I’ll be completely honest with you—I’m at work right now.
And while some of my caveman ancestors probably made their living bum-rushing mastodons off a cliff, part of my job is to write blogs in an office.
The point is this: from where I’m sitting, working at home sounds pretty great. And I’m sure you agree.
The question is: how do you convince your boss to let you work from home?
Here’s a few reasons I’ve come up with. And while I’m waiting for “my moment,” there’s no reason you shouldn’t march into your boss’s office right now plop this blog down on their desk.
What you do is more important than where you do it
Not all jobs work well with telecommuting. I mean, a plumber is probably going to need to be at the job site to work their magic properly. But if your job entails work done mostly on the computer then there is a pretty good chance that it could be done remotely.
So let’s say you have a job where you’re online already. Why should the boss let you work from home? Well a lot of studies have been done and the consensus seems to be that a home-based worker is often an effective worker.
Why? Because telecommuting employees feel that they have a greater level of autonomy when it comes to establishing their workflow patterns. Every person is unique and functions best when they can fit their jobs to their particular strengths.
Another employer-based benefit of working from home is that absentee rates plummet.
You'll have a hard time selling the old “I'm snowed in” excuse when you’re working out of your home-office.
You’re an adult, gosh-darn-it!
Nobody here is advocating for child-laborers to work from home. They should be in school!
But for adult would-be-telecommuters, the main reservations that a lot of employers might have about allowing employees to work from home are pretty weak.
Is someone watching you every second of every day? I certainly hope not. But despite not being under constant scrutiny, you somehow manage to do your job. Why kind of witchery is that?
It probably has something to do with the fact that you’re an adult, and probably have been for some time. You know what you need to do and, more importantly, you know how you need to do it.
And while an employer might imagine that home-based employees will be playing video games and building forts from pizza boxes, the truth is that the productivity rates actually increase when an employee telecommutes.
The workplace is full of people and the more people that are around, the more likely you are to be distracted. If you’ve ever worked in an office, I’m sure that you’re familiar with the concept of a “fly-by.” Those bizarre conversations that begin by discussing quarter-to-quarter sales growth before wildly derailing into huge plot spoilers for HBO’s “The Wire.”
A happy employee is a good employee
Some people love the fast paced environment of their workplace and they like having a clear, physical barrier between their work-life and their home-life. Some people don’t.
There’s never going to be a one size fits all solution to keeping your employees happy, but flexibility seems to be key to preventing employee turnover. And employee turnover is a huge drain on a workplace in terms of morale, productivity, and profit margins.
Even offering the possibility of telecommuting to employees might have positive effects. Kind of like knowing there are donuts in the kitchen—you might not eat one, but it’s the thought that counts. Some workplaces have found a lot of success with offering employees the opportunity to work from home for certain days of the week.
The important thing is that flexibility ensures that a company will always be at the top of the list for the best talent in their industry.