Should You Allow Your Team to Work from Home?

The results of the recently released Rogers Connected Workforce report should come as no surprise to anyone who has held a job that demanded 40-plus hours of their time attached to a desk or similar worksite every week. Even if you love what you do, who doesn’t wistfully envision more time spent away from work while still being able to get the job done?

According to the report, one-third of Canadian employees feel so strongly about their desire to work remotely that they would agree to sacrifice part of their salary or benefits in order to do so. And more than half of survey respondents, including both baby boomers and their younger Gen Y counterparts, agree that the latest technology is important to their success – and want the freedom to access it from anywhere.

It presents exciting possibilities for everyone involved. However, employers need to consider the pros and cons involved before moving forward with related policy changes.

Survey Says …

As technological advances continue, employees are increasingly inclined to get out of the office and work from locations where they feel more productive.

  • Flexible hours and the ability to work remotely will become top priorities as job candidates make their choice of employers, according to 59 percent of respondents.
  • Job satisfaction would increase for 47 percent of Canadians if their employers equipped them with up-to-date technology.
  • An impressive 70 percent of baby boomers placed a high level of importance on access to the latest technology. They were closely followed by Gen Y workers at 66 percent.
  • Twenty-three percent of smartphone users who carry two phones reported that they do so because their employers don’t allow them to connect their personal devices to company servers. Yet 54 percent of those who use their own smartphones for professional purposes are okay with their employers enforcing related security policies.
  • Canadians spend most of their workdays using traditional devices such as desktop computers (45 percent) and landline phones (10 percent). But in the future, 40 percent said they would prefer to use laptops, 15 percent expressed a preference for tablets, and 10 percent said they would opt for smartphones as their primary work devices.

Effectively Managing Remote Employees

We live in a world where more and more people are connected 24/7 and the idea of working remotely is second nature.

  • Employers can see when people are logged into their email accounts and have them update files in the Cloud for real-time access.
  • At the touch of a button, you can communicate with remote employees face to face via Skype or Face Time.
  • Employees who work from home are sick less often, happier in their roles, and less likely to look for employment elsewhere. Telecommuting can significantly reduce companies’ real estate expenses.
  • But don’t lose the “human element” of having your team at work. Marissa Mayers, CEO of Yahoo, caused controversy at her company by banning telecommuting. Mayers defended her position by saying that “speed and quality are often sacrificed when working from home. We need to be one Yahoo and that starts with physically being together.”

Will telecommuting work for your business? To help you define best practices for remote work and other business strategies, contact the expert recruiting team at Employment Professionals Canada today.