What Are The Pros/Cons of Work From Home?

My staff keeps saying they want to work from home. Should I be embracing the trend of remote workers or is this just some evil plot by employees to stay at home watching Netflix instead of being hard at work in the office?

August 20th, 2019   |    By: Wil Schroter

As a company of nearly 200 employees — almost all of which are allowed to work from home — we know this struggle well.

Over the past few years we've developed a significant work from home policy at Startups.com and have learned a ton from our experience.

Won't everyone just goof off at home?

Unreliable employees will totally goof off — they will absolutely abuse the luxury.

In our first few months converting to work-from (only one day a week) we quickly learned that some employees totally took advantage of the freedom, in some cases just considering it a day off.

Sadly that meant we had to part company with some folks, but in retrospect, it only advanced a decision that would have taken us much longer to make had we not needed to evaluate the impact.

But for 95% of the staff, they respected the latitude and rewarded it with great productivity.

How do we manage productivity when people aren't here?

What we learned is that any method we use to manage productivity: by stats and milestones.

We've yet to see any demonstrable difference between the output of hundreds of high performance and talented folks in the office versus out of the office.

We've developed new habits of check-ins and updates that we manage through Slack chats versus in-person meetings. Incidentally, we found ourselves freeing up a lot of time.

Aren't people working more at the office?

Not as much as we'd love to think.

Between social media, texts, Slack chats, and cat memes — basically, the Internet — we're buried in distractions no matter where we are.

Being at the office provides a little bit of focus, but as managers if we think the distractions only exist at home, we're being totally unrealistic.

What are some of the major benefits?

People are just 100x happier.

They get to see their kids, they get to avoid a commute, and they get to work in their footie pajamas!

When you compare that lifestyle to having to go work for another company (even for more pay!) where you're stuck in an office 5 days as week, it's not even worth it.

We begin competing not for dollar compensation, but for lifestyle compensation. Since we've increased our work from home policy to 3 days per week, and 5 days per week for out of state staff, our retention has moved to nearly 95% year over year.

If you're still on the fence — give it a trial period. That's what we did years ago by testing "WFH Wednesdays" for a full month. It was so popular that it changed our entire culture.

Maybe yours could too!

In Case You Missed It

The Science of Staying Productive. Sujan Patel sits down with John Rampton, Founder & CEO of Due.com, to discuss the methods John uses to keep his team (and himself) productive.

10 Reasons Remote Work Rocks. Servixio CEO Alfred Cardenas shares how he believes remote work has benefitted his team and his clients after deciding to make his company 100% virtual.

How Much Should I Be Working? (podcast). While there's truth to the assumption that more hours equals more growth, Wil and Ryan explore how it benefits to think quality and not quantity when it comes to your weekly punch card.

About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual. He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement). After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do. He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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