As global economies shut down in 2020 many of us have been enjoying working from home (WFH) for the first time. With circuit breaker and lock down measures easing over the coming months offices will be reopening, but that doesn’t mean things have to go back to exactly as they were. Twitter have announced that employees can WFH forever whilst Mastercard say employees in Singapore can WFH until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.
Here are 10 reasons to keep working from home after the circuit breaker:
- Improved productivity
Less time commuting means more hours dedicated to work. Eliminating a 45 minute commute gives an extra 360 hours or 45 working days a year. How not to be more productive?
- Better health
Stress is a killer and commuting is a major cause of stress. Improved health leads to more energy and less sick days.
- Improved communication
Over the last few weeks many have found that WFH communication can be more effective. By focusing on what is most important less can be more. Virtual meetings are more likely to start on time and less likely to drag on. Regular catch ups can be scheduled. Important communications put in writing.
- Employees can be easier to manage
Somewhat counter-intuitively WFH can make employees easier to manage. How so? WFH management necessitates focusing on results rather than time spent. Let your team know what is expected and by when and they deliver. For many it can be easier to manage someone remotely than it is sitting next to them all day in an open plan office.
- Less office politics
Remove the office remove office politics? If only it were so simple. But for most WFH means more focus on work and less on politics, showing face, and self promotion.
- Access to talent
Imagine being able to hire the best person for your team without having to worry about work permits or location. Difficult to attract people to your office HQ in Changi? With WFH now you can hire the right talent whether they are from JB, Manila or Choa Chu Kang.
- Access to opportunity
No longer do you need to relocate for that regional role. Having access to more career opportunities can only improve your career trajectory.
- Reduce costs
WFH companies can operate with less office space, office snacks and office supplies. For many rent has been the second largest operating expense after staff costs so WFH significantly reduces costs and improves the bottom line.
- Employees are less likely to quit
Difficult work location, change in life circumstances (moving house, getting married, new baby etc), negative office environment. Some of the most common reasons employees quit can be largely eliminated with WFH. As long as you pay people what they are worth, give them challenging work and provide career development opportunities the chances are most of your team will want to stay.
- It doesn’t have to be one or the other
As business returns to a new normal and more work places are allowed to open up more companies are expected to combine WFH and office work with more options for employees and managers to choose. Most of the benefits listed here still apply and can be amplified when combined with the relationship building opportunities in and around the office. The question being discussed at the C-level in many companies now is how to identify and implement the right blend to get the best benefits of WFH and the benefits of office work.