The concept of working from home has been gaining in popularity recently, creating new possibilities for the way businesses are structured. The legal profession is not exempt from this, especially with increasing digitisation of day-to-day legal processes.
We all know that an office environment can be distracting enough with noise and chatter, never mind the constant battle to keep everyone at a comfortable temperature! Working from home eliminates these minor inconveniences as well as unlocking some other more serious benefits for both employee and employer.
For the employer, allowing your staff to work remotely has many pragmatic and ultimately lucrative benefits. Included are improved employee retention, access to a wider pool of applicants, productivity gains, increased staff motivation and the many financial benefits associated.
Employee retention equates to a massive financial saving if you consider how costly the recruitment and training process can be. That’s not including the time it takes for new staff members to establish their role and find their position in the work place environment. Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford, conducted a study with Chinese travel company CTrip. They found that a working from home policy saved the business approximately $2000 per employee, nearly equating to their annual salary, in training and recruitment costs.
This same study revealed a 13% increase in performance by those working from home: 9% was from working more minutes per shift and 4% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter environment). It stands to reason that if the job can be performed remotely, there are likely to be improvements in productivity, regardless of industry, benefiting any employer.
As well as employer perks, there are plenty for the staff too, the more obvious being an improved work/home balance, less distractions and the time and money saved by eliminating the daily commute. In 2010, Microsoft surveyed over 4000 employees across a range of industries, revealing in white paper titled ‘Work Without Walls’, the top 10 reasons why they appreciate being able to work from home:
10. Environmentally friendly – 23%
9. More time with family – 29%
8. Less stressful environment – 38%
7. Quieter atmosphere – 43%
6. Eliminate long commute – 44%
5. Less distractions – 44%
4. More productive – 45%
3. Avoid traffic – 47%
2. Save on fuel cost – 55%
1. Work/home balance – 60%
Is working from home the future?
We think it could be. As the cost of living continues to rise, so does the standard of technology. Working remotely will not only save the business money, it will become more efficient for you too, cropping commuting time and adding minutes, potentially hours, to time spent with your family. For many, the benefits are most noticeable when working from home is not a permanent situation but provided as an option – for example if your child is sick, or you are snowed in – these circumstances will not impede your working day if you have the option to work remotely. The freedom and flexibility that a work from home policy provides is what makes it so practical and logical, all that is required is technology that can support the profession.
Which, for Scottish conveyancing, is where ATLIS comes in. With cloud based technology, Altis facilitates the benefits of working from the comfort of your own space or location of your choice as and when you choose. Hosted on secure servers based here in Scotland, partners, paralegals, conveyancers and secretaries can sign in to Altis and have peace of mind knowing all your client’s data is safe wherever you are in the world. That means that employers and employees a-like can access the same information at the click of a button.
The possibilities of working from home may not be the future for some industries, but with Altis, it’s certainly going to be an option for Scottish conveyancers.