The last two years have marked an unprecedented time in world history, to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic left people scrambling from their desks to retreat in the comfort of their homes, isolated from any other potentially germ bearing individuals. Businesses nationwide were left reeling in the uncertainty of how to operate moving forward. Many companies put business completely on hold, and some simply couldn’t survive the extended period of reduced revenue.
For many, however, there was an alternative solution. CEOs began to send their employees to work from their respective homes, with a cautious optimism about the momentum of operations moving forward. What people didn’t know was the immense success that these work from home methods would achieve. With that all being said, here are the reasons why working from home is just as productive for business as being in the office:
Video Conference Calls:
Now it’s no secret that work from home may not have been possible even 10 to 20 years ago, but we are extremely fortunate to live in a society of continuously evolving technology, where things are always becoming easier and more accessible. It’s particularly easier than ever to interact with other humans via video chatting software like Skype, Zoom, and Blue Jeans. These meeting focused programs make it very simple to schedule a several person video conference call at the click of a button. Shared virtual calendars provide a centralized hub for everyone to see one another’s meetings, which makes scheduling a breeze. To read more about the intricacies of virtual meetings check out one of our other blog posts called: Pros and Cons of Virtual Meetings – FarShore
Another great feature that video conference calls have to offer is screen sharing. This feature enables a participant to allow others access to view their entire computer screen, or just a single application on the screen depending on the situation. Trying to show something to someone else on a computer in the office can be super challenging. It’s not particularly effective to have someone hunched over your shoulder and squinting as hard as humanly possible to try and follow the microscopic mouse clicks around your desktop. Screen sharing is the solution to all these problems. Your screen is essentially projected onto the screen of your coworkers, and you can far more effectively execute training, trouble shooting, or even giving a presentation in a meeting.
Email and Instant Messaging:
Now, two lines of communication that are a bit more classic are instant messaging, and the old reliable email of it all. Email is/has always been great for conveying large or small chunks of info, web links, document attachments etc. Chatting features on programs like Skype and Slack are great for having an ongoing dialogue with teams on a minute-by-minute basis, much like the feel of how it would be with your desk mates in an office setting. How to maintain a sense of togetherness when working from home? (farshore.com) is a more detailed post touching on some of the additional ways teams can keep morale high when working from home. A mutual benefit for both lines of communication is that everything is recorded. You don’t ever have to leave your boss’ office just to do the walk of shame back there moments later because you completely forgot what they just told you. When corresponding via email and instant message, all the information is recorded for you to conveniently reference back to at any given time.
Employees Don’t Get Burnt Out:
There are several studies on the internet these days that suggest the average employee in America is doing productive work for a mere three hours a day. There are many factors about the in-person office setting that likely contribute to this. Commuting into work during rush hour traffic is enough to take a toll on anyone, so by the time you get into work you may be more focused on your coffee and donut then you are on jumpstarting the day. Working from home provides a seamless transition from waking up, taking as little as a few steps, and being able to dive into productivity. When in the office, a lunch break can take an entire hour out of the day as you leave to go to a restaurant. When you work from home, meal breaks become quick and easy. As the day progresses on, it is natural that people get antsy in the office, and their gaze can start turning towards the clock. When working from home, you aren’t thinking as much about your punch out time, or your complex commute back home…since you’re already there. Lastly, there is an aspect to being in the office that requires you to always be “on.” People are quick to call out when they have even small medical upsets like headaches and stomach issues, because the idea of having to be observed in an office all day when you don’t feel well is daunting. With working from home, people’s threshold for calling out is increased significantly. You can wear comfy clothes from the waist down, move locations in your house where you feel most comfortable, and take short breaks when you need to.
You Don’t Have to Pay for that Expensive Office Space:
Depending on where you’re located in the country, a corporate office space can cost many thousand dollars a month. Thanks to the ability to work from home, companies no longer have to incur that hefty expense. Why spend a large chunk of money each month on an office space, when people are more than happy to use their own homes as their personal office spaces? In many cases too, people are even happy using their own personal technology at home, rather than what is provided by the company, thus saving additional costs. These money saving factors can truly add up over time.
In conclusion, working from home is a great option in a time where public health is uncertain, but people are adaptable, and technology is capable. One may ask after all of this; how can I ensure that my employees are working when they’re supposed to? I can’t see them in the office, after all. Well, the work speaks for itself. You know the how the old saying goes, quality over quantity. In a work from home setting, people are focused and comfortable in a way that enables them to produce quality work. It’s not necessarily about micromanaging every working minute, but knowing that meetings, deadlines, tasks, and projects will naturally guide the flow of the day and ensure that your business is just as productive as ever. To learn more about how to be the most productive remote employee/business, check out: Tips for Working From Home (farshore.com)
Michelle is an Account Coordinator here at FarShore. Her main goal in this role is to facilitate superb client/company relationships from start to finish. She graduated from Cameron University with a BA in Strategic Communications and a minor in PR. When not working, Michelle can be found taking her two cats for walks, trying food from new restaurants, or traveling somewhere warm!