Happier, less stressed, and more productive, the employee who chooses to work remotely is also doing a great service to the company that employs him. If it particularly appeals to the “Millenials” born with a smartphone between their teeth, it is likely to suit all who are not afraid of the absence of a framework and fixed schedules. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the reasons why you should work from home.
1. Telecommuting: good for productivity
All the studies show it: telecommuting is good for productivity. First of all, it avoids a lot of stress and wasted time in the morning commute. Employees can work earlier, save time, and gain autonomy. It also allows them not to be constantly disturbed in their work by co-workers, sometimes useless meetings, and all the unforeseen events of office life.
And it also allows employees to better manage their private/work-life balance. For example, when you telework and save 30 minutes or even 1 hour of travel time, you can take advantage of it to do a sport session before work and be more in shape. Or to take care of your children or daily life problems. This reduces stress and allows the employee to be more focused on his work.
As a manager, it is sometimes complicated to consider telecommuting for your employees: how to know if they really work, how to communicate, and what team cohesion to put in place? How to manage from a distance, and how to be sure that the work is done? First of all, you should know that these concerns are usually unfounded. According to various studies on the subject, most employees who telework spend more time on their work than when they go to the office.
They are also more efficient (10-15% more productive, according to studies), and most managers who have implemented telework are ultimately very satisfied with the results. For telework to be implemented efficiently, there are more and more tools. First of all, to communicate in real-time with one’s collaborators, even from a distance, digital technology offers us all that is necessary.
We can use an instant messaging tool (Slack, Google Hangout, Skype) or an internal company network. Even meetings can now be done remotely: all you need is an internet connection and a webcam. Regarding the control of work efficiency, there is no fundamental difference between telecommuting and working in a company.
A manager can use the same management techniques; just do it remotely. Above all, teleworking is not (most of the time) intended to be permanent. Most employees would be satisfied with teleworking one or two days a week. A study conducted by the MEDEF shows that 85% of the employers implementing telework have found the experience positive for their company.
2. Telework strengthens the links between the employee and the company
Paradoxically, telework is a good way to recreate trust between employees and their company. One might think that allowing employees to work from home would hinder their integration into the team and put distance between them and managers and the corporate culture. But in fact, the opposite is true: several studies have also shown that telecommuting improves employee engagement, motivation, and loyalty to the company.
This is especially true among younger workers: surveys show that most millennials prefer a telecommuting company to a big salary. So having a telecommuting and flexible work policy helps to meet employee expectations and improve employee engagement and integration into the company. It’s a win-win situation. Too often in “old school” management, the relationship between the employee and the manager is one of mutual distrust, where everyone suspects each other of doing something wrong.
Telework, by definition, forces us to redefine management based on mutual trust. As a manager, it takes trust to let an employee work from home and for the employee to respect that trust (otherwise, the experiment will quickly end). The key to building this mutual trust and taking this risk is co-constructing the telework process.
It is not enough to say to your employees, “you can telework”. You have to define the modalities together: how to communicate? How often? With which tools? How to report on your work? At first, you have to know how to give yourself a precise process to build trust. Then things can happen more naturally if things go well.
3. Telework makes the company more modern and innovative
Telecommuting is one of the best ways to attract young talent today. Surveys show that most highly qualified young people are willing to sacrifice their salary for a company that offers flexible hours and telecommuting. So by doing so, you can ensure that you are attracting the best and brightest innovative talent. Plus, telecommuting is in the zeitgeist: the 2017 labor code laws have made it easier to adopt, and they encourage it.
The legislation has been going for a few years in the direction of a relaxation of the conditions of access to telework, and all the companies are interested in taking this constraint upstream and being proactive. They will then be ahead of their competitors. The key is to experiment! Try, even if it means making mistakes. Depending on its culture and the culture of its managers and employees, each company will probably have a different way of implementing telework, with different digital tools and management tools. It is the only way to find what works.
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