Employers Weigh the Pros and Cons of Work from Home Option

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As the era of employee satisfaction and benefits continues, the discussion of work-life balance has become the focus of much conversation. For those who require more time at home or remote locations from which to work, telecommunication seems to offer the perfect solution. However, as with any benefit, work from home can also have its drawbacks.

According to Boston College’s Rockmann and Pratt, the convenience of telecommunication might be weighed down due to its effect on the workplace environment.

As employees lunge at the opportunity to stay home and receive the same pay, those who remain on location, as well as those who are at home, are left with less human interaction. This can potentially create a negative atmosphere for employees, in turn leading to high turnover and low productivity.

One further drawback to the telecommunication trend, according to The New York Times, is its effect on teamwork. A lack of physical presence among group members might lead to miscommunication, lack of communication, and uneven workloads.

But work from home has its obvious perks, too, the top and obvious reason for many being more time with family and better work/life balance. Eliminating a stressful commute, particularly in high-traffic urban areas, is another significant reason some choose to pursue a work from home option.

When determining whether employees should be given the option to work remotely, employers must carefully weigh the pros and cons of such setups. Consider the following questions as they relate to individual employees:

  • Have they earned the right to be trusted to work offsite?
  • Can the employee’s work ethic withstand a lack of supervision?
  • Would cutting down on travel time or allowing more time for family needs result in a more productive employee?

Before deciding whether to offer telecommunication as a benefit to any or all employees, management must consider the effects on the individual, the group, and the entire workplace environment.

Flex hours, in which the individual has the option to work from home one or two days a week, is gaining popularity in many industries and may offer a balanced solution for employees and employers.

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