During the decades, managers have been reluctant to let their teams work home. And why: How do we know our remote employees actually work? And how is it that remote works?
That is where confidence and appropriate technology come into play, but if you take the leap and opt for even a part-time work-from-home plan, both employee and employer can benefit from it.
Here are 10 compelling reasons to work and be more efficient from home:
In the office (especially in noisy open-plan offices), you have to welcome everybody, inquire about their weekend, discuss last night’s football results…the list is endless, and all of these two-minute conversations add up to a lot of time lost.
A good way to separate your office from home is to dress properly. Working from home doesn’t mean being in pajamas all day, if you dress formally (but comfortably) that can change your mindset and attitude.
Getting dressed puts you in the right frame of mind to work for the day.
When your office is also your home, you don’t need to drive, take the subway, ride your bike, or even walk more than a few steps to get to your seat. This saves you a lot of time (the average American commute is around 26 minutes each way), and it also means you’re lowering your carbon footprint by not using any kind of mechanized transportation.
It’s easier to grab lunch with a friend or partner when you work from home because you’re not required to hang with colleagues during the day. You can also see more of your kids in the mornings and evenings.
You may still need to stick to the greater schedule of your organization, but your lack of a commute will add time to your day, and your isolation from office social circles (and politics) means more time for other people.
Many remote jobs often have flexible hours, which ensures that employees can start and end their days whenever they want, as long as their work is completed and results in positive outcomes. When it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life, having leverage over your work schedule can be invaluable.
Dropping off kids at school, running errands, taking an online fitness class in the morning, or being home for a contractor are all easier to balance when you work from home.
Sure, you have plenty of distractions at home, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, or television. However, there are distractions at the office, which does not mean that you should be distracted all of the time. In the end, it all comes down to getting the proper attitude toward work. People who slack off at home often slack off at work; how often have you seen a coworker shopping online or browsing Facebook during office hours?
Working remotely does not imply lying on a Caribbean beach all day; otherwise, it would be difficult to focus, right? But it means that if you’re traveling (for whatever reason) you can get work done at the airport or on the plane, for example; or if you’re visiting family you don’t need to take a week off, you can visit them and be productive, which it can be pretty cool once you get used to it!
Working from home boosts productivity by making it easier to concentrate. You have to greet everybody in the office (especially in noisy open-plan offices), inquire about their weekend, talk about last night’s football results…the list goes on and on, and all of these two-minute chats add up to a lot of wasted time.
There’s also the issue of ‘context switching,’ which software developers are all too familiar with. If you’re working on a complicated piece of code and someone comes up to your desk and asks if you can help them with anything, you’ll have to interrupt what you’re doing, change background twice (once to leave the zone and once to get back into it) before you can get back to being efficient. According to some studies, context switching can consume up to 80% of your productivity.
When people work from home, they have less opportunities to be distracted. Your productivity will skyrocket if you make full use of the technology you have by adjusting your notification settings to enable you to concentrate.
Work-life balance is one of the key reasons people want or request to work from home. You may have personal obligations such as picking up your children from kindergarten, making it on time to a local evening class, or just wanting to spend more time with your family. And don’t overlook how well this does in terms of employee satisfaction.
A organization that makes it easier to balance your job and personal obligations is obviously one that values you as an individual rather than a machine. This ensures that an employee feels more appreciated by the employer, works more efficiently, and is less likely to search for other employment opportunities.
The open-plan office setting, where you’re expected to stand in front of 100 people for a presentation, can be extremely stressful for some people. There are even the after-work drinks you feel obligated to attend.
One of the key reasons introverts choose to work from home is because they feel more at ease when their workplace is their home. That’s not to say they’re loners who can’t function in a group, but 2-3 days at home per week is all they need to feel more at ease. And it’s during this period when they’re at their most creative. It’s important for line managers and leaders to understand this.
Allow for individual differences and decide whether allowing them to function remotely is better for the individual if you want to get the most efficiency out of your hires.
Working from home has a variety of health and convenience benefits. Here’s a short rundown:
You can go for a stroll, enter a new sports club, or simply do yoga right next to your desk with the time you save from not commuting. Only your cat would be perplexed by your behavior.
You are less likely to become ill because you are not exposed to the germs of others (and their children).
You are free to dress as you want. Spending less money on a constantly changing wardrobe or make-up is also a good idea.
You have complete control over the temperature, which can be set as high or low as you desire.
Your lunch options expand beyond what the office canteen offers.
You get to select your own cup of coffee…
(It’s important not to overlook the little things in life…)
You can listen to whatever music you like while lowering your risk of hearing injury.
Working from home, in essence, protects the work-life balance and gives employees the freedom to do what is best for them. But be careful! Too much focus on how to remain productive when working from home can easily tip the scales in the opposite direction. Before you know it, you’ve forgotten to get up and walk around, take breaks (a pomodoro timer comes in handy for this), have lunch, and socialize with other people. Similarly, certain people need the wearing of a shirt and tie to get their brain to function.
So, if you ever decide to start working from home, don’t expect anything to go smoothly. Put some safeguards in place to ensure that you know how to remain focused when working from home, and that you maintain a balanced lifestyle, both physically and mentally.
From the viewpoint of an employee, we’ve looked at the benefits of working from home. However, there are several other advantages of working from home for employers. If all of the above explanations for employee efficiency and wellbeing weren’t enough…
So, if everybody is at home, who is still at work? You would be able to downsize or even get rid of the office entirely, which would save you a lot of money. Not only in terms of the actual building’s rent, but also in terms of ongoing expenses such as gas, lavish standing desks, and the weekly fruit basket.
Having a work-from-home program would also appeal to the recruiting team. It literally opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. Are you having trouble finding a developer in your area who can write the very unique language? Well rather than searching a 50km radius, you can start to cast the net far wider which increases the likelihood of you finding the right remote worker for the job.
For certain individuals, having to work from 9 to 5 is very inconvenient. What is someone is more productive from 5am to 9am or from 7pm to 11pm? Giving workers this level of flexibility could be the secret to their happiness, so why should an employer object to an employee being more efficient and happy?
Remote work allows employers to promote diversity and inclusion by employing candidates from diverse social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and perspectives—something that can be difficult to do when recruitment is limited to a particular location that not everybody wants or can afford to live near.
And by hiring employees who can work from home in the communities where they feel the most comfortable and supported, companies choose to support diversity, community, and family.
People who may struggle to find stable employment at an onsite workplace, such as those with disabilities or caregivers who need a flexible schedule, may pursue their career aspirations without having to worry about commuting back and forth to an office. It also allows employees to travel to doctor’s appointments and other healthcare appointments when required.
People who work from home part-time can save approximately $4,000 a year. Gas, vehicle repairs, housing, parking fees, a professional wardrobe, prepared lunches, and other expenses may all be reduced or removed completely. These savings accumulate and put more money in your wallet.
And the savings aren’t limited to workers. As more businesses, such as Twitter, Square, Shopify, and Facebook, encourage workers to work from home post-pandemic, they can see substantial long-term cost savings.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, an average organization will save approximately $11,000 per year for each employee who works from home at least part of the time.
Employers in the United States are saving more than $30 billion a day by encouraging workers to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This significant economic benefit of remote work can continue as more businesses adopt it as a long-term solution.
The 3.9 million employees who worked from home at least half time before the pandemic reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking more than 600,000 cars off the road for an entire year. A whopping 7.8 billion vehicle miles aren’t traveled each year for those who work at least part-time from home, 3 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) are avoided, and oil savings reach $980 million.
Remote employees will have the same effect on air quality as planting an entire forest of 91 million trees by making environmentally sound choices including using less paper and controlling their air conditioning, heating, and lighting.
A great advantage of remote work is the ability to set up a cozy home office. Whether you simply want a more ergonomic chair or you have health issues that require specialized office equipment, you can set up your home office and make it whatever you want.
In short, working from home has multiple benefits but it also has cons. It’s important to establish boundaries and also to socialise more often, otherwise we might feel lonely or depressed; but if we tackle that there’s lots of advantages to enjoy being a remote worker.
Those are some of the reasons why we love working from home, what are yours?