Employees working from home

Advantages and disadvantages of employees working at home

With increasing numbers of employees working at home – or using home as a working base for at least part of the week – it’s clear there’s a number of benefits for business:

  • improved retention of employees – for example, homeworking can help retain working parents with childcare responsibilities
  • a wider pool of applicants from which to recruit – for example, disabled people who may prefer to work from home
  • possible productivity gains through staff having fewer interruptions and less commuting time
  • increased staff motivation with reduced stress and sickness levels
  • savings on office space and other facilities
  • possible location of sales staff near clients rather than being based in your premises

However, there are a number of potential drawbacks:

  • difficulty of managing homeworkers and monitoring performance
  • possible deterioration in employees’ skills and work quality
  • initial costs of training and providing suitable equipment, including adaptations to meet health and safety standards and the needs of disabled employees
  • difficulty of maintaining staff development and upgrading skills
  • risk of information-security problems
  • increased telecommunications costs
  • risk of communication problems and a sense of isolation among homeworkers
  • can be harder to maintain team spirit
  • working from home is unsuitable for certain types of job

A shift towards homeworking doesn’t mean employees have to work only at home. Often splitting time between home and the workplace is the most productive solution and you may want the homeworker to attend meetings to keep them fully involved and informed.

Employees Working from Home – Crown Copyright © 2004-2013
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