Home Office: Productivity’s Hero or Villain?

Mkt Plooral
Updated on

Home Office: Is it a benefit or an obstacle for your company’s productivity?

Of all the work environment trends, maybe the most desired and talked about one is the Home Office. A lot of companies are offering it as a leverage nowadays.

However, even though it’s very popular, it still raises a lot of discussions amongst HR professionals. Many researches and articles show the importance of home office for attracting and retaining talent, but a lot of companies are ignoring these trends and are trying to lure employees back into the office space.

An interesting case comes from Yahoo!. In 2013 their president decided to remove home office from its more than 11k employees. The reasoning behind the decision was that “speed and quality a lot of the times are sacrificed when working from home”. In other words, for Yahoo!, home office was affecting its business growth and productivity.

There are always two sides of the coin. In Phillips’ Brazilian headquarters, every employee (even their president) must choose a week-day to work from home. According to their HR team, the benefits of home office range from saving on resources to increase in productivity.

Is the home office the hero or villain of professional success? Based on recent studies, we’ve gathered the pros and cons of implementing a work from home policy in your company. Check them out:

  • Cons

It’s not just the lack of employee ‘control’ that makes the Home Office principal less appealing. A recent study revealed that 43% of Brazilians employees admit that working outside the office causes loneliness. Which in consequence, results in the lack of team communication and involvement, producing negative impact in their day-to-day.

Besides the isolation factor, many of the interviewed opened up about having difficulty concentrating when working from home. Family is the primary distraction during Home Office, according to 64% of Brazilians.

Other barriers of home office

  • Legislation: In Brazil there’s a lack of laws and legislations about Home Office, making companies wary about the subject.
  • Money: The change to a home office business model requires investment in resources such as equipment and technology. This generates extra costs to businesses. 
  • Conservatism: Many managers don’t know how to handle their team remotely, jeopardising relationships and trust. A research at Stanford University revealed that the promotion rate of employees who work from home is 50% lower than the ones that work at the office.
  • Pros

Even though many people show difficulty focusing at home, many thrive when working away from the office. A study from the American Institute Gallup showed that employees working in home office are capable of producing the equivalent of 4 hours of extra work. Besides that, they show more engagement and satisfaction.

At Phillips, the annual gain in productivity grew from 4% to 5% with the implementation of home office, according to their management team.

Between Brazilian companies that are accepting of home office, 54% show growth in productivity with this practice. According to the organizers of the study, 71% of companies who offer home office describe it as “management based on results, rather than physical presence”.

Other benefits of home office:

  • Employee Retention: Having alternatives ways of working, besides good salaries and promotions, it’s already a desire to many Brazilians.
  • Absenteeism Control: Flexible work options (including home office), facilitate the life of parents who don’t wish to abandon their career. For companies, it can be a great solution for high absenteeism rates.
  • Mobility Solution: In big cities, home office appears as an alternative to lower traffic, decrease lateness and increase quality of life for those who suffer from the stress of modern life.

Given these numbers and facts, now we ask you.

Are you against or in favor of home office? 🤔

And if you are an employee or company planning to try it out,  how about using Plooral to make it happen?

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