Due to the technology available, it is entirely possible to run your business from home, given you have the right equipment and set-up. You need a smartphone, tablet or laptop, along with access to several Apps, conference calls, video chats, VPN networks, wireless Internet; and you will always be connected just as if you were sitting in the office, rather than at home. With software solutions that improve daily workflows and streamline communication, managing a distributed workforce has never been easier.
Executives can take their work around the city as they go from meeting to meeting, or home in the evening. They can carry out these tasks and remain cost-effectively connected with their team or their management thanks to solutions that have made even phoning someone seems cumbersome and old-fashioned. All these solutions are reliant on one key ingredient: a strong and fast internet connection. Without this, mobile working is severely limited.
Since the lockdown due to Covid-19 working from home has become the new normal for most South Africans. It seems that situation is going to be around for a while to come still. Though it might be frustrating at times as we as a social nation might feel isolated, it has highlighted a lot of benefits for both employers and employees.
Some employers have realised that they don’t need to have as much staff on-site as they’ve had prior to the pandemic, this has led to companies, for example, rethinking the size of office space needed, which can lead to significant savings. Research suggests companies that encourage and support a work-from-home protocol save money in the long run, which is a bonus on the employer side. Working from home can limit absenteeism, increase productivity, and save money for employers.
For some companies, working from home has the benefit of more hours in the day seeing as you are not limited to the regular working hours. This can be beneficial for especially small businesses or start-up businesses where they can’t afford to waste precious time in the day.
As an employer, you can assist your employees with their transition to working from home by setting clear boundaries and expectations which includes working hours, projects and meetings that allow them to relax and feel confident in their productivity, and also, finding a mutually agreeable solution for daily or weekly check-ins to eliminate micromanaging.
Another positive about having employees work from home is that you, as an employer, can hire someone that works anywhere in the country and even the world. This enables you to employ the best candidate for the job no matter where they are located.
It has been found that people who work from home have an easier time striking a manageable work/life balance. Not having to spend time commuting to the office, having more time to spend with your family, and practicing healthier eating habits helps you feel less stressed, and that makes for a more productive, happier workday. Studies show that employees who work from home are 20-25% more productive than their office counterparts. Not only are there fewer social distractions, like unnecessary meetings or chats with co-workers, but they have more opportunities to take necessary breaks when needed, which helps with overall performance, motivation and creativity.
Today, it’s not the same as it was years ago that when you left the office work ended. Nowadays, most of us can work at any hour of the day or night, at any location, so it makes sense that the line between work and life starts to blur. But working from home can help redefine—or at least, rebalance that line.