Tech giant Yahoo is the major enterprise making headlines regarding its new work-from-home policy, or its new lack of one. However, according to Families and Work Institute’s 2012 National Study of Employers, 63 percent of employers now allow at least some of their employees to work part of their regularly paid hours at home on an occasional basis, up from 34 percent in 2005. Is your company in that 63 percent? If so, then why are you reading this in your cubicle and not at home? Boost your productivity today by getting work done where you need to be, instead of where you’re supposed to be.
How Working from Home Improves Productivity
Okay, we must admit that working from home might make it harder to compartmentalize, to keep work stuff, work stuff and non-work stuff, non-work stuff. After all, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that 26 percent of people who work from home take a nap. However, how much more productive would you be at work if you were allowed to take a 30 minute nap? Compartmentalizing might not be such a bad thing, so consider these X ways that working from home could improve your productivity:
- Working Longer Hours – Yes, even with naps, TV breaks, and cooking dinner, those who work from home tend to work longer hours than those that come to the office every day. A Brigham Young University study analyzed data from IBM employees in 75 countries and found that office workers hit a breaking point at 38 hours per week while workers given the option to telecommute could work 57 hours (two extra days!) before work interfered with family life. Whoa! Make sure to mention this one to your boss if revenue is driven by billable hours.
- Cutting the Commute Time – How awesome would it be if you had an extra 30 minutes or an hour to your day because you didn’t have to commute? How much better would you feel knowing that you didn’t have to get to the office at a certain time? How great would it be to be with your kids in the morning, or to be home for dinner? Your productivity probably improved from that big sigh of relief.
- Fewer Distractions – Think of all the things that happen in the workplace that actually hamper productivity and eat up time i.e. office gossip and politics, needless meetings, excessive chitchatting, eating out. None of that happens at home, making it easier to get things done while having a little extra peace and quiet (which also helps with getting things done).
How to Pitch Working from Home to Your Boss
Some employers might not trust their employees enough to allow them to work from home, or think that putting time in means productivity instead of actually getting things done. If that sounds familiar, then try making some of these arguments to convince him/her to let you work from home, or to allow you to work from home (in case the productivity stuff falls on deaf ears):
- Point out that a work from home option can save the company money in relocation costs, real estate costs, and utility costs. This is a good point to use if you have access to the company’s finances, so you can run the numbers and show the exact savings yourself.
- It’s great for employee retention (and attraction). Ninety percent of job seekers said that flexibility is incredibly important when looking for and considering open positions. If you know of other companies that have a work-from-home policy, mention them, and how great talent could easily go elsewhere if they really want to work from home. Not to mention, employees who worked from home were 50% less likely to leave than their colleagues who stayed in the office.
- It’s weather proof! This might not matter to some employers, but if snow and other severe weather can mean people calling in sick, or the company shutting down for a day or two, then let them know that there aren’t any excuses when you don’t have a commute.
- Offer a compromise by not working from home every day, but perhaps just one or two days a week. This would allow the company to do a test run, to see if working from home really has all the benefits you and others are claiming.
by Allison Midori Reilly