As the pandemic engulfs the entire world, working from home is perhaps the only alternative to keep your company afloat.
 
For many, this is a short-term focus — a necessity with restraints and lockdowns. However, so much good can come out of this. 
 
Though your vision is to sail through this difficult economic phase. If you do things right and can establish a productive work-from-home force, you can consider a long-term shift!

Top 10 work from home/remote work sectors are:
  1. Advertising agency/marketing agency
  2. Publishing/ media houses
  3. IT sector, especially software 
  4. Education & training
  5. Customer service management/call center
  6. Online email marketing
  7. Medical billing & HealthTech
  8. Video editing/recording, etc.
  9. Translation
  10. Accounting/Book-keeping
 
A research by Harvard Business School shows that companies who work from home can:
 
  • Boost employee productivity
  • Reduce turnover
  • Lower organizational costs
  • Get a quality workforce  

Here are the trends in remote work growth

 

How to save money working from home?

Working from home helps to minimise your overhead costs and helps increase profits. 

Let’s examine a real-life example. 32,000 employees of AT&T worked from home on September 20, 1994, via telecommuting. 

Pioneering the non-traditional route of WFH almost three decades back, AT&T continues to be a leading organization that provides alternative office options.
 
Want to know the financial gains for AT&T?
 
$550 million in cash flow.
They save 30% on revenues by eliminating offices that are not needed. Overhead costs went down too!
 
IBM is already following the AW program called the Mobility Initiative. They save $100 million annually in its North America sales and distribution unit alone.
 
Today, 30 million to 40 million people in the US are telecommuters or home-based workers.
 
If they can do it… so can you!
 
Benefits of WFH or Work From Home for Employers
 
Work from home can mutually benefit the employees and the employer. You don’t have to manage remote workers very differently than their colleagues or counterparts who step into the office every day.
 
Look at how companies are working today in reference with WFH
 
Here are 10 reasons why you need to work from home:
 

1. High Productivity Levels

Stanford University conducted a two-year study that revealed that work productivity drastically when people worked from home. This study was conducted on 500 people who had worked both remotely and in a traditional setting. 
 
In fact, these employees contributed to an extra day each week by working from home!
 

2. Better Punctuality 

No more late turn-ups because of traffic snarl or having missed the train. Almost, everyone logs in right on time because they DON’T waste time commuting. If you reimburse commuting charges, then this is a bonus.
 

3. Happier Employees

Research shows that employees who work from home are less stressed and happier. This positive mindset triggers higher productivity rates — and also means fewer mistakes.
 

4. Longer Employee Retention

Compared to conventional office practices, employees who work from home tend to switch jobs less frequently. An average retention period of 5-years is seen amongst these employees.
 

5. Save on Office Costs

You don’t have to worry about rentals, utility bills, etc. With employees telecommuting, less or no-office space can add to BIG savings every year.
Alongside, you save on so many other costs like a vending or coffee machine.
 
Your talent pool would be your biggest asset
 
 

6. Flexibility Facilitates Diversity

With telecommuting or remote working, you have the option to expand your market. You can hire better talent that could be geographically widespread (think even different countries).
 
Another advantage is that you can employ a wider age group too. A retired individual could work from home — a talented college-goer could be the ethical hacker your company needs.

Diversity is the key to hiring talent. Work from home moms form a BIG part of  digital marketing agency/ marketing agency, and so many other businesses. Being around their little ones gives them peace of mind, which in turn enhances productivity.

With flexi-timings, they are able to strive a healthy work-home balance, which is a win-win situation for both employer and employees. 
On the whole, your talent pool improves. 
 

7. Potential to Expand Overseas

Telecommuting increases your chance to grow your business overseas. Think of it as an interlink or chain. If you have an employee telecommuting from the US or even Singapore, they could connect you with a potential business prospect. For entrepreneurs, this may be a golden opportunity.
 

8. Few Sick Leaves

When it comes to flu, cold or viral infections, employees refrain from going to the office. On the contrary, they can work from home for a few hours or even the entire day with milder illness issues. 
 
Think someone with a broken ankle — who can telecommute but cannot come to work. This means fewer sick leaves and improved productivity!
 

9. Work Doesn’t Stop

What can be a better example of this than the current pandemic? While external conditions like weather, diseases, etc. pose a threat to commuting or heading out, your employees continue to work remotely. 
 
So you get more working days as compared to traditional workspaces.
 

10. WFF will Grow & is Here to Stay

According to a 2019 report on the State of Remote Work by Buffer working from home is here to stay and grow. The study evaluated 2,500 remote workers and 99% said they wanted to work from home — at some point or the other, for the remainder of their careers.
 
To maximize this advantage, you also have to get the right tools/ apps. These would be the lifeline of your WFH force and help you in the smooth execution of day-to-day tasks.

Here are the Top Tools that area ideal for work from home for employees
 

1. Project Management

Smoother management of projects and timely deliverables is possible with a completely remote workforce. These tools/apps will help companies that work from home with the same:


a. Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management software that can be accessed through your browser. It is possible to break work on separate projects, which each task containing everything related to the work at hand.
 
It’s a boon for employers & employees alike because every discussion, every document, file, task, important date, etc. is there. Everything disorganized gets sorted and organized — so you cannot complain about losing finds or not getting tasks done as per deadlines!
 

b. Zoho

Zoho offers a comprehensive suite of award-winning on-line business, productivity & collaboration applications. It enables employees to work from home with features like Zoho Assist.

It provides a complete suite of web and mobile apps to assist communication, collaboration, and efficient production. Zoho has a series of added features that let IT support access software.
 

c. Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects is a cloud-based project management solution. It offers business functionalities to manage different operations of a project. 
 
Their features include task lists, time tracking, file uploads, and messages. It makes it possible for teams to manage group objectives, communicate and establish business processes.
 

d. Todoist

Todoist is a to-do app that works on multiple platforms and devices, including Windows, Android, Apple iOS, Mac, etc. It helps manage scheduling weekly tasks, setting reminders, to turning important emails into tasks.
 
It is possible to integrate multiple software with Todoist. This includes Google docs & drive, DropBox, Calendar Sync, Zapier, Slack, Twist and so much more. 
 
There are many other applications available to suit your working needs. For example, if you an advertising agency or into videos/film-making, you can try Vimeo. It is a video sharing platform that has 80 million creators — most of the artists in film, animation, music, etc. It is used to share and promote their work.
 

2. Monitoring/ attendance

 Trust is the key to any successful employee and employer relationship. However, to maintain a fair system for all, one should have a time tracking or monitoring software
 
There are numerous options available on the market to observe your employees’ work activities and patterns. Some of them are:
 

a. Hubstaff

Hubstaff is an app that can be installed on the employee's computer. It monitors which websites and applications are being viewed. The app also tracks screen activity, time spent on desktop, etc. 
 
This data is gathered to create individual reports for the individual employees so you can monitor their everyday activities and time spent on required tasks.
 

b. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a SaaS time tracking and productivity tool. It is designed to increase productivity and keeps running on the PC of the employee — both online and offline.
 
Time Doctor gives detailed insights into how they spend time browsing data, completing tasks, etc. It also takes screenshots and reports on the number of hours worked.
 

c. GreytHR

The GreytHR Platform automates HR processes. It has a series of automated processes to help with tasks like attendance, payroll, etc. As a result, you get all-around productivity and engaged employees—which are crucial ingredients for growth.
 

d. Bamboo HR

BambooHR caters from small to medium-sized companies and is a cloud-based human resources software service. It offers a human resource information system (HRIS) which comprises of applicant tracking system (ATS) and HRIS tools to manage all aspects of the employee lifecycle.
 

3. Team meetings

Staying connected is important for the success of any work from the home set-up. It creates a sense of bonding and belonging to the company. To fill these e-meeting and conferences requirements, check out:
 

a. Zoom

Zoom Video Communications offers remote conferencing services that combine video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. As per the free plan, you can host up to 100 participants, have unlimited 1 to 1 meeting and enjoy 40 mins limit on group meetings.
 

b. Skype 

One of the older and still popular used telecommuting tools, Skype is free! You can have audio and video calls for free but for conference calls with team members you need to sign-up for their premium membership plans. It works on iOS, Android, Macintosh OS X, and Windows.
 

c. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is an application which helps the employer access collaboration tools like shared keyboard/mouse control, drawing tools, multi-monitor screen sharing.
 
It has online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing software packages to suit different business requirements.
 

d. Workplace

Workplace from Facebook offers unlimited tools for you and your team to work together, wherever you are. It helps in team bonding. Features on the app include built-in audio and video calling. It gives access to social network profiles, events, and live video tools.
 
When working from home, it is essential to facilitate the order of communication, which is proactive. 
 
  • You should ideally set up scheduled video calls. It’s a great way to e-meet your employees, understand expressions and improve communication. Have at least one a day.
  • Conference calls can be done from the phone/ what’s an app or even any of the above tools. This should be the second mode of communication
  • Email or written communication should be the last resort. Ideally, do it when employees work in different time zones — or detailed communication is required.
 
What if your nature of business doesn’t suit WFH?
 
Industries that are suited for a work from home setup
 
For many sectors like manufacturing — especially large-scale units — working from home is not an option. However, your logistics team can do backend work remotely. 
 
The logistics tasks can be outsourced and you can collaborate with different companies to reduce costs during these tough times!
You just have to use the right infrastructure! 
 
On the whole, considering a shift to the work from home paradigm could be the way to go forward. For smaller companies, real-estate costs might not dig a hole in the pocket. 
 
However, as your company grows and expands — you do tend to save more.
Yes, some additional technology costs are there.

If you do the math, this technology helps you build a global and diverse work force! You get quality workers, a better pool of talent and a future-forward work structure in place.

Are work from home jobs genuine/real?
Can work from home WORK for me?