When weighing up whether to let an employee work from home, you should consider the nature of their job.
Jobs suited to home working
Some types of work are particularly suited to home working. For example:
- telesales and marketing
- customer service
- consultancy and professional services, such as accountancy or HR administration
- writing, editing, research and translation
- some types of administrative work
Skills employees need to work at home
You also need to consider whether employees themselves are suited to working away from your base. They're likely to need skills in a number of key areas:
- time management and self-discipline
Home working isn't for everyone. But bear in mind that if you allow one person to do it, you may be setting a precedent that others will want to follow, so it's best to have a clear idea from the start of how home working could fit the needs of your business. You should establish fair criteria for home working as this will minimise any discrimination risk. You may want to consider setting some 'house' rules, such as giving priority to requests from parents of young or disabled children.
Remember, too, that in some cases you're legally obliged to seriously consider requests for home working. Employees with 26 weeks service can request a range of flexible-working patterns from their employers - including the right to work from home.
Read more on flexible working - the law and best practice.