It's time to send your employees home.


When it comes to the debate about whether you can get more work done at home than in the office, the interesting divide is between those who have tried it and those who have not. An even 50 percent of those who have tried it say they are more productive at home. So far, so much on the fence. Except...

Why you should tell your employees to stay home today

Another 36 percent of people say they are equally productive in either place. That is 86 percent of your workforce who are more (or at least equally) productive at home.

So what?

Those are workers for whom you are renting office space. You are buying them desks and chairs. You are paying for lighting, heating, cooling and other utilities.

And it turns out you do not need any of that expense to get the most out of them. In fact, you might be getting less.

Let people work at home sometimes and you can cut back on office space and other bills while upping productivity.

Once you leap the trust hurdle, the argument for equipping employees with laptops and letting them work wherever they want becomes more and more appealing. (If they are going to be working from home all the time, you could even consider helping them equip a home office with a desktop.)

The downside

You might want to consider a company health program to go with your flexible work program.

A fifth of people say they exercise less when they work from home. And they might also be part of the 38 percent who say they snack more. On the other hand, you get workers who sleep more (30 percent) and feel less stress (46 percent).

More time, more work

Unsurprisingly, 40 percent of home workers drive less. They do not have an office to go to anymore. Former commuting time is likely time they will put into doing more work.

Even if they do not turn it all into work time, they might start work earlier, when people are generally more productive, and finish earlier, when people are typically winding down.

That’s better for employers and better for employees.

So who should stay in the office?

With most employees coming into the office only some of the time, the potential to save costs by equipping workers as road warriors could be substantial. Only 14 percent of workers say they are less productive working from home.

With today’s built-in webcams and developers baking video conferencing into software like Microsoft Office, you might not even notice the other 86 percent are missing.