Never Going Back – Why Working from Home Should be Standard Practice
Surprisingly, working from home is actually more productive than working in the office. Rather than forcing workers into a standard nine to five, allowing workers to do assignments on their own time increases productivity and employee motivation.
An estimate by Upwork shows that one in four Americans are expected to work remotely through 2021. “On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive” than those who work in the office (apollotechnical.com). There are a number of key factors that go into this.
A study by Stanford shows that working from home increases productivity by 13%. This same study also reported that working from home led to increased employee satisfaction and a lower turnover rate. Additionally, a survey done by ConnectSolutions showed that 77% of those who work remotely increased their productivity throughout the month. 30% of these do the same amount of work in less time, and 24% did more work in the same amount of time. Either way, an added benefit for both the employee and the company.
A number of jobs can be done from home, including about 70% of educational services. Anything from professional, scientific and technical services to waste management can be partially made remote. With a rapid adoption of new technology and the ability to increase the amount of remote work completed in many different industries, working from home is becoming standard practice. And that is the way it should be.
Besides increasing productivity, there are a number of personal, non-quantitative measurements that demonstrate improvements in working from home. As far as employee satisfaction goes, one of the major benefits of working remotely is that your office can be anywhere. Whether you like doing work on your back porch, the coffee shop down the street, or while on a plane to an exotic vacation, you can!
Plus, commuting is expensive. A study by real estate service Clever reports that Americans spend more than $16 billion annually on commuting. Considering fuel, vehicle maintenance, added miles, public transportation, and time spent on the road, working from home amounts to huge savings.
Working from home has another benefit; Fewer meetings. Working from home effectively decreases the amount of time spent in meetings, because everybody gets to the virtual room at the same time. No waiting for food delivery, no interruptions at the door, no waiting for those who are late. Virtual communication also makes it easy to share documents, PowerPoints and presentations, and any other information that needs to be shared with the group. And, email is likely to become more frequent, really proving which meetings could have just been an email.
If nothing else, you can grab a snack when you are supposed to be paying attention.
One super important benefit is that you can avoid office politics. While you can’t choose your coworkers, it can be a lot easier to get along with everyone when you work remotely. By avoiding the potential of having people come into your office uninvited, or stick their noses in your assignments, working from home makes it easy to stay organized and stay out of trouble.
Besides, without gossip in the hallways and lunchroom, it is a lot easier to avoid drama.
The communication that does happen is a lot more likely to be positive, productive, and easy. When you can’t meet up with people in the office, texting, Skyping, and using apps like Slack is becoming a necessity. Practicing verbal and written communication improves future job prospects, improves current relationships, and helps make you a communication expert.
Becoming an expert can extend to other areas of your life, too. Because you won’t be confined to an office for a specified amount of time, you can increase your knowledge on your own. With time to take online classes, go to additional training, or simply enjoy a hobby, both your performance at work and your quality of life will improve.
With improved productivity, fewer commuting expenses, less time wasted, more productive meetings, and improved quality of life, it is hard to see the downfalls of working from home. While it will take some adjustment, and not all jobs can be done remotely, those that can, should be.
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