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Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions

What is working from home?

Working from home is the term used to describe an employee who performs their role from home instead of in an office environment. This can be temporary, as has been seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, or permanently as part of a home or hybrid working structure.

How is working from home different from remote work?

While there are many similarities between remote work and work from home jobs, there are also a few key differences.

Working from home refers almost exclusively to the act of an employee working from their home in a home office setup, whether this is a set number of days a week or full time. However, remote work means a role can be performed from anywhere in the world, making it a popular working style with digital nomads as it can be completed from co-working spaces when travelling.

What job roles are work from home?

Plenty of roles can be completed from home, although some are more common than others. Some obvious work from home jobs include contractors and freelancers, but here are a few specific examples of roles that can be performed from a home office:

  • Bookkeeper 
  • Accountant
  • Content Writer
  • Web Developer
  • Online Tutor 
  • Translator 
  • Virtual Assistant

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What are the benefits of working from home for employers?

For employers, there are plenty of benefits to allowing employees to work from home. Among other things, employee retention and productivity can be improved when allowing your team to work from a home office at least a few times a month. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced overhead costs: Having employees work either hybrid or from home full-time means a smaller office is needed, which can help keep costs down.
  • Improved trust: Telling your employees you trust them to work from home can be hugely beneficial to your relationship with your team. Improved mutual trust will also have a huge impact on motivation and overall workplace happiness.
  • Bigger talent pool: Hiring people who can complete their role from home opens up the door to candidates who may previously have been excluded. This can be those who don’t have access to a car to commute, those with young children, among many others.
  • Better business reputation: Especially in the modern working world, allowing employees to work from home is becoming increasingly common. Not having this as an option on your job advert could risk your brand reputation and deter talent from applying.
  • Reduced absences: A massive benefit to all employers is that by allowing employees to work from home is that when they’re feeling slightly under the weather, they can work in a home office. This allows them to take it slower, as well as not bringing germs into the office and causing absences in other staff.
  • Increased concentration: When various deadlines are approaching, allowing employees to work from home can ensure they are able to give their full attention to a task. Without the added distraction of a bustling office, they’re able to get their heads down and give a task their full concentration levels.

How can employers support a team who work from home?

Whether you’re just starting out with a team that works from home or are experiencing problems with an existing WFH team, there are a few ways that the process can be streamlined. As a general rule, communication is the most important factor when working from home, being able to get in touch with an employee in home office is essential for productivity and trust. These factors are also worth executing:

  • Morning briefing: Having a quick morning Zoom call to run over the day’s schedule and tasks will mean you’re aware of what the employee is working on that day and give you an idea of how you can assist each other. 
  • Visibility of schedule: Putting together a Google sheet or Asana/Trello board with the day’s tasks in will mean that you will know what output to expect from an employee even when they’re working from home. It will also ensure that they can get their tasks done with minimal disruption, as they won’t need to give constant updates on their working schedule.
  • Status updates: That being said, it’s a good idea to have a system in place to provide status updates. This could be as easy as the team member putting a status on Slack or other communication software when they go to lunch, allowing the rest of the team to know when they can be reached.

Find more work-from-home tips or advice in the following Knowledge Hub articles:

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