With two-thirds of employees working from home at least part-time, employers are finding there are advantages and disadvantages. When the danger presented by COVID-19 was discovered, federal, state and local governments ordered businesses to temporarily shut down, leading many employers to decide it might be advantageous to have a lot of those employees work from home.

According to a survey from Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform, two-third of employees began working remotely for at least part of the workweek. Now that restrictions have eased, employers are wondering whether they should retain the new status quo. Global Workplace Analytics, a research-based consulting firm, estimates that more than half of the U.S. workforce has jobs that are at least partially compatible with working remotely.

In addition, they estimate that 25 to 30 percent of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. If you are considering keeping part or all your employees working remotely, you should not only evaluate the benefits to your business, but the associated costs as well.

One of the biggest benefits of having employees work remotely is reduced overhead. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that employers can save more than $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year.

There is less office equipment and furniture to supply; you save on power bills, office supplies and breakroom beverages. You may also be able to request that employees who work remotely use their own phone lines and home computers.

Allowing employees to work from home and have flexible schedules usually increases job satisfaction and reduces turnover. Lower attrition saves money on advertising, and screening and training new hires.

It may also allow you to choose from a larger pool of employees — people with talents you need but who crave the flexibility of working from home. Employees who work from home reportedly are more productive because they enjoy having greater autonomy, they have fewer interruptions and can focus on their work better.

Overall, they have higher morale and enjoy their jobs more because of the opportunity to balance work and home life more easily.

Many employers fear that employees will shirk their duties and not work a full shift. It’s suggested that employers outline work-from-home expectations, set productivity goals and conduct regular progress

Other disadvantages of having remote workers might be measured in terms of its effect on the corporate culture, team building and increased isolation. Employees may not feel as much like they’re part of a company’s bigger picture when they’re not physically in the office and brainstorming with coworkers every day.

Full Newsletter