Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more employers are urging their teams to work from home to prevent the spread of the virus. If you’ve never worked remote, the idea may seem daunting, but it can be an easy switch with the right tools and mindset. Keep in mind that many people have already been doing it successfully. According to Global Workplace Analytics, about 5 million employees (3.6% of the workforce) currently work-at-home on a regular basis at least half-time.
Our team here at CyberCoders has quickly adjusted to this new reality, and we’ve outlined a few reasons why we love working from home.
FlexJobs’ 2019 Annual Survey found that 65% of respondents are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace. Interestingly, the top 5 reasons cited for why they think they’d be more productive in a home office include fewer involuntary distractions, fewer interruptions from colleagues, reduced stress from commuting, minimal office politics, and quieter noise levels.
Some may argue that there are more distractions working from home, but for the most part, those distractions are voluntary. For example, you chose to turn on the TV and watch Netflix. These are distractions that can be avoided because you have control. You can’t control involuntary distractions, and they happen more frequently in an office setting. Just think of how many times you’ve gotten called in for an impromptu meeting or brainstorming session. Having fewer involuntary distractions leads to increased productivity because you can experience longer stretches of uninterrupted work.
To optimize your productivity, it’s key to create a structure for your daily routine and stick to it. This requires self-discipline and accountability, but once you have a daily routine down, you’ll find it’s much easier to work remote. If you need some guidance here, I recommend creating a to do list first thing in the morning. As you’re doing this, prioritize the tasks you need to get done today. Anything urgent or time sensitive should be high on your list. Also, take a moment to define what a successful and productive day looks like. What do you need to cross off that to do list for you to feel accomplished? After you’ve decided what you need to get done today, go through and schedule time blocks for everything on your list. This will help to ensure you’re getting everything done.
Your workspace also plays an important role in your productivity. When you’re working from home, you have the ability to control every aspect of your environment. Tailor your surroundings to keep you focused and avoid distractions. Some people can concentrate better when it’s quiet. Some people like when there’s white noise or music in the background. Some people work better in natural light, so they face a window. Some people prefer working in a space that’s dimly lit. Create a space that works for you, so you can work better.
There are people that commute long distances for work, and if you’re in a city with a lot of traffic like Los Angeles, sometimes even short commutes of only 5 miles can take half an hour or more. According to the US Census Bureau, Americans spend 26.6 minutes commuting to work on average. Let’s do some math, shall we. If the average commute time is 26.6 minutes and you commute to and from work, that’s 53.2 minutes a day. Now, there are about 261 working days in a calendar year, so working exclusively from home would save you about 9.6 full days over the course of a year. Pretty staggering, isn’t it?
Spending less time commuting can have some serious benefits. You can enjoy more time spent doing things you like, less stress caused by the uncertainty of getting to work on time, and better work life balance.
You can also enjoy transportation savings whether that’s not having to pay for gas, Ubers/Lyfts or public transportation, which brings me to my next point.
If savings is one of your financial goals in 2020, we’re happy to report that according to Global Workplace Analytics employees save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year by working at home half the time. This is largely due to reduced costs for travel, parking and food. What could you do with the extra money savings?