Viridis has just implemented a Working from Home Policy to make it transparent to staff, clients and collaborators what our policy is. We have had staff working from home for a couple of years, but the policy has never been documented.
Why did we implement this policy in the first place?
At the time, we were moving offices and decided to opt for something smaller to act as hub, rather than somewhere everyone clocks in every day. This allowed us to get a smaller office, saving on property costs.
The average office can make a 15-20% saving on property cost by implementing an agile work space, we managed a 50% saving.
We have since moved to a new office space, where we can house all our staff, but we haven't gone back to the standard 9-5.
What are the benefits?
We have staff that face up to a 2 hour daily commute; cutting this down improves work-life balance dramatically and also productivity during work time.
The nature of consulting work is that there are periods where days or weeks can be spent away from home. This helps to mitigate the impacts of this on family life.
A lot of our work requires periods of concentration and it is often easier to achieve this in the back bedroom than in the pod at work.
Companies with a working from home policy tend to have lower staff turn-over.
Some things we've considered:
Having some of our staff out of the office does pose challenges, as collaboration needs to be a conscious effort and some of the spontaneous cross pollination of ideas can be lost. We have mitigated this through a minimum of one team day in the office.
Where a project requires collaboration, face-to-face time increases.
We have a video conference every Monday to plan our week ahead. Staff can join from anywhere in the world.
All staff have a Microsoft Surface, which has turned out to be a very portable and yet powerful mobile computing option.
All of our systems are secure in the cloud. Things work in and out of the office seamlessly. This is also fantastic when we're out onsite.
Although nothing is perfect, we think that we are striking a good balance between work and home.
Also, with the threat of COVID-19 we are perfectly set up for all staff to work from home. They just have to supply their own toilet roll!