Efficiently and Effectively Working From Home | At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 71% of Americans worked from home, compared to a mere 20% pre-pandemic.
As movement restrictions and social distancing made safe office work next to impossible, the transition to telework proved to have both its advantages and its drawbacks.
With the vaccine rollout now well underway, some of these workers have returned to the office full-time. Others continue to work remotely, at least part of the time. Adapting to this work-from-home lifestyle can be tricky, which is why we’ve laid out this guide on how to efficiently and effectively work from home.
The Advantages of Remote Work
Needless to say, remote work comes with a host of advantages, from increased autonomy to reduced commuting costs. Here are some of the top benefits of remote work, for both employers and employees:
- Expanded pool of talent for hiring.
- Reduced commuting costs.
- Lower carbon footprint.
- Flexible work schedules.
- Less money spent on overhead like office space.
- Fewer distractions from co-workers.
- Potential of increased productivity.
- Choose and customize your own office space.
Productivity is Key
One study by ConnectSolutions showed that, among people who work remotely at least occasionally, around 77% of them believe that their time spent working from home is more productive than time spent working on-site. Do these statistics surprise you?
The data has shown time and time again that allowing employees increased flexibility and autonomy can drastically increase productivity levels. In fact, work-from-home proves so fruitful to businesses that, according to Forbes, “a majority of high-revenue-growth companies, 63%, have already enabled productivity anywhere workforce models.”
The Challenges of Remote Work
While the benefits of remote work are undeniable, working from home also comes with a unique set of challenges. These hurdles include:
- Lack of access to specialized equipment.
- Not all jobs can be performed remotely.
- Employees may have to foot higher utility bills, office space expenses, and other incidental costs no longer covered by the employer.
- Increased distractions from children and family members.
- The difficulty in maintaining proper work-life balance.
- Building connections with co-workers can be more challenging.
- Scheduling and coordinating meetings are more complex.
Fortunately, you can turn these challenges into advantages by following some of the tips below.
Continue Team Building & Collaboration
When transitioning to a remote work model, you’ll need to make some adjustments. One of those adjustments is changing the way you go about team-building.
Without the morning coffee chit-chat or weekly team lunches, you may struggle to connect with your colleagues, both professionally and personally. A Zoom conference, unfortunately, just doesn’t yield the same kind of human interaction as an in-person meeting.
To ensure your business maintains its collaborative spirit remotely, you can make sure communication channels are simple and not too overwhelming. You can also set aside time for regular activities or get-togethers where the team can bond without discussing work. These are just a few of your available options to foster innovation and collaboration with a remote team.
While collaborating with co-workers, many tools are available to help enhance your teamwork capabilities. Apps like Slack allow you to receive instant messages from colleagues, while applications such as Zoom allow for face-to-face interaction. Mind mapping software can help you and your team stay organized, properly prepare for meetings, and strategically plan for the future.
Maintain Proper Work-Life Division
One of the most difficult aspects of remote work is that stark work-life boundaries no longer exist. It can be tempting to get distracted or even to continue working when you are exhausted and well past a stopping point.
By compartmentalizing your time and allowing yourself frequent breaks, you can keep your productivity high at no cost to your mental or physical health. You can find additional tips on how to survive work-from-home by browsing the Internet and consulting with friends and colleagues.
When you’re working from the comfort of your own home, it may be difficult to remember that you’re still at work. Depending on your line of business, this may mean you have to dress for the job or conduct yourself in a certain manner.
For example, a psychiatrist hosting a telehealth counseling session should retain the same relaxed, helpful demeanor they would at the office.
If you hold regular meetings with high-end investors or important businesspeople, on the other hand, it’s probably still necessary to dress professionally. Incorporating professional backgrounds for video calls is also a great idea to boost your credibility while creating a professional workspace.
Find an Option That Works to Grow Your Business
Whether you want your company to go fully remote or adopt a hybrid work-from-home model, you’ll want to consider the best option for your business.
Perhaps a completely remote model isn’t compatible with your line of business. That doesn’t mean part-time work-from-home isn’t a great option to expand your team and business prospects.
With the increased productivity resulting from remote work, along with the undoubted benefits it offers, you can use remote working to the advantage of your business. In today’s online world, it’s important to ensure you’re making the most of your work-from-home experience!