By Rebecca Tann, vice president of marketing for Regus
Recently, I did something quite common the office these days: I worked from home, d a few other locations in a single week. I consider myself part of the modern and connected workforce who no longer relies on one location to be productive, and it’s something that business owners are picking up on. Giving workers the freedom to work from a mix of locations is having a positive impact on business productivity and employee morale. The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm what many believe is an irreversible trend benefitting today’s professionals.
Now more than ever before, people are working from home. A growing acceptance of remote working stretches across all types of businesses— from Fortune 500 companies to startups. According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, roughly 10 percent of workers (approximately 13.4 million people) worked from home at least some of the time last year. Further examination shows “mixed” workers—individuals who divide their time between home and work—have the highest median household incomes compared to household incomes of workers who are always at home or always working on site.
Going forward, how can companies and employees continue to evolve in a world that is increasingly becoming more mobile? As the largest provider of flexible workspaces, Regus helps businesses transition to a more mobile reality by providing guidance on how to work smarter, better and more efficiently. As businesses look to trim property costs and maximize the output of their workers, here are some things to consider before sending your workers home:
- Be Mindful of Isolation: Working from home all the time can be a constraining experience for some workers and may impede work-life balance, as people will feel compelled to be available around the clock. In lieu of being at home, give workers the option of accessing a flexible work environment close to where they live. In this setting, they will be surrounded by other professionals and will have the opportunity to collaborate, network and interact with other likeminded individuals.
- Professional Presence is Necessary: Particularly for start- ups, working from home is usually the first step toward growing a business when money and credit are tight. However, it’s not the right place for client meetings. We have a client who runs a successful consulting firm and has worked from home for more than 10 years. She also has a virtual office and uses a Regus location when she needs to meet with clients. As a virtual office customer, she can access a secure space for meetings when she needs it, but isn’t committed to a long-term property agreement. Having a professional business address provides credibility, and that is absent among home-based businesses.
- Access to Business Support: One of the perks employees enjoy by working from home is greater control over their work day. The downside is that they don’t have immediate access to resources typically available in an office. Administrative support and a separate place for meetings are among the challenges of home workers. Home distractions can also become an issue. Children, pets and unexpected visitors can detract from get- ting work done. Flexible space fills the need for today’s mixed workforce. Mobile working is on the rise and most traditional offices are stuck in an outdated model that’s not equipped to meet their needs. A number of our clients start in one location and then tap into our network of business centers to scale up their business.
The days of working “9 to 5” in an office or strictly working from home are over. Keeping these tips in mind, workers can be productive no matter where business takes them.