COVID-19 has companies rushing to put together work from home solutions for their employees.Chances are you have already made the switch in your company to allowing employees to work from home, or at least have had executive discussions about it. Not every industry has the luxury of considering this option (thinking about restaurants, construction, truck drivers, and medical practices). But chances are there are at lest a few employees (if not all) in your business that can do their work from home. Right now, keeping people at home is just the smart thing to do.
Although you may be considering this option out of necessity, working remotely might actually be the way of the future. I have many clients who have employees working from home already. Some of my employees work from home on a regular basis. What’s awesome is the technology we have today like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, VoIP phone systems, etc., allows for excellent communication between teams; No matter where people are they can interact with their colleagues.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Working from home is distracting!” However, results from a 2015 study in China suggest that employees who work from home have higher productivity and satisfaction in their jobs.1 For the participants studied, productivity increased 13%, and attrition dropped by 50%. The study also showed no substantial negative results from the work-at-home environment. In fact, 65% of those studied said they were able to get more sleep due to no commute (better sleep = better work output), and 55% were able to spend more time with family.
Cleveland Clinic has found similar success. “Since initiating its work-from-home program,” writes Heidi Peris (2017), “the department has experienced a 13 percent increase in productivity. Leaders credit the improvement to fewer distractions.”2 This number is in line with what we saw in the China study. Peris continues, “The program has added flexibility for staff, improving engagement and satisfaction while reducing turnover and absenteeism. Employees who would otherwise not be able to continue working [due to illness or relocation] now have the option to work from home.”2
Although more studies need to be done, this data indicates working from home can benefit both the employee and the employer. Although right now work-from-home programs are being implemented out of necessity, maybe we will see them continue out of choice in the future.
1Bloom, N., Liang, J., Roberts, J., and Ying, Z. 2015. “Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment.”The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2015), Vol.130(1), p.165-218
2Peris, Heidi. 2017. “Virtual Work Drives Productivity At Cleveland Clinic: A work-from-home program improved employee productivity and engagement while reducing turnover and absenteeism.“ Revenue Cycle Strategist Vol. 14, Issue 9.