In America, around 45% of employees work from home and 53 million are freelancers. This contributes $715 billion to the U.S. economy each year.
Despite these figures, there’s still divided opinion of the effectiveness of working at home. Can a team be productive with workers split across different locations? The answer is simple. Yes.
Technology is Key
Thanks to technology, employees can now enjoy the benefits of a virtual office at home. They no longer need to work in the same place or even at the same time. There are now a huge variety of apps for people working outside the office, including team chat applications like Fleep that help make sure everyone’s on the same page. Online document management, chat for teams, wireless internet, video conference calls and VPN networks means we can always stay connected.
Working at Home Means More Productivity
Working at home allows workers to have less distractions and spend more time focused on working. Inevitably this means companies will benefit as their employees are delivering better quality work and faster.
From 2005 to 2012, the number of Americans in work fell. But despite this, America’s telecommuting workforce rose by around 80%. In fact, in 2013, Stanford University carried out a study which determined that employees working at home outperformed office employees. The study also discovered that workers took less breaks and had less time off sick than their office colleagues.
Hiring the Best Talent
By allowing employees to work remotely, organizations can hire the best workforce, while not being limited by where they are based. Employers can attract very talented and skilled workers who prefer more of a freelance, freestyle way of working, but don’t want to source work themselves.
The benefits also extend to the bottom line. After all, by having employees working from home, companies do not have to pay for their computer, electricity and other related costs.
The Future of Working at Home
Companies have finally started to catch up on the working at home trend. Many offer employees the flexibility to work from home, for at least some of the time, if not full-time. This is completely changing the face of working.
Many remote teams have shown that it can work, and shared their tips on how to work in a remote team. However, it may not be for everyone and it does take a certain amount of organization and discipline, not to mention trust from the employer.
But it can save a huge amount of money for companies and be a big boost to a workers’ productivity. There’s no denying too that for employees there are bonuses. It allows them to be able to achieve more of a work life balance and provide more of an enjoyable working life. Working at home is a winner for everyone.
Contribution from freelance writer Jenny Holt. Jenny’s previous experience in business has allowed her to specialize in the sector, although she also enjoys writing about entrepreneurship, leadership and new technology.