The Ultimate Guide to Work From Home
Working from home was a thing but not a trend until the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the spread of the virus, businesses had to maintain the least human interaction and which is why they switched to working from home.
As appealing as it sounds, the work from home force came with its pros and cons.
Cutting on traveling is good for some while there are employees who constantly miss the office environment. But overall, work from home culture brought an unexpected yet positive revolution in the workforce.
Companies with work-from-anywhere policies can boost employee productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, according to recent research at Harvard Business School.
Fact check: 2020 is the year where humans have worked from home the most in the history of civilization.
Yet the list of myths that people carry still exists. In fact, not just people but employees and employers. But now that almost all of us have experienced it, I am sure we now know that these are just myths.
WORK FROM HOME MYTHS BUSTED!
Myth #1 Productivity decreases when working from home
Remote workers are often seen as layabouts who are comforted in their home spaces and don’t put much effort into work. This myth was believed by many before the actual statistics came into the picture.
- A study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increases productivity by 13%.
- 94% of surveyed employers report that company productivity has been the same (67%) or higher (27%) since employees started working from home during the pandemic.
- 77 percent of people who adapted work from home culture report higher productivity.
The statistics speak for themselves.
Myth #2 Remote workers are available all-day
No, a remote worker isn’t available all day because they are in their “office” all day.
People usually assume that as employees are always near their workspace, they wouldn’t mind receiving a few calls and working on a few problems. This myth is so real that employees have ended up spending extended office hours when working from home.
This needs you to set a few boundaries between work time and the rest of the time. When you are working remotely, you should set up your work schedule just like anybody else. Perhaps, you shouldn’t hesitate in taking lunch breaks, or taking a few minutes off when you have worked quite a lot.
If you are spending time with your family or friends outside work hours, you shouldn’t let work interfere with that time. To make this process smooth and effective, there are a bunch of time tracking tools that businesses are using.
However, the use of these systems can have negative consequences if implemented incorrectly. Fortunately, there are some amazing resources on employee monitoring you can refer to.
Make the most of it!
Myth #3 It’s difficult to communicate with the team
Thankfully, we have entered an era where tools like Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, etc, are booming and assisting the work from home culture effectively.
It’s true that remote teams literally survive on these communication and collaboration tools and employees need to prep well before conducting team meetings but it’s totally worth it. Moreover, remote meetings drive urgency and that is why people are usually short, crisp, and to the point which is rare in physical meetings in an office.
A plus point, isn’t it?
We also can’t deny that it gets difficult to manage timings when working from different time zones. In such an instance, you just need to set a middle ground and work accordingly. For the rest of the tasks, contemporary tools are there to help for task tracking, cloud documentation, video conferencing, video presentations software, webinar software, etc.
Till we are talking about tools, you can also utilize the ones that enhance your work process and share its platform with your remote colleagues. For example, if you have a social media marketing agency, you can utilize any social media management tool to enhance the work productivity of your whole team.
Myth #4 Remote work makes people lazy and inefficient
When you are working remotely, you aren’t sitting next to your boss or any other employee so your colleagues or boss can’t know what you are doing at any given moment.
This creates uncertainty in the mind of people that if an employee is working or not. But as I already mentioned, it’s just a myth. An employer who doesn’t trust their employees can definitely think this way and if you think the same, I have some statistics for you that will blow your mind.
According to data from Owl Labs’ 2019 State of Remote Work report, remote workers say they work more than 40 hours per week, 43% more than on-site workers do.
It is more than evident that employees working from home are anything but lazy as they not only have to work diligently for their company but they also have to do household chores simultaneously. Moreover, most employees find that they are more productive when they are in control of their days.
Instead of all these myths, remote work was looked at as the future of employment and here we are experiencing it firsthand.
REASONS WHY REMOTE WORK IS THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT
1. You can stay home and reduce your costs
We all know that the biggest advantage of remote work is the reduced cost for the employee as well as the employer. Employers can definitely cut the cost of that fancy furniture and hundreds of lights in the office. Counting from office upkeep, electricity, hired help, to all kinds of amenities, work from home culture saves on all of it.
A win-win situation, isn’t it?
This is what makes work from home culture have a better future in the world of employment.
2. You can expand your hiring network
Remote work gives an obvious yet special gift to organizations. Companies are no longer restricted to a specific area or a specific country.
What does it tell you?
It tells us that the employees won’t have to cross geographical boundaries to move where the office is located – they can be hired remotely. Candidates usually eliminate a bunch of organizations because it’s too far or any other location-based reason.
But now the organizations that have shifted to remote work naturally have a vast network of potential candidates who will be ready to work for them.
This gives organizations a chance to hire top talent from anywhere across the world. And this is something every organization might look forward to.
3. You will get higher employee retention
Fortunately, a bunch of organizations have realized the importance and benefits of remote work and are hiring candidates for life-time remote work job positions. Now, an organization that doesn’t offer remote work to employees will eventually lose their employees to those who do.
Because, according to Miro’s survey of the remote workforce, 91% think that remote work is a good fit for them.
“Remote teams almost have an unfair advantage in hiring. I regularly talk to San Francisco teams that lose candidates because other companies offer an opportunity to work from wherever they want. This has become more and more common.”
Andreas Klinger, Head of Remote at AngelList
So, as soon as organizations start offering remote work to their employees, their employee retention rate will increase as this will increase employee loyalty. Backed by a statistic, Gartner estimates that organizations that support a “choose-your-own-work-style” culture can boost employee retention rates by more than 10%.
4. You will have a diverse work environment
As organizations widen their reach across geographies, it’s inevitable to talk and hire candidates from different countries and cultures. And when an organization starts doing that, it is certain to have a diverse remote team with employees from different backgrounds and regions of the world.
And you know what does it bring to the team?
More understanding and exposure to different cultures and people. No organization would want to be limited physically and miss out on diversity in the future which is why remote work is the key.
As work from home culture has become the trend, here are a few tips any remote worker would love to utilize in their work life.
TIPS TO SUCCEED AS A REMOTE WORKER
1. Experiment with your work setup
A remote worker always has a lot of flexibility of when to start working, what to wear, where to sit, how to sit, etc. So why not experiment with it for better results!
Firstly, choose a place that motivates you. It can be a specific corner of your room, your garden, a co-working space, or even a specific chair. Choose whatever suits you and move along with it.
Moving forward to what to wear and when to start.
Some people like to get up, get dressed, and start on their usual office hours because this helps them improve their work productivity. While there are others who start early and finish 70% of their work in the first half.
So come up with a timing that works for you and boosts your productivity. Create such a workplace where you would like to go to every morning. For example, if you are a nature lover, adding some plants to your work table will help you work better.
2. Establish clear working hours
Even though you have a flexible schedule when working remotely, you should definitely set up a schedule to follow. Plan the timings of when you start, when you take a break, and when you finish work. This can help you stick to a specific routine and can also increase work productivity.
This particular habit also helps you deal with your manager or team members better as they will know the timings of when you will be present and when you won’t be.
3. Turn off notifications
I think every remote worker will agree that remote work can bring in a lot of distractions. Be it family, friends, workspace, and most importantly mobile phones. I know it’s hard to resist when your phone pops up notifications every once in a few minutes but to focus on your work when working remotely, you need to dedicate yourself to just your work.
But remember, don’t turn them off for the whole day as this shouldn’t interrupt your work-life balance. Turn them off only for a certain amount of time when you are working.
4. Set time blocks and plan your day
When working remotely, you are accountable for your productivity and you shouldn’t take that for granted. To constantly have a good productivity percentage, you need to start with setting time blocks and planning your day.
Divide your time and assign work to yourself that you are supposed to do throughout the day. This way you will be dedicated to the work you assigned to yourself and you won’t get distracted easily.
5. Never forget to take notes
Some things never change!
As people tend to take notes in traditional meetings, it is also recommended to keep up with meetings, work, etc., while working remotely with a notepad by your side. This can make sure that you have a brief of what’s happening with a particular project or an assignment.
Moreover, it can also help you when you are way ahead in the project and want to revise any data from the start. You can also share it with your team and don’t forget, your notes will always help you.
Remote work culture is becoming more popular than before. I think we can be grateful for the year 2020 for this. We know that there are loopholes in any work environment but remote work definitely has more pros than cons.
So far, remote work has been the first choice for so many people as employees can contribute to a team and earn money from home without having to commute. It can be difficult at times, but keeping in mind the tips and tricks to have a balanced work-life, can be really beneficial.
Coming to an end, if you are working remotely, embrace it, adjust to it & enjoy it!
Comment down below if you have any insights or experiences about work from home culture.
Happy Remote Working!
Surya is an SEO Strategist at SocialPilot. He often looks out for new strategies to optimize the content. He is a problem solver by nature, a mountain person to the core, and music calms the chaos in him. Feel free to ping him on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn.
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