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EI urges businesses to rethink work-at-home option

EI urges businesses to rethink work-at-home option

Ben Thompson, CEO of leading integrated human resource management company EI, believes that now is a better time than ever for business owners to rethink remote work options in order to attract the untapped skills of working mothers.

Ben Thompson said, “Achieving work life balance for working mothers is difficult. On one hand they are keen to maintain their careers and make an important contribution to their employer. On the other hand they also need to balance the daily demands that having children brings. They need to juggle daily school runs, children’s sports, doctor’s appointments, school holidays and many other necessary activities.

“It’s often been said that a part-time carer working at home can get more done in half a day than a full-time, office-bound employee. Those businesses offering more flexible, work-at-home options with full remote access to company systems can create highly motivated staff who are loyal and fully appreciate the more flexible working option they have been given.

“Many business owners should re-look at this as an option, particularly where they already employ staff with children who are struggling with a daily commute that cuts into their productivity. It just doesn’t make sense, in many businesses, to make someone sit in traffic for up to two hours a day to deliver two hours of work. Many part-time staff would be happy to work more hours (and could work more hours) if they could cut out commuting time, even for a few days a week.”

“We’re facing a chronic skills shortage in many sectors and smart companies are shifting gears when it comes to building a remote work option so they can harness the skills and expertise of often underutilised working mothers.”

The benefits of working from home can include:

- more focused, deadline-driven work as the interruptions common in offices and other workplaces are largely removed

- a possible reduction in stress that often arises during a long commuting to the office

- improved work-life balance which makes for happier, more energised, engaged and productive staff

- a parent’s concern about ‘being there’ for children if they are unexpectedly needed is largely removed

- the ability to reduce office space or hire more employees without needing to increase office space

- providing greater flexibility where an employee takes some time for personal matters during the day and makes up the lost hours working out of hours

Ben Thompson said, “The reality is that employers still tend to shy away from a remote workforce fearing a reduction in productivity from home-based workers. There are also concerns that employees may miss out on important developments and lose the benefits of connecting and working collaboratively with colleagues. Loss of a communal atmosphere, social isolation and a decrease in motivation are also concerns from employers along with the fear of liability that arises if something goes wrong.” Ben Thompson describes this as Remote Workers Syndrome.

To retain high performing staff and to motivate staff on an ongoing basis, Thompson argues that building a recognition program for individuals and teams will keep staff focused and connected to their employer’s goals and working towards their own personal career development objectives. These programs should define, track and recognise the behaviours and objectives that make a real difference to employee motivation and business productivity.

Ben Thompson said, “The right rewards and recognition program will do a lot to overcome concerns that companies sometimes have about remote workers. “Working from home can provide flexibility for both employers and employees as well as supporting better work/life balance and in some cases, promoting more family friendly workplaces.

“Employees should consider strategies to harness a workforce that wants to work remotely. The productivity and efficiency benefits are making remote work a more viable concept for employers. Companies that embrace a remote workforce may develop and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage.”

EI are leaders in integrated and innovative human resource management solutions, EI creates peace of mind by giving clients the HR consulting expertise they need. From human resources systems to workplace law and even reward and recognition solutions, it brings human resources solutions together so you can bring the best out in your business. EI services cover legal & migration, human resources, payroll, recruitment and recognition & incentives (Power2Motivate)

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