Many companies (especially in the IT industry) allowed their employees to ‘work from home’ even before the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). But, it has now forced businesses of almost every industry into a ‘new normal’ globally since then. Many of those are first-timers who don’t find it easy working from home.
There are some industries (say travel, hospitality, aviation) where remote working is obviously not easy, and these industries will continue to struggle for some more time.
Along with benefits, “working from home” has its own challenges such as how to effectively communicate with your team members, being distracted from your work, not having an appropriate home office setup, managing your working hours and keeping yourself motivated as well as focused.
However, as per Buffer’s recent State of Remote Report 2020, 98% of the respondents would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. And, 97% of the respondents would like to recommend remote work to others. This clearly gives an indicator that remote working is gaining popularity and is here to stay.
In this blog post – which is part #1 of your Work From Home (WFH) Series, we focus on Productivity – the number #1 benefit of “home working”. Here we’ll see how working from a home office can help in increasing employee productivity.
Work From Home Productivity - UK Statistics
As per Finder.com,
- 60% of the UK’s adult population are currently working from home during the Coronavirus lockdown
- 26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown.
- Before the lockdown more than 1.54 million people work from home for their main job, up from 884,000 10 years ago.
- 65% of workers said they would be more productive in a home office than a normal office.
- 75% of workers say they will be more productive due to reduced distractions.
- 83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive.
- Two-thirds of employers report increased productivity for remote workers compared to in-office workers.
Does this mean that homeworking is being widely accepted and helping in improving productivity with a perfect work-life balance?
Work From Home : Which Industries, Which Jobs
The top 5 industries that work from home the most
- Information and communication
- Prof, scientific, technical activities
- Real estate activities
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing
- Financial and insurance activities
And below is the list of top 5 jobs that work from home the most:
- Chief Executives and Senior Officials
- Media Professionals
- Artistic, Literary and Media Occupations
- Teaching and Educational Professionals
- Health and Social Services Managers and Directors
Remote Workers Are More Productive
There is no reason why your team cannot be productive while working at home, despite the known challenges, if they know how to deal with it. Of course, you need a well-defined work from home policy with some advanced tools to be productive.
Remote working offers great comfort, flexibility and convenience. At the same time, it reduces corporate expenses, facilitates hiring of global talent and enhances employer-employee relationships.
Plus, it allows remote workers to go an extra mile, take breaks as required to freshen up, bring in more creative ideas and deliver better when worked without any pressure.
Yes, it’s true having a healthy and happier team helps to maximise business returns.
10 Work From Home Tips To Increase Productivity
If you are working remotely for the first-time then this section is especially for you. Here are our top 15 productivity tips for working from home:
- Setup your home workspace: Find a suitable corner at your home that has decent natural lighting. Most importantly it should be a calm area so that you can focus better on your work. Get a comfortable chair placed next to your desk with some necessary stationary materials, water bottle, lamp etc.
- Turn-off all unwanted notifications: To stay focused and be productive, it’s required that you turn-off your email, social media & call notifications for specific time slots to avoid distractions.
- Prepare your daily routine: Know the timings of your family members, neighbourhood and others – when they are likely to come and when they will leave. Make your work schedule accordingly so that you get less interruptions while working. Get properly dressed if you normally do. Share your schedule with everyone so that they respect the fact that you are working from home.
- Add break times in your schedules: It’s equally important to include break times (for lunch, coffee breaks, snacks, power nap, walk) in your schedule. This will help you get recharged and work more efficiently.
- Make best use of technology and productivity apps: Ensure that you have a fast and reliable internet connection so that you can use cloud based remote working apps effectively. For team communications, you can use Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack, Microsoft Teams etc. Use Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Dropbox, MS OneDrive etc for project collaboration along with other business productivity that your company uses internally to enhance productivity.
- Manage your working hours: Remote working gives you flexibility but at the same time ensure that you don’t work excessive overtime which can impact your next day schedule, unless it’s critical.
- Get a backup plan: Having an additional internet connection as a backup can be a good idea to keep your work going. Similarly, a spare laptop, taking regular backups or knowing someone who can fix your IT issues remotely can be very handy.
- Stay fit and healthy: Yes, this is something that we least bother while working remotely. Eat healthy, do regular exercise and meditation and take enough sleep to keep your body relaxed.
- Get time for yourself: Listen to music, watch movies, play games, learn something new etc to stay relaxed and manage stress.
- Stay connected: Don’t start feeling isolated or disconnected. Talk over the phone, do video calls, play online games, brainstorm on new ideas, connect on social media with your friends and colleagues.