My employer is currently considering a part- or full- time work from home option for their workers. I’d like to try to convince them that this is a Good Thing, but to tell the truth I have very little idea how WFH actually works.
I know that part of the reason they haven’t done so before now is a concern about confidentiality - I work in the claims department of a Worker’s Comp agency, and so I handle all sorts of HIPAA protected documentation all the time, not to mention things like social security numbers, etc. However, our claims files are all on the computer now, so in theory I don’t have to print anything out.
They are also, of course, concerned that productivity would drop if the employees weren’t within their boss’s eyesight at all times. Also, there would be capital investment issues, since the WFH employees would have to have laptops as well as the desktops that the company has already invested in. Possibly cellphones, too.
So: Those of you whose employers have WFH - how does your company handle these issues? I’d like to hear both from employees who WFH and managers who manage them.
Also, how useful is a WFH option for those on maternity/paternity leave? On one hand, I know that babies are exhausting and that new parents are traditionally sleep-deprived. On the other hand, it seems that if the new parent could WFH, it would enable them to keep some income flowing in without having to leave the baby with caretakers. An advantage to the company would be that rather than new parents’ workloads being given to their co-workers for up to a year, the parent could keep part of their workload thus being less of a burden. Also, this would encourage some parents who might otherwise quit entirely to stay with the company, saving the cost of hiring & training.
Would an expectant mom on bedrest be able to WFH on a laptop while resting? Several of my friends have had to start maternity leave months earlier than they had expected because the doctor put them on bedrest at around 6Mo. Again, I think this would be a way for the employer to keep a valuable employee, and for the employee to be able to continue getting income. Am I off base?
(Note - this might be an IMHO thing. Feel free to move it.)