There is a stigma around asking employers to work from home. This could be because of the assumptions about the impact of company culture or morale, but it could also be due to the alleged notion that an employee wants to work from home so they can slack off or lower their accountability. On both accounts, nothing could be further from the truth.
The benefits for the employees are numerous and most are well documented including child care, parental care, working on your own time, working from anywhere, saving money, mitigated commuting, and various other perks.
A few benefits are a bit more refined such as access to medical care. For example, doctors offices are open only during business hours which restricts availability for most people working the standard 9-5 job. Women can be significantly more likely to request reduced hours or even part time work to be with their children. In the past, this has reflected badly on the gender (think “women pick kids over careers” stereotype), so the ability to work flexibly leads to improved gender equity.
With the aforementioned examples, a flexible working arrangement seems like a slam dunk for the employees. Does it not? But one question remains: what’s in it for the employer?
First of all, employees that work a more flexible schedule (one day a month or more from home) are happier and have higher retention rates than those who do not have flexible work arrangements. This in itself is a win for the organization, as the cost of turnover is high and competition for great employees is increasingly difficult.
A big, underrated aspect of hiring remote workers is that an organization can cast a significantly wider net than they otherwise would have available to them. Finding a specific set of skills can be difficult when a recruiter is confined to the 30 mile radius around their organization. Additionally, it is important to note that times have changed in regards to relocating for work. In the 1980's, 33% of job seekers were willing to relocate. However, in 2018, that number is down to 10%. It seems that working remotely can help organizations combat this statistic.
Lastly, research shows that employees work harder for longer periods of time when they work remotely.
In conclusion, it's a win-win!
Thanks for reading,
Requesting Balance: Promoting Flexible work Arrangements with Procedural Right to Request Statues