The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work from home. This can be a real adjustment if you are used to the routine of going to the office every day. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to adapt to this new lifestyle as trends indicate that remote working is here to stay.
Working from home is the future as the US economy becomes increasingly service based. This means that full-time employees are no longer tethered to a central office and can work from practically anywhere. In fact, many employees now expect some amount of remote work from their employers. Studies show that remote workers enjoy their arrangement and a full 99 percent of current remote workers would like to work from home, in some capacity, for their entire careers.
Those who work from home are more likely to start their work day feeling refreshed and motivated. They do not have to worry about the stress and travel costs associated with a daily commute, which gives them more time and money to spend on the things they prefer. Ultimately, this translates into a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.
While you might assume that remote workers would struggle with distractions, they are actually more productive than their in-office counterparts. On average, remote employees work 1.4 more days per month, which adds up to an additional three weeks of work every year.
If you are working from home, it is important to establish a routine and treat your home office like a business place. Here are some tips:
- Designate a workspace that is organized and reserved for work.
- Dress in regular work clothes, don’t work in your pajamas.
- Use a task list to stay on track.
- Establish business hours that are posted and stick to a quitting time.
- Take lunch and dinner breaks and use that time to spend with family or roommates.
- Take regular breaks.
- Set clear boundaries so that everyone in the house knows you are working and should not be disturbed.
- Give yourself credit for a job well done.
- Use remote work apps to facilitate internal communication.
How to Manage Remote Employees
Many companies are just beginning to navigate managing a remote workforce. While it will require a different approach, it can be a beneficial arrangement for everyone involved. Follow these tips to get the most out of your workforce:
- Understand that remote work might not be right for everyone.
- Use a trial period to see if remote work is a good fit for your team.
- Don’t micromanage your employees. Start from a place of trust.
- Take advantage of technology to support your team.
- Establish clear expectations.
- Try to find the right balance between flexibility and structure.
Remote work presents many benefits for both employers and employees. While it can require some adjustment, there are ways to make a remote workforce a success. Making changes now can help prepare for a future that is going to rely more heavily on remote employees.
How do you structure your day working from home?
Establish a routine with clear working hours. Use a task list to stay on track. Put on work clothes. Take frequent breaks. Congratulate yourself for your work and stop working when it is quitting time.
Try to limit distractions but do not expect that your home will be completely quiet. Be sure to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Spend time communicating with your family and roommates and working to improve the situation. Stay in touch with your co-workers.
What are the pros and cons of working from home?
Working from home means more flexibility, fewer distractions and less time and money spent on commuting. Some of the cons include: no physical boundaries between home and work, monotonous days and increased chances of miscommunication because it can be easy to misinterpret electronic messages.
Are people more productive working from home?
Yes, remote workers are more productive and average three more weeks of work per year than in-office workers.
Is working from home the future?
Yes, the economy is becoming more service based, which gives workers the flexibility to work from anywhere.
How do you manage employees working from home?
Understand that working remotely might not be right for everyone. Use a trial period to see if it is a good fit. Don’t micromanage your employees. Start from a place of trust. Take advantage of technology to support your team. Establish clear expectations. Try to find the right balance between flexibility and structure.
Workers are more productive and companies do not have to spend money on office space. In addition, many employees are willing to accept lower salaries for the opportunity to work remotely. Remote work opportunities tend to attract a wider pool of applicants while also improving retention.