You know where the best office in the world is? It’s that place you wake up in every morning. Yep, your house.
Why? Andrew Spittle from Automattic said it best:
“Startup offices are really awesome and kick ass, but there’s nothing that quite competes with a home environment. The temperature’s exactly what you want. The food in the fridge is exactly what you want. The lighting’s not going to give you a headache. If any of these things aren’t what you want, you can change them. Cause it’s your house.”
At the Yeomen, we believe that when your employees are happy and can maintain a good work-life balance, they do amazing work for you. This is just one of the reasons we advocate working from home. Here are some other reasons.
There have been studies upon studies that argue the efficiency of a workforce that telecommutes. There is this feeling that employees who are not present or can’t be trusted – that working from home is too distracting.
From our perspective, employees who are happier and have achieved a good work-life balance, do better work and are more efficient. Our employees exceed expectations every day. We know because we can quantify the work they do by the number of interactions each employee has. Yep, we have data. It’s not just about closing support tickets, though. Our employees are present and human in every conversation.
Don’t take our word for it, Meet Vandy. Vandy says,
“I’ve had a job of one sort or another for 35 years, and for many of those years I worked in a zero-flexibility context, shivering in over-air-conditioned cubicles, choked by Windsor Knots and crippled by uncomfortable shoes, so I have a deep appreciation for the benefits that come from the flexibility of working from home.”
Overwhelmingly the people who work for us thrive in the telecommuting environment we provide because we treat them like adults and give them flexibility. Our employees are thankful for that. We suspect that they wouldn’t do anything to risk losing it – which is why they go above and beyond.
Meet Erica, another member of our team. Erica says,
“Working from home has been an incredible opportunity for me. As a new mom, I was previously commuting 45-50 minutes each way to and from work. I would get home just in time for a quick feeding before putting my baby to sleep. It was really difficult navigating life as a new mom and not getting the quality time I needed with my little one. I still take my baby to the sitter every day, but it’s a much shorter commute. I’m able to spend so much more time with her now. I don’t have the overwhelming sense of guilt that I was dealing with previously.”
Besides our data, there’s another study done by Nicholas Bloom and graduate student James Liang at a call center for a Chinese travel website called Ctrip. Researchers gave half of the call center’s employees the option to work from home, and kept the other half in the office for six months. The results? The telecommuters were happier, less likely to quit, and more efficient.
“Ctrip was thinking that it could save money on space and furniture if people worked from home and that the savings would outweigh the productivity hit it would take when employees left the discipline of the office environment. Instead, we found that people working from home completed 13.5% more calls than the staff in the office did—meaning that Ctrip got almost an extra workday a week out of them.”
– Professor Bloom, Harvard Business Review
Better at Customer Support
Many people assume that working in customer support is extremely stressful. At The Yeomen, our employees get to work in the environment of their choosing: at home with pets, children, or loved ones near by where they feel the most comfortable.
Studies have shown that animals can reduce stress and anxiety and promote social interaction. The Yeomen are all carefully recruited with a deep sense of empathy and compassion, support can be a bit hectic at times. What better way to approach a situation with empathy and patience than to have your “best friend” nearby waiting to give you the love and affection you need?
Vandy can attest to that. He loves having his pets around.
“I cherish my critters (2 rescue dogs and 3 rescue cats), and having them around only adds to my overall comfort and good mood.”
Whatever the environment our employees work from, it’s of their choosing. More comfort and less stress equal happy employees. And you know who makes the best customer support people? Happy people.
It helps the planet
We strongly and passionately advocate for a new way of work that is significant to us sustaining the planet we work on. Telecommuting forces us to do much more digitally and save tangible resources. It has a positive benefit on the world by reducing our overall footprint.
We don’t print reports. We don’t burn fuel by driving to an office. We conserve the energy it takes to run an office with a full staff of employees, and our carbon footprints are lower.
Seriously. Why not? The technology allows us to do it so why not do it? Our team has been able to communicate and develop substantial relationships that a close team would develop in an office without ever meeting in person. The myth that you are isolating yourself by working from home is just that. Our team chats on Slack, we video chat, we have calls – we communicate freely and without limitations and we don’t have to be in the same office.
“My team uses Slack to communicate throughout the day. This tool allows us to be in constant communication at all times. It’s a place to where we can go to get help on support tickets, training, or just catch up. Even though we don’t often see each other in person, our team all has a solid relationship with each other and communicates very well. In fact, in my previous office, we used Slack even though we were all in the same office! It wasn’t until we all got on Slack there, that we started to come together and work effectively as a team.”
This is the future. Embrace it.
As we dive deeper into the digital world we live in now, telecommuting will only become more prevalent. It saves money and resources, lowers our carbon footprint, and leads to happier, more efficient employees.
The Yeomen are an amazing group of happy employees who telecommute yet still create strong ties to one another as a support team who loves to provide help for our communities.
Also published on Medium.