Working from home has never been more popular – at the last count the number of people working remotely was some 4million and rising – and while evidence suggest remote workers are happier and more productive than their office-based contemporaries, we reckon it’s all about getting the balance right.
That’s because even if individual workers are more productive when working from home, the importance of idea generation among colleagues who work and share the same space each should never be underestimated.
Furthermore, people’s predilection for remote working is a relatively new thing, whereas both workers and businesses have got along just fine down the years with the daily nine-to-five.
So it’s important for businesses to weight up the pros and cons working from home before offering it to employees. And the type of business can also play a major part.
Work from home hit or miss
Obviously, there are many jobs out there that simply can’t be done from home – the work from home waitress would never cut it – but there are even cases for and against it across the tech sector.
For instance, while many of the large tech innovators like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have thrived from opening offices across the globe to accommodate an ever-expanding workforce, Automattic, the company behind WordPress, had built its $1billion business by employing around 200 employees who work remotely around the world.
And while each will probably extol the merits of its preferred method of working, the truth is probably somewhere in between. In other words, businesses should embrace the best of both worlds and encourage a culture where employees either work together or alone, whatever the project or situation requires.
The rapid advances in technology means that working from home is more accessible than ever before and so the most productive business will be one that uses the office as the catalyst for collaboration and idea generation and, once the direction has been set, let the workers loose and let technology help them on their way.