Business managers have long weighed the pros and cons of telecommuting. Reduced office space and less office furniture represent substantial facilities savings, but the lack of face-to-face “water cooler” communication can reduce productivity.
Now another factor is added to the equation: employee health. HR experts are concerned about a new study showing that commuting is eroding employees’ health and productivity. Writing for Business Insider, Jacquelyn Smith cites some of the major negative effects of commuting to work, including elevated cortisol levels – the stress hormone associated with heart attacks – which, along with reduced sleep and less exercise, leads to higher BMI, elevated cholesterol and diabetes.
It’s a conundrum that many business owners and managers are solving by staying flexible:
- Identifying jobs/projects that can reasonably be done off-site.
- Analyzing employees’ abilities to work unsupervised, and their need for daily interaction with co-workers.
- Seeking out reconfigurable office furniture that can adapt to an expanded on-site workforce, and fold away in small storage closets when not needed.
Every business is different, and every employee is different, but a commitment to a flexible workplace can keep your team productive and healthy, while giving your business the added bonus of lowered facilities overhead.
Photo © AntonioDiaz – Fotolia