As the Northeast continues to experience the biting cold and onslaught of snow, working from home can make life quite a bit easier. This sounds a bit obvious, but many are hesitant about the notion of giving employees that kind of freedom, and as we wait for our next deluge of snow here in New England new survey results reveal that a work from home policy is something worth looking into for the enterprise.
InterCall (News - Alert) is one of the world’s largest conferencing and collaboration service providers. Recently, it surveyed over 200 full-time employees and got feedback on the effect that winter weather has on work attendance, productivity and their experience when working from home.
Of those surveyed, 79 percent stated that due to poor winter whether (ice, snow or cold) they have worked from home—and were more productive. Conference call services like Web conferencing make communication and collaboration with peers as easy as picking up the phone and a few clicks of the mouse. Interestingly, 32 percent of respondents reported a concern about working from home affecting customers or team members, but on the flip side 65 percent believed that the impact from not being in the office would be minimal and may require some slight workflow tweaking.
One reason why working from home has little effect on productivity is email. Email is the favored method of communication (93 percent) and conference calls are second at 71 percent. These methods of communication are things many in business are comfortable with, and typically are leveraged on regular basis regardless of location.
Considering my previous point, 39 percent of respondents felt they are just as productive working from home with 32 percent responding they are more productive from home. The fears of telecommuting are real, but if proper protocol is put in place, and tools like Web conferencing are leveraged the remote work force can spell serious savings and success for the bottom line.
As I have suggested many times before, if you have not done so already it is time to check with the HR department, over half of respondents are either unsure of company policy or their company or one does not exist.
This recent study’s results echo a study done by the Harvard Business Review a couple weeks back. Its purpose was to examine employee turnover and office costs—you can read HBR’s analysis here.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter and plenty of opportunity for more white stuff. Allow conference call services to keep you in the loop, so when the weather is cooperating at least productivity won’t be an issue.
Edited by Alisen Downey