Are you finding it difficult to acquire and retain qualified employees? Would you like to expand your business operations without incurring the increased expense of more office space? Is the bulk of your business’ work performed at a desk and on a computer?
If so, implementing a structured Work-From-Home (WFH) program may help you expand your operations while minimizing additional costs and externalities.
Transportation costs, land boundaries, and physical disabilities are just a few of the impediments that can instantly disqualify many otherwise perfect candidates for a job. Instituting a WFH program can instantly eliminate these superfluous barriers to entry and widen your talent pool greatly. The commute an employee makes to and from work each day adds no value to their work product and worse yet, can be a taxing strain on their life. Typically, there is no real return on this investment of time. Eliminating this futile task can create an opportunity to recapture that time and transition it into something productive, as well as eliminating the commensurate aggravation one’s commute also often brings.
By being able to offer the increased flexibility that WFH affords, employers can tip the scales of their employee’s work-life balance, thereby creating dynamic situations that optimize their performance and productivity. Contented employees produce better results and achieve maximum impact. Allowing flexibility of work hours to be outside of a traditional 8 a.m.-5 p.m. working period means a gross decrease in working time missed for simple daytime tasks such as important personal phone calls, doctor appointments, child drop-off/pick-up, and much more. Instead of leaving work early (or arriving late) which results in an absolute loss of productive time, the employee can simply choose to extend their workday to earlier or later to compensate for those hours.
For a WFH program to be successful, employers must support, encourage, and engage remote employees often. It is all too easy to allow employees to become out of sight and therefore out of mind. Just as in traditional office settings, WFH success still depends on employers fostering a professional, encouraging, and engaging workplace culture. This is made possible via the use of modern tools such as email, video conferencing, instant messaging applications, etc. but is not specifically limited to workplace interactions. It is also crucial to foster synergy and goodwill amongst all employees with the addition of non-working social engagements such as workplace-appropriate games, virtual happy hour, and employee retreats. If your business is able to accommodate a WFH program, the benefits will be numerous, as this type of strategic advantage can increase employees’ efficiency and their yield.
A WFH role is not a one-size-fits-all solution and success within that role does not happen in a vacuum. It requires an increased level of trust between employer and employee which is united by mutually understood expectations and clear boundaries. Ideal candidates for this type of role are highly autonomous, have a strong sense of realism and commitment to duty, and are well-versed in the type of work they will be routinely performing.
If you are interested in more information about how to structure and implement a successful WFH program within your particular company, contact BS&P’s CHRO Caroline Organ at CMO@bspcpa.com.
Written by: Danielle Demar, Senior Accountant