Thursday, November 15, 2012

Big Disasters Bring Big Lessons About What Working from Home Can Do for Companies

There's At Least One Silver Lining to Come from Hurricane Sandy

No matter how terrible something is, there is always something (at least) decent that can come from it. As terrible Hurricane Sandy was for the Eastern seaboard and many were kept from their work, there were a number of workers who pushed on and continued business operations via working from home.

While there are businesses and companies that offer work from home positions, the number is few and there is a stigma about working from home that some companies have a hard time getting past. Sadly, it would have to take a terrible disaster to show just how well some parts of business can run without employees leaving the house. And there are many employees out there who were proven right about what they already know: that they would happily welcome not being stuck in a cubicle all day, even if they were only allowed to work from home 2-3 days per week.

But now, there is a real opportunity for companies to look at the amount of money they saved having their employees working from home during the storm while still having some part of their business operational. Could it be worth it to consider creating something on a larger scale? (And if not that, at least consider putting such a system in place that would allow for such an option  if and when this type of unfortunate circumstance happens again?)

Before, the stigma had to do with managers and other higher ups not feeling comfortable or trusting employees who were not on site—and that was the end of the argument for work from home positions. But with hard data coming in, will there be a change?

More than likely, yes. Why? Because companies love to save money and fatten up their bottom lines. Before, companies didn't "think" it could be done but now they have proof it can. It may take some time and research on how to best implement a work from home platform from one company to the next but it not only means saving money. Coupled with happier employees,  it means a boost in output and production-- the best of both worlds for a company that wants to stave off or bounce back from the effects of the economy.In fact, it may be, for once, an honest and ethical way for a company to get ahead without firing random employees and expecting a department of 10 people to do the work of thirty for the same (or little) pay. Definitely sounds much better, that's for sure. Hope somebody's paying attention.