Six Reasons Employers are Reluctant to let Employees Work From Home
With gas prices being what they are these days and everyone’s lives being so hectic, it’s no surprise that more people than ever would like to work from home. In some industries, this trend has made it difficult for employers to attract certain highly qualified workers without offering the option to work, at least some of their schedule, from home. Yet, some employers are still reluctant.
If you want to work from home, the first thing you need to do is understand the possible reasons an employer may be reluctant to allow you to work from home. Armed with that information, you can build a “work from home proposal” to present to your employer that addresses these concerns.
One size does not fit all here, but here are six possibilities. Consider whether each applies to your environment, and make sure you address the ones that do in your telecommuting proposal.
- Productivity - Your employer loses the ability to supervise you closely when you work from home, and they may be afraid that you’re not actually working much of the time when you are not in the office. You can combat this fear by demonstrating that you are a responsible, hard worker that is not easily distracted. You can also help by creating a separate office (with a door) that will keep distractions in your home from interrupting, and by putting a lot of emphasis on our next point.
- Accountability – If your business lacks systems for measuring your work output and holding you responsible for getting the job done, it’s small wonder that your employer is concerned about productivity. In your telecommuting proposal, include ways that you and your boss can both agree on that will make them feel comfortable that you are getting the job done.
- Technology – The Internet and advanced communications technology are a big part of what makes telecommuting possible, but if your workplace is lacks certain key elements like an IP phone system, remotely accessible file sharing and email and calendar management systems, or a corporate VPN, it may not be practical for you to work from home. This one can be hard for you to fix on your own, but you can point out cost effective ways to upgrade, like moving to cloud computing and subscribing to a Hosted PBX service.
- Connectivity - Having these technologies will help a lot, but they won’t work well if you lack a good Internet connection at home and a great one at your company’s home office. It can be tough for you to impact your company’s Internet connectivity, but you can be sure that you understand what you have at your home, and what options are available for upgrade.
- Security - Understandably, your employer might be worried about the security of sensitive information you may be handling in the course of your business day. This is another place where a dedicated home office space can help as can encrypted cloud storage and email applications, a good VPN, and a properly configured home firewall.
- Interaction - One more thing that might be worrying your boss is the risk of losing the close personal interaction you get in the workplace. It can be hard to achieve a real personal connection on phone calls alone. Good collaboration tools can be a big help, as can videoconferencing. Even tools like Skype or Google video chat can sometimes do the trick, but they do depend on a good high speed Internet connection in both your home and the office.