Do Work at Home Options Increase Productivity for Nonprofits?

Studies revealnonprofit policies, compared to employees that come into the office, at-home workers tend to be happier and less likely to quit as well as more productive. BizTech magazine reports that remote employees tend to work 20 percent more than on-site employees. They typically clock more than 40 hours per workweek, too.

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Nonprofit offices that have gone mobile have revolutionized how many organizations view their workforce. Onsite workers clocking an average 40-hour workweek seem to be a remnant of our country’s industrial past, when workers punched a timecard and were paid hourly. Today’s workforce is more likely to seek flexibility in working hours and a better work-life balance, but are willing to work longer hours in exchange for that flexibility.

Currently, 45 percent of nonprofit policies offer some type of work at home program. The benefit to employee productivity is enormous.

Nonprofits seeking to enact work at home friendly policies need to understand the potential technology and budgetary ramifications. The technology needed to support a mobile workforce includes cloud-based applications, which can be easily accessed from any Internet browser, mobile phones, and laptops.

It’s not uncommon to find nonprofit policies that include a “bring your own device” plan, allowing workers to use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops to access organizational data, but with that policy comes a price. Nonprofits who allow workers to use their own devices to work on company systems must have higher security protocols in place to prevent accidental data breaches, viruses, and malware from corrupting important systems and inadvertently sharing sensitive donor information, such as credit card numbers.

Employees Working from Home Are Happier

Studies show that employees working from home are generally happier and more satisfied with their jobs than their onsite coworkers. Satisfied employees tend to stay in their jobs longer, leading to reduced turnover and greater productivity.

TinyPulse, an employment survey startup, assessed 509 full time remote employees and data from over 200,000 other employees to create a portrait of the happiness and satisfaction of remote workers.

Remote or telecommuting employees ranked their happiness and job satisfaction much higher than their onsite coworkers. The only drawback to telecommuting they noted was a decrease in coworker relationships and a feeling of connection with coworkers. For some, this was a drawback. For those who are tired of office politics, it may be a benefit.

The Future of Nonprofit Employee Productivity

By 2018, it is projected that more than 2.5 million nonprofits will embrace mobile workforce management solutions. This reflects a 21 percent increase over today’s numbers. With that growing use of mobile technology, specific steps should be considered by nonprofit managers.

  • Create a structured telecommuting policy for employees. A written policy sets a common understanding of what is allowed (and what isn’t), and provides a recruiting benefit when attracting talent to your organization.
  • Update your software and systems with cloud-based solutions that are easily accessed via mobile devices.
  • Discuss security issues with your IT staff or consultants now. Make sure that sensitive data, such as donor lists, accounting and fund data, and employee data is protected with the best security you can install. Close the barn door before the proverbial horse escapes, not after.

Over the next year, nonprofits will most likely see more work getting done from the sidelines of football games than in the office. As flexible work arrangements are offered, job satisfaction and productivity increases which benefits the organization as a whole.

RBP Methods Offers Mobile Solutions for Nonprofits

RBP Methods helps nonprofit organizations navigate the complex world of nonprofit accounting software—mobile or not. With years of experience and a passion for the world of nonprofits, we help right-brained people navigate a left-brained world. Contact us today or call 503-648-9051.