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, working from home seems to offer the perfect solution. However, as with any benefit, telecommunication has many potential drawbacks.

According to Boston College’s Rockmann and Pratt, the convenience of telecommunication might be lessened 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, leading to high turnover and low productivity.

An additional 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 lack of communication, miscommunication, and uneven workloads.

But working from home has its obvious perks, too. The top 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 options for working at home.

When determining whether employees should be given the option to work remotely, employers must 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, group, and entire workplace environment.

Flex hours, in which the individual has the option of working at home one or two days a week, is gaining popularity in many industries. For those unsure of the outcome of remote work, this offers a balanced solution for employees and employers.

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