Many employers still think working from home, which is more accurately termed mobile working, will lead to a loss of control over their employee’s behaviour and productivity.
Quite frankly, if you feel like you can’t trust your employees to work without your physical supervision, you’ve got bigger problems.
Creating a culture of productivity and enabling your employees to operate with autonomy and respect will do far more for your business than forcing them to be in the office every day.
But many employers won’t embrace the option because they’ll lose a false sense of control, and employees are too afraid to ask because they don’t want to be in the boss’s bad books.
However, a recent Stanford study showed that working from home led to a 13% performance increase, fewer sick days, more job satisfaction and higher retention of staff.
There are so many myths around mobile working – ‘I’ll be taken advantage of, I’ll lose control of productivity’ – that some businesses are legitimately costing themselves money by not embracing it.
If you think mobile working could be right for you as an employer or employee, it’s worth considering the many potential benefits:
- Productivity: While mobile working is still a growing trend, several early studies have found workers to be more productive while working from home or out of the office.
- It’s more flexible: Whether you’re a working parent who needs to do the school run in the mid-afternoon or your job involves a range of travel, mobile working gives you geographical independence and the ability to break the constraints of the 9-5 grind.
- Autonomy leads to better decisions: Employees who feel like they have the trust and respect of their employer will be more likely to make good decisions and meet deadlines. That leads to improved employee retention
- Eliminates travel time: Less commuting means less wasted time in a day, less congestion on public transport and less time to yourself.
- Reduces overheads:
- Having a mobile workforce means you’re less likely to need huge amounts of office space, which is one of the biggest expenses businesses have. Less overheads = more profit.
And the knocks against working from home often don’t hold water, like the myth that there are more distractions at home.
We’ve all seen people in office environments take their third coffee break, or have a long conversation in the kitchen, or simply be distracted by social media on their phone. Distraction isn’t a mobile working problem, it’s a human problem.
Productivity comes from results, and the business needs to set their standards clearly so employees meet them no matter where they’re working from.
In the end, establishing a culture where standards are clearly set and met is the most important thing, wherever you work. But if you do that, it means than mobile working can help improve morale, productivity and workflow.
Jamie Cunningham is a Business Performance Coach at SalesUp! and an international speaker on business issues.