Does Working from Home Turn an Employee into a Deranged Psychotic?
Thanks to cloud computing technology, many businesses are taking advantage of having a mobile workforce by allowing their staff to work from home. Working from home can be beneficial by making workers more productive, saving employees' time and money from commuting, and increasing worker satisfaction, but how can you know for sure if work is really getting done?
Around the office, employees put their best foot forward because they know you are watching their every move, or at the very least, you may walk into the room at any moment. Your presence provides workers the extra motivation to dress up, take a shower, refrain from using explicit language, cooperate with others, and even make extra efforts to do quality work. After all, you're the one with the final say on whether or not they will get a raise. Therefore, you need to be prepared for an onslaught of flattery and know the difference between character and sucking up.
One of the challenging things about being a manager is that it's difficult to tell whether the hardworking side of an employee shows in the office is their true self or not. Home is a completely different arena for an employee. Home is a place where workers unwind, not have to answer to anybody, and can just be themselves. In fact, when surrounded by the comforts of home, a normal and hardworking employee has been shown to transform into a completely different person, unrecognizable by people that know them the best. Here is a short report by The Onion featuring a case study of what this transformation looks like:
The question then becomes, "Do you really want an employee that's transformed by their surroundings into a 'deranged psychotic' working on an important project for your company?" Without your direct supervision, an employee may feel completely free to let go of all inhibitions and wind up participating in a video conference in their Underoos, or having their cat sign off on a report. While nobody likes getting out of bed and going to the office, it seems like this is a necessary evil that keeps workers sane and motivated.
In all seriousness, working from home is being frowned upon by more companies, despite the fact that cloud computing technology makes working from home incredibly convenient. For example, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pulled the plug on allowing her employee's to work from home last February. This move made headlines because web companies like Yahoo are known for their flexibility. Mayer explained the reasoning behind the work-from-home ban at a recent conference. "People are more productive when they're alone, but they're more collaborative and innovative when they're together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together."
Having to choose between productivity and innovation is a tough call for any business owner, and ultimately, allowing (or not allowing) your employees to work from home comes down to which benefit your company is in need of the most.
Trust is another big factor that you will want to take into consideration when deciding if an employee has what it takes to be productive in the distracting comforts of their own home. Remember, just because an employee is an excellent worker around the office, doesn't necessarily mean they can perform like this without a chance at a raise hovering over their shoulder. You will have to cut through the workplace facade and really get to know an employee before deciding if they are work-from-home material or not.
If you do decide that productivity is what your company needs the most right now, and you want to set your business up so that employees can access your company's network from their home via the cloud, then call Integrated Business Technologies at (918) 770-8738. We can provide you with several helpful solutions like VoIP that will let your employees take advantage of video conferencing, instant messaging, and free long distance phone calls so that it will feel like they're still in the office.