Whilst any business can benefit significantly from the factors mentioned in the first part of this article*, depending on the demands of the individual company, there are some advantages which are particularly salient for small business. These businesses are ultimately reliant for their success or failure on a small number of individuals so ensuring that they are happy motivated and fulfilling their potential, whilst overheads are minimised, is paramount, and working from home can be a key strategy.
Lower Overheads – Central offices on some scale may be essential for bigger business but small nimble enterprises can find themselves lumbered with unnecessary overheads where office space is not vital. If the infrastructure and utilities in an office or factory space are not integral to the business’s operations, working from home can eliminate rent as one of the biggest overheads a business runs. What’s more, the capacity of facilities in a home office may be scaled more appropriately to match and respond to an enterprise’s size of operations so that it’s not inefficiently paying for fixed unused capacity in a rented space.
Longer Working Hours – A benefit that is particularly relevant for self employed workers, but can aid any small business, is the fact that working from home allows you or your workers to be more flexible to work longer hours and respond to the demand of work loads and the business a whole, as and when it fluctuates. Individuals running a small business, and their employees, will often find that they are required to be more flexible and rarely work a conventional 9 to 5. Working from home, this can be achieved with less impact on the rest of their lives.
Work When Creative – With smaller workforces, the creativity and initiative of each individual employee has arguably a greater impact on the success of that business, than organisations in which they are another small cog in a big wheel. Employees who work from home can be more in control of working when they’re feeling at their most creative or motivated; so that if they have a great idea for a presentation at nine o’clock in the evening they can work on it there and then – without waiting to get into the office the next morning.
Bespoke Working Environments – Every member of staff is an individual and will have their own ideas as to how they work best. By working from home they can create their perfect environment to be at their most creative and productive. If it helps, for example to have candles burning and classical music playing in the background then they can have that without subjecting their colleagues to it.
With the availability of affordable technology, such as unified communications (VoIP phones, instant messaging, email etc combined) and video conferencing (even on mobile devices) the infrastructure needed to work efficiently and effectively from multiple locations is no longer the sole domain of bigger business with bigger budgets. A VPN Provider can even set you up on secured shared networks so that your business can benefit from the cohesiveness of a virtual office without the overheads of a physical one. For a small business to remain dynamic and competitive in a challenging environment that could make all the difference.
*For the benefits of working from home for business in general see Working From Home Part 1 – The Benefits.