Employees Are Eager to Work from Home — Is Your Business Ready?

  • Respondents told us that working from home gives them the flexibility to take care of “daily life,” including chores like starting dinner, more easily. It also gives them more control over when to take care of “non-work” activities, including eating and, if they get tired, taking a break to recharge.
  • Many also find working from home more relaxing, in part because they aren’t commuting as much as an hour to and from work. Not surprisingly, getting back an hour or two in the day relieves a huge burden that they’ve been forced to endure.
  • Interestingly, employees say they like working from home because it’s more comfortable — not having to get “dressed up” is a real advantage and they can sit in their favorite chair or, if they choose, even recline on the sofa while working.
  • Lastly, and good news for employers, many employees self-report that they’re more productive working from home, provided of course they have a suitable workspace.

Key Takeaways for Employers

Employers and employees are in the early stages of transitioning to what is likely to be a protracted and potentially permanent shift to working from home. Processes, policies and support developed for an on-site workforce will need to be updated and adapted to accommodate the needs of the new work from home employee. By viewing employees as “customers,” employers can deliver the support employees need to be successful and productive while WfH.

  1. Since a majority of employees prefer to work from home — some strongly — employers must be prepared to offer the option and be responsive to workers who opt to work from home.
  2. In addition to technical support, employees are likely to need training and tools to help them self-manage their schedule and to deal with “Zoom fatigue,” isolation, loneliness and a host of other issues that can arise.
  3. Given a suitable workspace, working from home enhances employees’ experience and, by extension, is also likely to improve satisfaction with their employer.
  4. The flexibility of working from home helps employees achieve work-life balance, which can translate into happier employees who are more satisfied with their job and company. Satisfied employees generally have lower turnover and deliver superior customer experiences.
  5. By removing commuting and other burdens associated with working away from home, working from home reduces employees’ stress and could be an important antidote to anxieties induced by the pandemic.
  6. Depending on the conditions at home and employees’ readiness, working from home can be conducive or detrimental to workers’ productivity — employers who proactively help employees make the transition to working from home are likely to see productivity improve, while those who don’t provide adequate support and tools are likely to see productivity decline.

About the Research

In late April SCADpro conducted a survey with a national sample, balanced on age and gender, of 210 respondents working from home (WfH) as a result of the pandemic. Questions examined overall attitudes toward WfH as well specific aspects of individuals’ experience, both positive and negative. In addition to stating their overall preference for WfH, respondents expressed their feelings about WfH by responding to a series of questions, including open-ended (likes and dislikes) and a series of two-part questions in which they (i) first chose from a list of 25 adjectives — both positive and negative — the three words that best describe their experience; and (ii) for each of the descriptors chosen, explained in their own words “what makes the WfH experience ___________.”



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