Kinnaird: The (dis)advantages of working from home

Recently a business friend asked about my work from home experience. Her company has started having some conversations about the feasibility of allowing some employees to do so. I’ve worked from home for almost 20 years, both as a corporate employee and as a business owner, so I had some thoughts on the subject. Plus, my husband has worked from home for over 30 years.

Studies have shown that working from home would be the biggest perk for a job. Flexibility of schedule is probably the main reason why and people will likely work longer hours and be more loyal given the opportunity to work from home. You can start early, work in your pj’s, work late into the evening and take time off when you need to during the day.

“LCI"

Flexibility has its drawbacks, too. It’s easy for work to spill over into your family time. And while you can start a load of laundry whenever you choose, be careful not to focus on home more than work. It does require a certain level of discipline. Also, it’s lonely working from home. There’s no one to go to lunch with or chat with around the water cooler. But neither are you distracted by a co-worker stopping by to ask about the weekend. It may just be a neighbor or family member who thinks you aren’t working!

Another worker advantage is no commute time and less money spent on gas. And if you work from home, it doesn’t matter where you live, so you could potentially work for a company located anywhere. And a company could hire the best candidate no matter where they lived.

Employers end up with happier, more loyal employees who are more productive when they work from home. Plus, they find that people often work on days they might have stayed home sick. Expenses go down and there are fewer unproductive meetings.

There are multiple ways to allow employees to work from home. It could be everyone, every day. Or just some employees, or some employees, some days. It may not work for your company. In fact, we’ve all heard stories of companies who famously stopped their work-from-home policy. But here in our region, more businesses should consider, and even pilot it.

Amy Kinnaird is one of Louisiana’s most respected C-Level business strategists and a popular professional speaker. She specializes in helping leaders and staff become more productive, resulting in a more lucrative workplace. You can reach Amy via email at Amy@AmyKinnaird.com.