Working in the Covid era has shown how knowledge-based businesses and professional firms can be productive even when employees work from home offices.
Corporate offices are still needed as hubs that lay out the mission and set direction, but some employees can function more effectively at a home office setting.
They have the equipment, a dedicated space, and can function free from inter-office distractions like breakroom conversations, clashing office personalities, and employees who are ill.
But let’s be clear: the center corporate office is still very much needed.
Photo: Maverick Apex Workstation
Read on to learn the 6 great reasons to let your employees work from home, as opposed to the office. Also, it’s important to understand the differences between the two office set-ups and how both environments can work together for everyone’s benefit.
Reason 1: Home Offices Provide Functionality
A variety of employees have as much functionality at a home office as they do at a central location.
Data entry, marketing specialists, and sales teams can enter information, create content, and contact customers. The financial team can access accounts via the Internet, and executives can hold online meetings.
What’s needed to make a home office work well? Start with the basics.
A Dedicated Space
When employees work from home, having an area where the focus is on work is crucial. It can be a separate room, or a designated space within an existing space, such as a living room. Use dividers to reduce distractions just like you would in an open floor plan.
The home office shouldn’t be cramped.
In greater Los Angeles and Orange County, the moderate temperatures and sunshine during the year can let back yard decks and patios also be part of the home office setting.
Internet Connection is Key When Employees Work From Home
Being connected with smartphones and a reliable Internet connection is the reason that 18 percent of the U.S. workforce works full-time from a home office or other remote location, according to OWL Labs.
Citigroup and Google are among the top corporations who have employees work from home, and have establishing hybrid arrangements, as reported by SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management.
Citigroup says most of its 210,000 employees now work remotely two to three days a week.
Say goodbye to the bulky desks of the past and embrace today’s sleek designs. Simple table-top models, height-adjustable desks, and modular workstations can all be used in the home.
Photo: Deskmakers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk
The Desk Makers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk is an example of a contemporary design that lets users move from sitting to standing position in seconds.
The right lighting is essential to working well in any setting, even in a home space. An office that’s lit properly reduces eye strain, the stress of glare, and promotes restful nights. Natural lighting is optimal while LED lighting is preferred over fluorescent lighting which has been shown to make office workers tired.
Photo: Humanscale Nova Light
When employees work from home, affordable office lighting solutions come in a variety of shapes to focus the best light on the task at hand.
Sitting stresses the spine and lower back so make sure home offices are equipped with an ergonomic chair that supports the body’s shape and natural motions. A quality chair will last for many years. It’s an investment that promotes well-being by reducing strain on the back and joints.
Photo: SitOnIt Seating Wit Chair
Laptop and Monitor
Laptops have plenty of power for nearly every need. Specialists like graphic artists may benefit from a desktop set-up and large monitors. But laptops can hook up to larger monitors, as well.
Companies can develop policies when employees work from home, using personal computers versus ones purchased directly by the corporation.
The paperless office still has paper, but minimal file storage is needed. Designs like the OSF Beck Credenza tend to have more traditional appearances. A modular storage system like the Desk Makers Catalina Cubbies can also serve as a room divider in home offices or at the main office
Photo: Deskmakers Catalina Cubbies
Combination Printer, Copier & Scanner
Like it or not, printers, copiers and scanners are still needed even with the advancement of new technology and widespread use of electronic communications. Top-rated printers with combo functions include HP Office Jet Pro 9015e, HP Office Jet Pro 6978, Canon PIXMA TR8520 and Brother MFCL-2710DW.
Reason 2: Workers Have Health Concerns
Covid isn’t the only virus that spreads germs. Other illnesses like the common cold and flu can be transmitted at the work office. Office wellness can mean that employees work from home when they’re not feeling well.
Being active is important and taking stretch breaks or quick walks every two hours may happen more easily at home than in the corporate setting.
Reason 3: Workers are Connected Remotely
Work vocabulary now includes Zoom as often as Google. Nouns have taken on another life as verbs. Connections via email, social media messaging, and inexpensive or free face-to-face platforms make communication easy.
What may be challenging or tough is disconnecting after hours, weekends, or while on vacation.
Reason 4: When Employees Work From Home, They Save Money
The cost of gas around Los Angeles is pushing $5 per gallon or higher. Reducing a daily commute to a few times a week, or less, lets your team keep more money in their pockets.
Fuel isn’t the only cost.
There’s wear and tear on the car in addition to buying lunches.
Reason 5: Top Talent Likes Flexibility
A friendly and flexible work environment aids in retaining top employees. Studies made pre-Covid are evidence that it’s preferably for many to have employees work from home. A 2019 article on HR Daily Advisor.com reports that the firm Crunchbase, a company specializing in business insights, “found that by offering flexibility around family life, it was able to attract and retain top candidates.”
Reason 6: A Central Office is Still Needed When Employees Work From Home
Why is the corporate office still important?
Employees have social needs which is why arrangements that include working from home with time in the office are popular. No one truly wants to shut the door on a space where there’s stimulating collaboration.
How can you make the corporate office a desired location?
Schedule regular meetings that are interactive and filled with shared insights.
Use office designs and layouts that are welcoming, have break rooms that are well-supplied with beverages and healthy snacks, and create lounge areas.
The central office can be a destination where collaboration happens, while the home office can be a place to focus on specific tasks.
We’re Here to Help Your Employees Work From Home
The team at 2010 Office Furniture has supplied furnishings and planned office spaces for some of the most recognizable brands in greater Los Angeles, throughout Orange County, and in the Inland Empire.
2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of combined experience to address in-office or hybrid work arrangements, as well as home office needs.
Contact us with your project needs and questions.
Read Also: Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout
Main Photo: SitOnIt Seating Reya Height Adjustable Desk
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Deskmakers, Humanscale, Maverick & SitOnIt Seating