After the pandemic in 2020, the need to work from home and make money has risen so much even among those who are already employed.
According to statistics by Zippia, 27% of U.S. employees are working remotely, as of 2023, and about 36.2 million American employees are expected to be working remotely by 2025. 40% of workers believe that they’ve been more productive while working at home during the pandemic, as opposed to the office. 16% of U.S. companies are fully remote.
The data above, therefore, threaten office work so much, even across the whole world. Every other day, lots of employees are resigning from their office work in order to start working from home and especially make money online.
And as a matter of fact, it should not come to you as a surprise if one of your employees walks up to you to request if he or she could work from home.
In such an instance, I have compiled tips below that will help you to deal with an employee who wants to work from home.
But before we go into this article properly, let us get to see why an employee may want to work from home as well as what we call such an employee.
Why an employee may want to work from home.
The main reason an employee may want to work from home is the opportunity to make money from home on a daily basis as opposed to the office work where he will have to wait until the month’s end to receive a salary.
Other reasons an employee may want to work from home are:
- Independence: An employee who works from home will have the opportunity to make decisions and execute a task in the way he feels appropriate without having someone supervising and sometimes giving him wrong instructions.
- Freedom: The freedom to work any day or time is going to be the sole responsibility of an employee who works from home.
- Flexibility: A remote employee will always be opportune to try out several kinds of jobs without being stuck or caught up in the one-way type of job that is predominant in the office.
What do you call an employee who works from home?
An employee who works from home is called a remote employee or remote worker.
How to deal with an employee who wants to work from home.
Below is a step-by-step process for dealing with an employee who wants to work from home.
- Listen first and evaluate the request.
- Review your company’s employee policies.
- Cross-check the employee’s performance in the office.
- Check if the employee has the tools that will enable him to work from home.
- Consider how your other staff will react.
- Use the advantages and disadvantages of working from home to weigh the effect of letting the employee work from home.
- Have an open dialogue with the employee.
- Make the best possible decision.
- Communicate and encourage the employee very often.
1. Listen first and evaluate the request.
Don’t get mad at your employee for daring to make such a silly request, or so you think. ‘Why in hell should an employee want to leave such a comfortable office and well-paid monthly salary’ your thought continues.
Well, if you allow your thoughts to swing that way, then you are not conversant with the fact that we are living in a digital age where making money from home is as easy as pie.
In fact, with just a smartphone and internet connection, someone can stay at home eat, drink sleep, and cash out a couple of dollars every day.
So keeping this in mind, the first thing you have to do when an employee requests to work from home is to listen and evaluate his request.
Pay close attention to the reasons he will give for deciding to work from home, and if the reasons go to prove that he knows what he is doing, then you should consider giving him away.
2. Review your company’s employee policies.
At this point, it is your company’s employee policy that is going to help issues solve themselves especially if you do not want the employee to work from home.
For example, your company’s employee policy should allow for jobs that do not demand much physical presence of employees to work from home, some of those jobs include but are not limited to the following:
- Graphics designer.
- website developer or manager.
- social media manager.
- Virtual assistance etc.
So, therefore, if your company policy had already stated that the above workers and others you might have included can work from home and you have one of these who was already working in the office sending a request to work from home, then you have no reason to hold the employee back from his or her request.
But as for those jobs that demand the physical presence of an employee, there is no way your company’s policy should make room for them to work from home.
And if any of these makes such a request then you should consider looking for a replacement in case they decide to resign when you reject such a request.
3. Cross-check the employee’s performance in the office.
The employee’s performance in the office matters a lot because it goes to show how he is also going to perform at home.
And while cross-checking the employee’s performance in the office you should also take into consideration if his work was always supervised by someone else. If it was then it will be impossible to figure out how he is going to perform at home where he will always be working alone.
On the flip side, if he is always working without supervision and his performance is always superb, then you should consider allowing him or her to work from home because his office performance has already proven him or her to be capable.
4. Check if the employee has the workspace and tools that will enable him to work from home.
There is no way the employee is going to perform well at home if he does not have a workspace and the right or required tools.
For example, if he is a web or graphics designer, he needs to have a laptop or computer and the right software that will enable him to deliver his work appropriately.
So check to confirm this and to help you decide if the company will help him set up a workspace at home and provide the necessary tools to enable him to deliver his work from home very well.
5. Consider how your other staff will react.
At this point, you need to assess your other staff to see how they will react if you will allow one of them to work from home.
You might consider asking yourself the following two questions:
- Will other staffs also want to request a work-from-home?
- Will the office staff be able to communicate and work together with the remote worker?
To find the answers to the above questions, you can go ahead to grant the employee temporary approval and take the time to see how everyone is going to work together under this new adjustment.
6. Use the advantages and disadvantages of working from home to weigh the effect of letting the employee work from home.
Being conversant with the advantages and disadvantages of working from home will help you to figure out if allowing your staff to work from home will still keep your company in shape or even skyrocket it to the next level.
For example, allowing your employees to work from home is going to cut down so many expenses for your company. On the other hand, the inability to communicate with your remote workers may slow down the accomplishments of so many company tasks.
7. Have an open dialogue with the employee.
At this juncture. you need to really sit the employee who wants to work from home down and have an open dialogue with him.
Ask him to explain all he understands about working from home as well as the reasons why he wants to work from home.
If you discover that he has much knowledge about working from home as well as is satisfied with the reasons he wants to do so, make sure you clearly help him to understand that even though he is going to work from home for the company, you will always be the one in charge.
This means that you are going to be the one who will make the decisions concerning the company’s tasks that must be undergone.
8. Make the best possible decision.
Finally, it is time to make the decision and I will advise you to let the employee be for a while and take out the time to study all the necessary information we mentioned above, and if they are on the positive side then you can go ahead and grant the approval for the employee to work from home.
But if you are still not satisfied with the information you have gathered, you can make a temporary approval to study the outcome of things.
9. Communicate and encourage the employee very often.
Even after granting approval for your employee to work from home, make sure you carefully follow him up and monitor how his performance is impacting the company’s productivity with respect to when he was working from the office.
Even when there seems to be a slow turnout of productivity in the beginning, don’t rush to call it quits, rather maintain steady communication as well as encourage the employee to put more effort into working to ensure the company becomes more successful.
You can put rewards or benefits to the tasks that is meant to be accomplished by the employee as a means of encouraging him to work harder.