Offering hospital workers the ability to work from home can be a powerful morale builder, but managers must implement work-from-home policies carefully.
Is there a home for home-based workers in healthcare?
Nearly 3% of the total U.S. workforce telecommutes at least half the time, according to Global Workplace Analytics. And since 2005 the total number of employees working from home at least half the time has grown 103%.
Healthcare places unique demands on workers, but at least two industry leaders say that accommodations can be made.
"It's been a benefit," says Yvonne Chase, manager of patient access and billing services for Mayo Clinic's Florida and Arizona campuses.
Based in the Phoenix, AZ area, Chase and her fellow managers have had difficulty filling medical coder positions. Many workers had commutes that lasted more than an hour, and would frequently call off shifts because of commonplace setbacks such as car trouble or minor illness.
Mayo Clinic chose to allow working from home and to use this benefit as a recruiting tool—a strategy which has worked to shorten recruiting time and increase retention, says Chase.
While not advertising as aggressively that employees can work from home, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, has recently allowed more workers to take advantage of the benefit, says Lynne Hildreth, director or revenue cycle and patient access at Moffitt.
Chase and Hildreth agree that offering employees the option to work from home is a powerful morale builder that can improve attendance, if managers implement work-from-home policies carefully.
Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.