With the current state of emergency in the United States, many employees have been working from home during the past few months. This has enabled companies to continue functioning while keeping their employees safe. What is the future of working from home, and how can it benefit companies?
On average, the rate of working from home has grown by about 10% per year over the past ten years. In 2017, it was found that 43% of employees work from home at least some of the time. Full-time employees are much more likely to have the ability to work from home as compared to part-time employees.
The financial benefits to companies that allow employees to work from home are numerous. For one, the employees will have higher job satisfaction if they are able to perform the job in the comfort of their home. They will also spend more time working, as they will not have to factor in commute time.
Having employees not in the office on certain days of the week will allow for some flexibility with that space. Sharing office spaces is common, as two companies could split the cost of the same area. The same goes for office expenses such as supplies, coffee, and snacks.
Saving on utility costs is also a reason to promote working from home. Having all the computers on in the office every day is a huge cost. If these computers were on for only half the time, for example, the company could save money. This also applies to lights and water.
Employees will also tend to take fewer sick days when they are working from home. If they have a slight cold, they will be able to continue working and not have to worry about spreading their germs to other people at the office. This will save the company from having to pay sick time to workers.
It is likely that the pandemic is the tipping point that will push many companies into permanent working from home arrangements. A likely scenario is that companies will allow employees to work from home two to three days per week. This will give employees a chance to come into the office occasionally for meetings and interactions with colleagues. The remaining days at home will give them plenty of time to focus on getting work done. This prediction does not apply to companies that require employees to be in the office to interact with products or clients in a face-to-face setting.
Currently, the working from home arrangement is a success. The is a certain degree of distraction, as children are home from school and cannot attend any form of childcare. This is cutting the productivity of workers, but many people are working around that. Some employees will wake up early or stay up late at night to finish their assignments. When children are back in school, the productivity rates of working from home employees will skyrocket.