4 Reasons Why You Need to Let Your Employees Work From Home
Show your team members that you trust them and give them some extra time each day to do whatever they want.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Considering it's supposed to be where work gets done, it's surprising that the office can be a pretty unproductive place. In a 2015 FlexJobs survey of 2,600 employees, 76 percent said that when they need to do important tasks, they would prefer to do them out of the office.
For many employees, there are just too many distractions in the workplace. After all, there are no gossiping co-workers to worry about at home.
Increased productivity isn't the only thing employees like about working from home. In a 2014 Staples survey, the top benefits of telecommuting listed by remote workers were better work-life balance (74 percent), savings in travel costs (69 percent) and green benefits (47 percent).
Related: 6 Best Practices for Working From Home
This is all great for employees -- but what about the company as a whole? Here are four ways companies and employers benefit from offering flexible work arrangements.
1. Easier recruiting
In a 2015 Indeed survey of more than 2,200 job seekers, 51 percent of respondents said flexible work arrangements were a top reason they were interested in a new job. Given the trouble many companies are having attracting talent, that's a compelling reason to start offering a work-from-home option to employees.
Allowing its employees to work from home tells job seekers a lot about a company. Job candidates can be more confident that the company will value and respect their home lives. Whether the candidate has a family, pets or an active social life, cutting out a commute to work gives them more time to spend how they wish.
2. A more helpful workforce
Believe it or not, employees who work from home are actually more helpful to their co-workers. In a 2015 study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers found that remote workers try to be good work citizens and go above and beyond to help their colleagues.
While the psychology behind this isn't clear, it's possible that telecommuters are trying to justify their choice to work from home. These types of employees want to prove that they are still a valuable member of the team and, therefore, offer more help and support to their co-workers.
Related: 13 Things I Learned Working Years in My Pajamas
3. Better employer/ employee relationships
Trust is important in any relationship, but a lack of confidence between employers and employees can have negative side effects. A 2014 BambooHR survey of more than 1,000 American employees found that having a distrusting boss was one of the top five job deal breakers.
Giving employees more flexible work arrangements shows employees that their employer has faith in them. It takes a high level of assurance for bosses and employers to allow their employees to work from home. In addition to taking the chance that telecommuters won't do the work they're supposed to, companies also risk compromising important documents when they are accessed out of the office.
If, in spite of these uncertainties, an employer still allows their employees to work from home, it proves they trust the employees and strengthens the employer/employee relationship.
4. Increased employee retention
It seems counterintuitive, but employees are actually more loyal to employers they spend less time with. In the aforementioned FlexJobs survey, 82 percent of responding employees said they would be more loyal to their current employer if they had flexible work arrangements.
If employee retention is an issue at a company, one of the factors might be that employees aren't given the freedom to work when and where they want. Since working remotely improves everything from employees' work-life balance to their stress levels, allowing them to work from home can improve job satisfaction in multiple ways. And having happy employees means having higher employee retention.
What other benefits can employers see by offering flexible work arrangements to their employees?