At the end of every tax season, most firms usually ask the following questions:
- What went well this season?
- What would you like to improve prior to next tax season?
- Did our technology help or hinder your performance this tax season?
When one firm that I work closely with surveyed their employees, one answer stood out from the crowd.
This year, HKMP decided to offer the option of working from home, especially on Saturdays. For many this may seem counterproductive, however it turned out to be just the opposite and was also the most common answer to question #1 – What went well this season?
In the Microsoft Whitepaper, Work Without Walls, “Business leaders assume employees who work remotely and take advantage of the policy are not really working. This is because of the loss of control. Employers lose direct oversight and cannot witness productivity firsthand.” However, if a manager puts in place specific and measurable goals, he or she will not need to “witness activity” to assess whether or not his employee is productive.
So while employers may worry about what exactly is happening when an employee is working remotely, the nature of tax season lends itself perfectly to offering the option of working from home. The deadline of a filing date easily gives managers a specific and measurable goal, while the utilization of tax tracking software, gives real-time visibility to productivity, allowing a firm to see all the benefits that come with giving its employees the option of working from home. Some of the top benefits cited are:
- Work/life balance
- Save on commuting time
- Less distractions
- Less burn-out at the end of tax season
With the 2017 tax season in the past, maybe working from home will become an option for your firm to put in place prior to the start of the 2018 season.