According to Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha!, 3.7 million U.S. employees now work from home at least half the time. His article states that there are 19 myths about remote work.
CNNMoney states 3 reasons your boss doesn’t want you to work from home … and why s/he’s wrong:
- If I can’t see you, you’re not really working.
- People who work at home aren’t as productive.
- If everyone telecommutes, company culture and collaboration will fall off a cliff.
In the first reason, according to Sahadi, while slacking off is always a concern for managers, it’s no more likely to happen at home than in the office. “No manager stands over a worker in the office for 8 hours a day to make sure he’s working,” said Rose Stanley, a senior practice leader for WorldatWork, a human resources association.
No manager stands over a worker in the office for 8 hours a day to make sure he’s working. What’s more, much of it is done virtually — even when someone is in the office.
Email and IM’ing are the norm, even when managers are close in proximity to their staff. Furthermore, technology allows workers to work remotely.
In the second reason, Sahadi says that “Assuming telecommuters have the right equipment and space to work from home efficiently, productivity loss isn’t an issue.” I agree. Working remotely with the right technology allows the worker to put in more time than in the office, be available more to the staff, and be more productive.
Now there are benefits to workers coming into the office. The face-to-face encounter is a very valuable tool between those that are allowed to work from home and those that are not.
In the last reason, Sahadi states that “Most employers today probably think they wouldn’t thrive if everyone works off-site all the time. That is not true. “Workers who have the option to telecommute one to two days a week have higher levels of employee engagement than colleagues who hoof it to the office every day.”
In my personal experience, working from home was very valuable and allowed me to keep in touch with my staff like I was in the office. I responded quickly to assist my staff and internal clients, forwarded my office phone calls to my cell, and diligently worked on projects in peace and quiet – not getting interrupted all the time.
Why does it matter where you are? Great leaders can be great from anywhere.
In conclusion, work-life balance is an important part of employees working remotely at least half the time. Employers that think working from home is less productive and find other reasons not to allow their employees to work from home are just afraid to change their old habits. If you’re one of the lucky ones that can work remotely, count your blessings.