Designing a Home Office
Productivity boost through home office – These advantages make it possible.
The labour market study by Robert Half shows that 40% of German companies offer their employees the opportunity to work from home. Home office is a great opportunity for employers to make themselves attractive when recruiting. Employees often work more productively, especially when it comes to time-critical projects, and save time on the way to and from work. We have summarized the benefits for you and give tips on how to deal with the risks.
You can only catch the best fish with the right bait. This angler wisdom also applies to the search for employees. The bait does not always have to be a higher salary. Flexible working conditions are very popular with employees, including the opportunity to work from home. This option is not only a good lure for the best skilled workers, but also a good way to present yourself as an innovative company.
Companies deal with the offer of telework in very different ways. Microsoft recently surprised with a real innovation: since last year, the group has let all its employees decide for themselves whether they want to work in the office or at home. There are no fixed workplaces any more. But: You should adapt your policy to the needs of your company. Home office has great potential – but only with the right rules will it become an innovation and ensure more employee satisfaction.
We have summarized the benefits of Home Office for you, but also take a look at the risks you should consider:
More efficient work and a better work-life balance: The benefits of home office
Employees optimize their performance: They are no longer dependent on office hours and can work at their own pace. Some “night owls” are particularly productive late in the evening, while “early birds” want to use the early hours of the morning. Those who are no longer subject to the social jetlag of the prescribed working hours usually work more efficiently and deliver results faster.
Working in the home office increases concentration: Home office is particularly suitable for activities in which the employee has to concentrate a lot. At home, they are not distracted by the noise level that often prevails in offices with many employees. It is also less frequently interrupted by inquiries from colleagues or superiors. Tasks that are particularly suitable are concept development, presentations or project planning.
Your company becomes more attractive for applicants: For many employees, flexibility is a criterion when choosing a job. Whether it’s employees who like to manage their own working hours, or parents who try to reconcile family and job: The possibility of a home office attracts many top performers.
You become more flexible when selecting new employees: Only a few people are willing to commute several hours a day for their job. If, on the other hand, it is not necessary to be in the office every day of the working week, the job will also be interesting for candidates who live further away from the company headquarters. With Home Office, you can attract more professionals and have more choice when filling a new position. And even if there is a strike on the horizon, you can count on the manpower of your employees.
Employee turnover decreases: When used correctly, Home Office is a tool for better aligning the interests of employees and companies. Employees are more productive and happier. And satisfied employees usually remain loyal to their employer.
Your company saves office space: Home office makes it possible for several employees to share a workplace. This saves you resources at the company headquarters.
Home office and its risks
When used correctly, a home office regulation is extremely helpful. But home office also carries certain risks. You should keep these in mind so that problems do not arise in the first place:
Home office requires a lot of self-discipline. Employees who cannot motivate themselves well may find it more difficult in the home office. Take this into account and raise the issue with your employees. In the first step, a “home office on trial” can also offer itself in order to try out whether this working model is suitable.
New features and dates are lost: Those who do their work at home are sometimes not always aware when meetings are called at short notice or changes are announced. Both the company and the employee therefore have a duty to provide information, but also to demand it.
The bond to the company suffers: Employees who often work in the home office can sometimes find it more difficult to build up an emotional bond with the company, also because there is no need to exchange information with each other, e.g. at lunch.
Employees do not feel sufficiently integrated as a result – regular presence in the office, for example at team meetings, is therefore mandatory.
Data protection must be guaranteed: The compatibility of home office and data protection is regulated by law, but there are limits. Employees should be made aware of the fact that their behaviour at the teleworking workplace can represent a risk when processing data, and the company should draw up clear guidelines for working in the home office.
Create a healthy environment: Teleworking should not be allowed to neglect health. Give your employee tips on how to create a pleasant working atmosphere – not least to prevent health problems such as back pain. Even a little exercise can’t hurt: Getting up once in a while not only promotes health, but also concentration.
Nothing works without the right equipment: For the home office it is an advantage that the employee has a fixed workplace at home and sufficient storage space. The basic equipment for working from home definitely includes a computer or laptop with up-to-date software and a virus scanner, concrete vases, internet access that is as fast as possible to participate in a video conference via Skype, and a telephone.