoming a more immediate threat to businesses of all kinds. From Valencia to Berlin to London, companies in virtually every industry are refining their emergency protocols or sending their employees home to try to prevent the spread of the outbreak.
One of the measures that have been taken is the so-called home office or work at home. Many say it is a highly efficient way of working, especially in the areas of sales, marketing, software development or big data management. However, to get the most out of this work dynamic, it is necessary to optimize workflows and communication, create procedural and control guidelines, and have the necessary technology.
For some employees, working from home will be a relief, an escape from long commutes to work and noisy office colleagues. For others, it could pose problems, such as having to entertain young children or not being able to collaborate on certain projects from afar. But do not panic, before giving you some advice, first we will give you some advantages of this type of work.
Increase individual responsibility
Freedom of action necessarily implies organization and time management, as well as the difficult task of separating personal from professional life. With the home office modality, the workers have specific and clear goals, as well as a constant report on expectations and delivery times. Working from home requires self-discipline and a stipulated, structured and persistent work routine, which ends up meaning superior performance.
Facilitate the evaluation of work
Executing assigned tasks and covering certain responsibilities remotely greatly facilitates job evaluation. Focusing the activity based on the results helps to have a more objective vision of the process. The quality of the work and the results achieved are exclusively valued, beyond the presence in the workplace and the productive routines.
Avoid wasting time on the road
Another fundamental benefit of the home office is not needing to move and being able to avoid traffic and spending on gasoline. 1% of the European GDP is wasted in traffic jams, that is to say, approximately 300 million euros.
Increase the quality of life
Avoiding the stress of daily traffic on the way to work means a better quality of life for company employees and collaborators, a fact that ends up promoting greater productivity. One of the main disadvantages for many employees is traditional office hours, which can prevent them from carrying out essential tasks such as going to the bank or going to the doctor.
Besides, the morning and afternoon split days end up becoming periods of twelve or fourteen hours away from home. Various investigations support the idea that this rhythm ends up having an impact on job performance. A Stanford University study projected that employees who work from home are about 13% more productive compared to those who keep coming to the job.
Along the same lines, a Brown University investigation of more than thirteen thousand NASDAQ employees found a 12% increase in performance among home office employees. Finally, it should be noted that the younger generations demand more and more flexibility in schedules, which is perfectly achieved by working from home.
Save the costs of an office
With the home office model, companies manage to reduce their infrastructure costs and save energy. Additionally, they dramatically decrease the running costs of supplies inherent in-office activity.
However, and facing the optimal development of our professional practice, it is decisive to choose a good physical space at home to work. It is recommended to avoid the common places (living room, dining room, TV room ...) where there are possible distractions and opt for a specific place where it is easier to concentrate.
Now that you know some benefits, here we leave you the best recommendations to take your company to a home business.
Define who can and who can't
Not all of your business operations can likely be done remotely. Make a list of people who might start exploring this probability and start testing right away. The sooner you start to make mistakes with your responsibilities, schedules, and methods, the sooner you will start to correct and adapt the home office to your company successfully.
Define your tools
How are they going to check results? By what means can you locate them and have an answer? If your possibilities allow it, you can try implementing a CRM (Zoho is one of the recommendations). With it, you can monitor all the operations involved in your business and assign responsibilities, delivery dates, etc. This works wherever the managers are, so you can measure results when they are working from home and compare with their performance in the office. Minimize the need for calls or video conferences. Although there are very good solutions and tools, the objective is to maximize the use of time.
Results, not schedules
Unless your responsibilities are critical in a certain time window, take a flexible approach to your employees' schedules. Their good results are much more valuable than checking that they are in front of a computer 9 hours a day.
A good home office is having enough freedom to change hours or places of work according to tastes or needs while maintaining a sense of commitment and responsibility that generates results as good as in the office. Have confidence in your team and they will know how to respond better than you expect.
Do it for you too
The home office for employers is somewhat therapeutic. Many of us who are responsible for a business or a team are obsessed with work and anyway we do it up to 20 hours a day. You may feel like you can't do anything to change this. So why not do it from the comfort of a coffee shop or your home?
Of course, you will not be able to do it every day, but it will serve to demonstrate that it is possible to even at the highest levels of your company. And this will give you more confidence in this work scheme and your team. So with the pandemic, your company will suffer less economic damage.
For Individuals that have found themselves Jobless resulting from the Coronavirus Lockdown
If you have become victim to a job loss as so many have due to the Coronavirus lockdown, there is hope. Why not try and utilize your knowledge and skills by creating a website/blog and monetizing it. This is certainly not a quick solution but even if you invest a mere hour or 2 a day, it could lead to something in the future.