As many employers know, it’s getting harder and harder to sift through the hundreds of applicants applying for a single job opening. Few employees stand out from the crowd, and the larger selection of sub-par leads draw many recruiters to the same conclusion: the chances of finding someone stellar for the sought position are close to zero.
However, I’d like to propose a new way for potential employees to stand out: offering the perk to work from home. What was once taboo is now quite common thanks to advances in computer, phone and mobile technologies. There are a slew of reasons why working at home is attractive for an employer, and this list rounds out just the top ten of them.
10. Reduced operational costs. Imagine if 75% of your workforce was allowed to work remotely on the same projects they currently support. The result would be an office that was a quarter of its former size, greatly lowering electricity, telecommunications, water and heating/cooling bills. Plus, as a trade-off for working remotely, employees would be expected to supply their own telecommunications service and devices as well as office supplies.
9. Greater national coverage. If you have an employee working in Kalamazoo, Michigan, you now technically have an office there. Multiply that by 100 or more employees and suddenly, you have someone located near every potential market you might want to reach. Your sales territory becomes virtually unlimited.
8. Automatic increase in employee morale. Ask any employee who has to make a long commute through congested streets and bad weather what one of the perks to working at home would be. Dressing more casually, eliminating the commute and not having to interact in-person with unsavory coworkers might top his or her list. Employee morale skyrockets without any investment, as long as communications and proper supervisory controls are in place.
7. Decrease in personal days used. Calling out sick will become a thing of the past as employees work more diligently and without interruptions from their homes. Of course, vacations and personal time will inevitably be used–however, the chances of someone calling out sick every other Friday are instantly reduced since there’s less of a reason to avoid the workday routine. Tied right in with that is…
6. An incentive to go above and beyond. When you don’t face your supervisor on a day-to-day basis, you tend to want to make your achievements stand out all the more. Plus, it’s easy to log in fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, work through lunch and log in during the evenings and weekends. Employees show off their value, and companies benefit from their increased drive to go above and beyond.
5. 24/7 on-call availability. With an office just down the hall, it’s easy to jump into the action at any time and handle a crisis as it arises. And it’s a lot easier than asking an employee to get up, drive 30 minutes to the office at 2:00AM and function professionally.
4. Reduction in office idle time. Without face-to-face meetings at the water cooler, office idle time drastically drops off to the point where it’s nonexistent. Sure, there’s always the possibility that someone will take advantage of their at-home position to get caught up on soap operas, but with the proper management procedures and performance reviews in place, this can be quelled before it becomes a problematic habit.
3. Bolstered external company image. Look at some of the top companies to work at in the United States. Google is one that shines–and it has a very attractive remote work option in its employee offerings, among many other wonderful perks. Typically, companies that offer work-from-home positions are lauded in the press and can sail on a wave of good PR for quite some time. Plus, it attracts the best and the brightest to consider working at your company.
2. Greater candidate selection. Why limit your candidate search to something as silly as geography? With remote workers, any qualified job seekers from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine can apply for your position. This is especially crucial in rural areas that lack a nearby metropolis.
1. Placement ahead of the trend. Like it or not, working at home has a big future in the corporate world thanks to strong telecommunications. By swinging ahead of the curve, you show that you are savvy to human resources trends and that your company is a tried and true innovative leader.
Does your company offer remote positions? What have been some of the successes and pitfalls that you’ve run into? Share with a comment below!