6 Reasons to Let Your Employees Work from Home

6 Reasons to Let Your Employees Work from Home SitOnIt Reya Desk

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.

Why?

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.

Desks

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.

Lighting

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.

Ergonomic Chair

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.

File Storage

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

Office Trends that Keep Employees Engaged and Productive

Office Trends that Keep Employees Engaged and Productive

When surveying current office trends, one must consider that life is now much more open in Southern California with fewer health concerns surrounding Covid-19. But the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health still has restrictions on office space capacity as of May 2021. Up to 75% occupancy was noted in the guidelines for re-opening.

This makes the hybrid office a model that’s here to stay for months and possibly years to come.

How do you make it continue to work?

Plan your spaces, set expectations with employees, and stay true to your brand.

Office Trends to Accommodate Remote Workers

How many of you have used Zoom, or even knew about it, before March 2020?

“Let’s Zoom” became a verb phrase as widely used as “Google it” – making it one of the biggest office trends that blew up in 2020.

The need for online interaction with remote workers is a reality. If you need to video conference with staff or clients, then use the latest in architectural walls to have a pleasant atmosphere and reduce distractions for others working in the office.

Check office furnishing solutions like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures for a nice business casual feel.


Photo: OFS Obeya Architectural Structures

Trendway makes an appealing line of modular walls to define your meeting spaces where you can place monitors and tables.


Photo: Trendway Clearwall Space Divider

If employees are working remotely, recommend the use of ergonomic chairs and height adjustable desks to reduce physical strains.

When your team knows that they’re supported then they’re going to be more engaged and invested in creating positive results.

Form Workstation Neighborhoods

One of the strongest office trends that still continues to evolve today is to make the office a destination where people want to be in. One of the benefits of working in the office and not just at home is that employees can socialize. After all, even though people need privacy and personal space, we don’t want to be alone.

Consider this analogy. Visualize the corporate office as a city and departments as neighborhoods.

What do most neighborhoods have in Southern California?

Their own parks, grocery stores and restaurants. They have a unique identity.

Depending on the company’s size and floor space that’s available, consider each area having:

  • Modular workstations or work pods with individual spaces
  • Digital or moveable whiteboards
  • A dedicated video conferencing room

Each space can even have its own small refrigerator, a little perk that can be used to keep drinks cool.

Creating identifiable workspaces can help your team have a feeling of ownership in their area.

De-Centralize Decision Making

During the months of Covid when office spaces were mostly closed, many executives took decision making into their own hands. After all, leaders need to lead. Key decisions were often made without feedback from stakeholders.

Plan your office space so decision-making can be delegated.

Use cubicle workstations designed for smaller meetings or define meeting areas with modular walls or accessories like whiteboards and a bit of nature.


Photo: Nevins Leaf Living Wall

Design to Boost Morale

Take to heart the lyrics from the former pop group the 5th Dimension: “Let the sun shine, let the sunshine in.”

They’re wise words for office managers and executives planning layouts. Natural light boosts moods and productivity, in light, airy spaces that people crave and love.


Photo: OFS Eleven Wood Table and Bistro Chair

Bring in as much natural light as possible to improve morale and create a pleasing workspace.

Other ways to bring in nature includes using a variety of office plants. This is especially useful in open office plans where cubicles divide individual workstations.

Use wall panels that hold succulents or other appropriate plants.

A study quoted on CNBC.com notes that, “People who kept a small plant on their desk had lower levels of anxiety and stress at the end of a four-week period. Researchers instructed 63 participants who worked a full-time desk job to take a three-minute break when they felt ‘fatigued’ to tend to, water and gaze at a desk plant.”

It was a Japanese study and the most popular plants chosen were Japanese Kokedamas and succulents.

Office trends in fostering little morale boosters can go a long way in easing stress, improving office relationships, and increasing productivity.

Office Trends with the Corporate Personality in Mind

Your company has a brand, or personality, just like the people who work there. Use a cohesive design for a unified appearance that’s fresh and sets a positive tone.

There are plenty of office trends options to make an office space have a look and feel that fits with your goals. Our moods are certainly influenced by our environment.

Look for a variety of shapes in available lounge furniture and use a family of colors on panel dividers.

Office designs have their own special histories.

Office Trends: The Abstract Modern Office
This interior design style became popular in the 20th century. It seems to break rules but provides plenty of comfort and functionality.

Office Trends: The Modern Industrial Office
This design approach is minimalist and is fairly neutral with subdued colors. It honors the transition from handcrafted goods to mass manufacturing.

Office Trends: The Open Plan Benching and Desking
The goal is promoting collaboration in an office without permanent walls while at the same time allowing private spaces.


Photo: OFS Eleven Workspace

Get Expert Input on Office Trends

See if your office is ready for office trends that accommodate remote employees for the long term while equipping in-house employees. Get input from the team at 2010 Office Furniture.

The company has more than 50 years of experience working with the most distinguished corporations, centers of higher education, and growing small businesses throughout Southern California.

Contact us with your questions and needs.

Read Also: 6 Reasons to Use a Resimercial Design for Your Office
Main Photo: National Alloy Workstation
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: National, Nevins, Trendway & OFS