In part 2 of this series we look at the opportunities available to employees that work from home.
The global pandemic has made it necessary for most businesses to adapt to the changes that have happened within their operation and are continuing to occur. While many of these adaptations are seen as forced or negative, there are some new changes that may have a positive impact on how businesses are run today. One of the positive results of these changes is that some business owners are realizing they are able to have employees work from home and are discovering the benefits to this approach. What are the benefits of working from home? Sure, it works for some businesses, but can my business support employees working from home? These are some of the most common questions business owners have contemplated during this time of change.
Matthew Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic and founding developer of WordPress, calls the business approach of having employees working from home a “distributed workforce.” With such a broad, temporary push for work-from-home, it is easy to forget that many companies were already heading in the direction of working from home or using remote workspaces, just like Automattic. In the 4-minute video below, Matt shares his views on having a distributed workforce, along with some tips on how business owners with an office can integrate his philosophy.
If you are looking for more information on Matthew Mullenweg, please checkout Part 1 of this series!
Benefits of a distributed workforce as an employee:
1. Control of their Environment
One of the benefits offered to staff members by allowing them to work from home is the control they have over their environment. It’s a common enough scenario; those moments when a co-worker has just heated up salmon in the microwave and the entire office now smells like fish, or that one person that feels they need to have music playing out loud while they work, or that staff member that just won’t stop clicking their pen over and over and over again… All these things can be distracting to a worker, and finding a happy medium can be a struggle.
Control over your own work environment means getting to choose the atmosphere that best supports an individual’s work. This atmosphere can include being able to choose the temperature of the room, if there is any music or noises, where to sit comfortably, the decorations, what to eat, and the people that are around (if any). By allowing your staff to choose their best workspace, you are supporting the success of your business at the end of the day.
2. Control of their Time
The other very important value being offered to employees of a distributed workforce is the control over their time. Time is something we can never get back, which makes it a valuable commodity. Unless they are in a role that requires set hours, employees are now able to make their own schedule which permits a great deal of flexibility for employees to get their work done, while also managing the things in life that always seem to pop up unexpectedly. Everyone also works their best at specific times, so this allows staff members to schedule work for their most productive hours.
Beyond the control over their scheduled time, working from home also reduces the time spent on commuting each day which gives extra time for other things, like work and play! It’s not just time that’s being saved on the employee’s part, it can also reduce potential travel costs such a gas and insurance or bus fare. When it comes down to it, saving time means saving money and avoiding hassles!
With the fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in, we are constantly having to adapt; especially when it comes to keeping up with the busyness of business. Control over environment and time just scratches the surface of benefits that may be experienced as an employee with an employer that empowers working from home. Perhaps it is time to consider the distributed opportunities that could be experienced within your company if you were to distribute your workforce. Who knows, maybe these new workforce opportunities will forge a new path forward!
If you are interested in more information about a distributed workforce, you can access podcasts and a website run by Matthew Mullenweg at Distributed.blog.