New flexible working regulations mean you now have to seriously consider requests for remote working from all staff who have 26 weeks service at the date the application is made. There are advantages and disadvantages to setting up remote working for your staff.
Advantages of employees working from home
With increasing numbers of employees working at home or using home as a working base for part of the week, it's clear there are a number of benefits for business, such as:
- Improved employee retention - remote working can help retain working parents with childcare responsibilities.
- Possible productivity gains - due to fewer interruptions and less commuting time.
- Increased staff motivation - with reduced stress and sickness levels.
- Financial benefits - savings on office space and other facilities.
- Convenience - ability to locate sales staff near clients rather than in your premises.
- Better work/life balance - employees working from home can lead to improvements in health and well-being.
Disadvantages of employees working from home
There are also some disadvantages to employees working at home, most of these relate to those working from home full time, as opposed to part of the working week:
- Difficulty monitoring performance - there could be difficulty managing remote workers and monitoring their performance.
- Performance issues - possible deterioration in employees' skills and work quality.
- Information security risk - information security problems could be more likely to occur.
- Communication problems - could increase feelings of isolation amongst home workers.
- Decreased staff morale - it can be harder to maintain team spirit when employees are working at different locations.
- Not all jobs suit home working - working from home suits some jobs better than others.
A move towards remote working doesn't mean employees have to work only at home. Splitting time between home and the workplace is often the most productive solution and you may want the homeworker to attend meetings to keep them fully involved and informed.
The technicalities of remote working
While PCs and laptops can remotely work as part of the office, workers often need to use a home or mobile phone to call clients or fellow staff.
There are a few solutions to overcome this.
- An IP handset
- A softphone on a PC or laptop
- An app on a mobile device
All of these solutions can use their home Internet connection and WiFi at no extra ongoing cost.
The alternative is a hosted phone system.
Inbound calls can be re-directed to a home number or mobile. Outbound calls will present the office number rather than a ‘number withheld’ which can prompt a cautionary response or be sent to voicemail. Call costs will be included as part of your office per user monthly payment.
Many companies are migrating to a hosted telephone system to help them initiate efficient home working. There are plenty of other benefits and inclusive features and functions.
For more tips on choosing the correct telephone system for your business, read this article
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to find out more.