Before the Coronavirus outbreak, there were many reasons why employees worked from home. For some, it’s about removing distractions and finishing work. For others, they simply live too far away. For some, it’s about maintaining a work-life balance, and sometimes it’s outside influences that affect the whole company, including weather, natural disasters, loss of power, or even contagious illness.
Prior to March 2020, a full third of companies allowed some employees to work from home, with up to 25% of Americans telecommuting at least once a week (1). With technologies such as cloud-based applications, video conferencing, VoIP calling, and others in play, remote employees are fully enabled to get their job done, no matter where they are.
Because of the prevalence of employees working from home, we have insights into the pros and cons that face remote workers and their organizations. These insights are crucial when most companies have suddenly moved to an almost entirely remote workforce.
Allowing employees to work remotely obviously offers benefits such as health and safety during times of national emergencies. However, traditionally, for some employees, remote work has provided improved employee satisfaction, reduced attrition, increased productivity, and decreased unscheduled absences. For the company, it offers a greatly expanded pool of potential talent and less overhead costs.