4:30am alarm goes off and reluctantly my day starts. 5:20am the Kilkenny to Dublin commute commences. 6:22am as the M9 meets the N7 first traffic build-up of the morning. 7:05am arrive at Fitzwilliam Square to start the day.

I have been doing this commute for several years and have noticed that, in line with increasing employment levels, (lowest unemployment level since 2008) there is a steady increase in numbers of cars parked at all junctions accessing the N7 plus a steady increase in numbers of cars on the roads even at this ungodly hour.

This got me thinking. Why are companies generally reluctant to offer opportunities to work from home when there is so much value to be gained? And what can to done to encourage companies to be more open-minded?

So here is my plan which I think will offer a WIN: WIN: WIN scenario!

The Government will offer companies an incentive to allow employees to work from home. Let’s call it – The “Work from Home Incentive Scheme”

I am of course aware that certain jobs will not facilitate remote working as an option and there are also some downsides which must be mentioned as follows:

  • There is a cost associated with having an employee working from home (broadband, phone costs, hardware etc)
  • Not all employees are suited to the working from home option – this must be assessed on a case by case basis and all companies would need a “Work from home” policy guidelines.
  • People working remotely should not take from the overall culture and atmosphere in the office – rather it should add to it.
  • The scheme will need to be administered – there will be a cost associated with running the scheme.

However, on balance I think the numerous upsides outweigh the downsides and worthy of discussion amongst the HR profession and business community more generally.
On an important note, I am very lucky to work from home in Kilkenny two days per week as do a few others in our business. Fortunately, my employer is an Early Adopter who has bought into this WIN: WIN scenario. But there are many, many, many traditional companies that cannot see the Bigger Picture and therefore may need some financial encouragement.

HR Search & Selection would be delighted if we could get some debate going on the above.