Many businesses are sending their workers home, and not just for a holiday. They have found that there are some real benefits from deploying a work at home strategy.
There are several advantages to having some component of your business deployed at home. Here are just a few:
- Decreased Costs - Office space costs are a very much an overhead expense. This cost does nothing to improve your margin or promote your business. Companies are downsizing their office space footprint by deploying parts of their workforce at their homes. These dollars can be diverted to marketing or other growth initiatives.
- Improved Employee Satisfaction - For the right employee (we'll get to that in a minute), working from home can be a big bonus. Eliminating their commute is a gift of time and money. Happy people work harder and represent your company better.
- Expanded Recruitment Base - Depending upon your virtual resources, your ability to recruit just expanded exponentially. Are you dealing with a high employment cost, lack of a skilled workforce suited to your business, or competitive job market in your locale? This strategy just opened up tremendous possibilities for your recruitment.
- Identify the right segment of your business to be virtual - A work at home strategy does not work for all parts of your business or people within it. Moving technical support, customer care, and inside sales/telemarketing are good examples of the types of departments that can be mobilized away from the office.
- Create a profile of the right employee and screen your interviews accordingly - Only certain personalities can be successful in a home environment. They must be independently motivated, disciplined, resourceful, and technically adept. They also need to be able to establish clear boundaries between work and personal activities.
- Establish the rules - Work at home employees need to have a quiet, dedicated space for their work activities. There's nothing worse than a customer care rep handling a customer issue with the dog barking in the background. Also, working at home is NOT a substitute for their daycare provider.
- Deploy new resources for a WAH workforce - you will need a virtual training program, some methods of monitoring activity, virtual interviewing/screening (potentially), a vast library of intranet resources, and even a help desk specific to meeting the needs of your remote workforce to maximize success.
- Deploy the right technology - your work at home team needs to have a reliable internet connection to their homes. Additionally, a VoIP platform with voice quality assurance can power this program very cost effectively. Find a VoIP provider that can work with any high speed internet connection, can deploy nationwide, and establish your WAH team on a single platform. This will make your deployment most efficient and cost effective as well.