The votes have been tallied and the people have spoken – when it comes to working from home, a vast majority of people would prefer to be homebodies…in the professional sense, of course. Our recent Twitter polled asked whether people would rather work remotely or in a physical office if given the choice. A whopping 71% chose remotely, proving that WFH policies are what employees are craving.
We took a look under the hood at the conversation this poll sparked and saw a recurring line of dialogue: ideally, people would like a flexible WFH policy that offers them the choice of working either in the office or remotely in order to maximize their own productivity and strike a better work/life balance. Like yoga or a contortionist’s career, the key to a successful WFH policy seems to be flexibility. Let’s take a look at three reasons a flexible WFH policy results in happier employees.
- WFH Frees Up an Employee’s Schedule
Think about all that goes into one’s morning routine before work. The struggle starts once your morning alarm goes off. If you’re disciplined, you hop right up and start getting ready for work (showering, dressing, packing a lunch, taking care of a few chores, etc.). If you’re a parent, you might have to spend extra time helping your family get ready for the day. Once you’re finally ready, you still have to commute to work. If you’re lucky, this entire process may take you only an hour or so. But for most people, this is a significant part of their day.
All of these time-consuming, pre-work rituals are pretty much non-factors when employees can work from home. The lack of stress from avoiding a morning (and evening) commute and routine will lighten the burden for many people, leaving them invigorated and more eager to start work and potentially get more done now that they have all of that time back. It also helps employees strike a better work/life balance as well. Plus, who isn’t content with working on their couch in sweats?
- WFH Inspires Employee Productivity and Motivation
All that free time that falls back into an employee’s lap when working from home normally leads to a more productive and motivated employee. A Harvard Business Review article references a Stanford study that found employees who work from home are 13% more productive than their office working counterparts. This influx in productivity is in large part due to circumventing cumbersome or time-wasting practices that fester in an office environment, such as pointless meetings or office drama.
Additionally, the good will that comes from showing your employees you trust them enough to let them work from home will only further motivate them to deliver stellar results. This belief in their ability to meet their professional duties while working from home will result in stronger employee loyalty. An employee that is more productive, motivated and loyal, while performing well above their capacity, is an overall happier employee, especially when this results in greater ROI for a company and that employee is rightfully acknowledged and rewarded for their efforts.
- WFH Empowers Employees
Creating an employee experience that fosters their happiness and development should be top of mind for all companies. A happy employee is an empowered employee, and that’s exactly what a flexible work from home policy can achieve. Many people can get burned out with coming into an office every day, especially when they’re sick or overworked but still feel pressured to be physically present. A flexible work from home policy strips away that burden and actually results in employees taking fewer sick and vacation days.
By empowering employees to make the call that working from home might be the best option for them on a given day, a company is gifting them with a freedom of choice that goes a long way in fostering job satisfaction and happiness. They have the flexibility to manage their day and time how they see fit, which normally results in employees feeling more recharged, burning out a lot less and actually working more on a day-to-day basis. This ability to take control of a working style suited best for the individual is a crucial aspect in fostering employee happiness.