Working from Home

Working from home has become a norm for many businesses. Almost everyone is able to access high-speed internet connections at home. The cost of maintaining a large office space can be crippling. The means of communicating with your workers are varied. In the modern age, some companies think that there is little need to have workers centered in the office from 9am to 5pm. With the growth of the gig economy, remote working is becoming even more common. Freelancers are finding employment through a range of online job postings, and working from a location of their choosing. In the modern age of telecommunications, an employee can be located anywhere in the world.


Working from home, or telecommuting, as those in the industry calls it, has been attractive to employers. A major overhead for many companies is office space. Ensuring that a worker has access to a desk and chair does not come cheap. Added to this is factors such as parking spaces, canteen staff, and other expenses. These can all be significantly reduced if an employee chooses to work from home. 10% of American workers work from home at least one day a week. The number of people exclusively working from home in 2010 was 6.6%, up from 4.8% a decade earlier.

The attractiveness for employees is also clear. Working from home eliminates a morning and evening commute, which can be torturous. The need to wear office attire is no longer a necessity. It can also offer greater flexibility around childcare or other daily activities.

Employer Problems

However, employers have discovered that this has become a double-edged sword. Some employers found that their employees were taking advantage of the flexibility of this working arrangement. Employees were not communicating with each other or with management throughout the day. Others were taking part in other activities during hours that they were supposed to be working. Having people work remotely has also had an effect on the team aspect of a workplace. In order to create cohesiveness, workers need to interact on a regular basis. Those who worked outside of the office space also found that they were overlooked for promotions. In effect, they were ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Several companies have now begun to pull their workers back into the office. IBM recently told 2,000 of its workers in the United States that they were no longer able to work from home. They hope that bringing people back together will lead to more productive and creative workers. Yahoo ordered its employees back to the office in 2013 when Marissa Mayer took over the company.

Employee Expectations

Nonetheless, workers have become accustomed to the option of working from home. A recent survey by MRINetwork, an international recruitment agency, discovered that candidates still expect a working from home option as part of a job offer. The study found that in the United States, 68% of recruiters and 53%  of employers state candidates expect to work remotely somewhat often to very often. It also found that over half of surveyed candidates say that having a work from home option is somewhat to extremely important as they consider a new job. The recruitment agency believes that companies refusing the option of remote working could be losing out in finding the top talent. In-demand candidates have choices, and companies which offer more flexibility will be more attractive to potential workers.

Companies will have to determine a policy which suits their needs best. As more companies believe in bringing workers back into an office atmosphere, they will have to be conscious of employee habits. An increasing number of young people are working in the gig economy. They take on roles in a remote environment. In order to attract the best talent emerging in the market, companies will have to be willing to facilitate the working habits of a new generation.

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