Working from home has a poor reputation, but more and more businesses are implementing work-from-home rules. Many employers thought that their employees would be too easily distracted at home, where their managers couldn’t monitor their direct reports.
A decade ago, remote work was extremely uncommon. Working from home was usually only possible on a case-by-case basis to fit the needs of unique families. Teleconferencing and telework technology, on the other hand, have progressed to the point that certain businesses can now operate with totally remote staff. It’s not unusual for companies to allow their employees to work from home once or twice a week.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a major upheaval in the global work economy in 2020. While remote work used to be a luxury offered by select employers, it has become the new normal for most. 70% of the workforce will be working from home at least five days a month by 2025, according to estimates. While 2020 may be seen as the year of remote work, we believe it is only the beginning, as the trend is expected to continue.
History of Remote Work
The Covid-19 pandemic popularized remote work, however, working from home is anything but a new concept.
People were conducting their trade in their houses even before the internet was invented. The idea of workers meeting en masse to accomplish work together for any reason other than waging war and treating illness and injury did not really take hold until the industrial revolution.
The “norm” shifted from a world of solitary labourers, each peddling their skills and commodities from their own homes to something more akin to the rat race we’re accustomed to. Daily commutes and designated office spaces were born.
Then came the digital age, which brought forth yet another paradigm shift. Workers had already been using UNIX and DOS for years when the internet was developed in the early 1980s. Creating a system that connected existing networks opened up a whole new world of connectedness and, with it, new methods of working.
Long before modern remote working became popular around the turn of the millennium, IBM had a small number of employees working from home to see how efficient it was.
By 1983, the company had grown from five remote workers to 2,000, and call centre employees, who did all of their work over the phone anyhow, had the option of working from home.
Telecommuting has grown by 115% in the previous decade, and it will continue to grow as we adapt to a new realism of a post-pandemic society. It’s the way remote work will be done in the future.
A new era of business began in 1999, with the launch of the first website and the advent of garage startups, and it belonged to the entrepreneurs. Startups pioneered a new way of working, initially characterized by striving college students and people who had left the corporate sector in quest of more flexibility, prosperity, and personal fulfilment.
Entrepreneurs worked from box rooms, sheds, and basements until they found investors eager to support them, fueled by a tight budget and a lot of dedication. Even back then, many people preferred to start firms that were flexible, enabling them and their employees to continue working from wherever they wanted.
Benefits of Remote Work on Employees
When the COVID-19 outbreak forced many organizations around the world to adopt a work-from-home policy, there was widespread concern about whether employees would be as productive working from home. This was compounded by the necessity to give workers the tools they required to be productive while working remotely.
However, as many of these companies discovered a few months later, workers could be just as effective, if not more so, working from home. Even more remarkable was the realization by many businesses that allowing employees to work from home cut operating costs.
Here are eight reasons why working from home boosts employee productivity while also providing employers with intriguing never-before-seen prospects.
Less commute stress
Most professionals, especially those who have a two-way commute to and from work, spend a significant amount of time stuck in traffic. Workers who reside in heavily populated places have it even worse. In order to go to work early, people must leave home as early as 4 a.m., enduring severe traffic while still dealing with the pressures of a typical workweek, before returning home and navigating even worse traffic.
The time spent stuck in traffic reduces the amount of time available for productive work. However, one of the drawbacks of going to and from work is losing time commuting. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way travel has been linked to higher stress and anxiety levels.
The time you save by skipping the commute can be spent on things other than work, such as obtaining more sleep in the morning, spending more time with family, working out, or having a healthy breakfast.”
Location becomes insignificant
Employees can work from any location, which is another advantage of working remotely. People are not obligated to live in a city that does not meet their standards or preferences, which reduces unnecessary travel.
Remote working helps partners to keep their jobs or at least simplify the transition period if one spouse is required to be based or assigned in a specific place. It doesn’t matter if you live on top of a mountain or by the sea if you work remotely. You can work from anywhere on the globe as long as you have a good internet connection.
Comfortable and customizable workspace
One of the benefits of remote working is that you can arrange your workplace or workstation any way you wish. If you’re messy, you won’t have to worry about your coworkers complaining. And if you’re the office’s neat freak, you can concentrate on your own space.
Many people are more productive when they are in their own surroundings. If you work from home as a telecommuter or freelancer, you can put your desk where you want it, close the door if you want to, and listen to music if it helps you express your ideas.
Working from home saves workers a lot of money that they would otherwise spend if they had to go to work every day. Fuel, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a professional outfit, out-of-pocket lunches, and other expenses can all be cut back or eliminated totally. These small sums add up to more money in your pocket.
Increased productivity and performance
Working from home usually means fewer interruptions, less noise, and fewer (or more productive) meetings. Remote workers often have more time and fewer distractions because they don’t have to commute, which leads to higher productivity—a big benefit of working from home for both employees and businesses. When done correctly, remote work empowers employees and businesses to concentrate on what matters most: results.
Remote working is in line with a slew of recent cultural shifts made possible by technological breakthroughs.
With these new freedoms and options, we must consider how the columns of work-life are reconstructed around our fast vanishing office walls. In order to establish a ‘workplace’ that benefits both today’s companies and tomorrow’s workforce.
Before you go…
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