With millions of people around the world having to contend with the prospect of working from home because of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some have jumped for joy at not having to endure the early morning commute to the office, while others feel they may work less effectively because of the potential distractions they may face in their home environment.
With more than three out of five people able to save more money on childcare costs, and seven out of ten individuals claiming that they feel less stressed because of flexible working (source), it shows two of the many advantages remote working can offer. This article explores the top ten benefits of working from home and how you can work more effectively away from the office.
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Some people may disagree; however, studies have shown that many people are more productive at home than they are in the office. This is because, remote working allows you to be more in control of your tasks and removes the everyday office distractions such as loud co-workers, noisy keyboard tappers, obligatory socialising when you nip to the kitchen for your third cup of coffee and team-members constantly interrupting you in the middle of a piece of work.
With fewer distractions, you can concentrate your efforts and spend more time on your projects; allowing you to complete them more quickly with fewer mistakes. You can also study a qualification to help you gain a promotion at work. View our range of courses and qualifications to get started.
One of the major benefits of working from home is knowing that your workspace is within walking distance from your bed. According to the Independent, the average British worker spends 14,053 hours commuting to and from work (source), with one in seven of us spending two hours or more each day for work travel alone.
No longer will you have to get up early in the morning to sit in traffic, cramped and squashed in a busy train carriage, wait half an hour for a bus that’s running late, or endure a 20-minute walk in the rain behind agonisingly slow members of the public.
Following on from the previous point, not only does remote working save you money on commuting costs (whether this be petrol or expensive train tickets), you will also be able to save money on other things such as childcare costs, and lunch. No longer will you need to pay for a £3 meal deal a day (which equates to £15 a week). Instead, you can purchase a £1 bag of pasta and prepare enough meals out of it to last all week!
Once you have established a routine and are used to your new work environment, the novelty of being surrounded by your home comforts will soon normalise. You’ll learn to ignore minor distractions like the TV and the urge to do a spot of housework. You’ll develop valuable life skills such as self-discipline and self-motivation.
Working away from the office also means you’re more likely to become self-reliant and be more proactive in seeking the answers to problems or queries on your own. You may find that in doing a simple Google search, you can find the answers you seek just as quickly as you would after asking for help from colleagues.
Those of you with flexible jobs have the added advantage of being able to work the hours that suit you (as long as you meet your deadlines). This is useful for night owls, as they can still work their eight-hour shift without having to start at 8am.
If, however, you have to work within specific work hours like most 9-5 jobs, remote working means you have the freedom to use your break times however you choose! Instead of wasting time queuing up in the communal kitchen to use the microwave to heat a disappointing can of soup, you can use your lunch hour to practice your guitar, take an energising power nap, or go for a jog around the local park (maintaining social distancing rules). This way, you’re more likely to return to work feeling more refreshed.
Another advantage of remote working means you can spend more time with loved ones and have the flexibility to deal with home responsibilities around your work schedule.
Not only can you spend more time with your children or take care of a loved one who is sick, you can also take on more unexpected daily errands, such as signing for deliveries, or taking in your food shop. You may even have time to pop in a load of laundry during your lunch break or catch up on an episode of your favourite Netflix series before going back to work.
As the old saying goes ‘You can’t choose your family’ – the same goes for your work colleagues. Working from home means you can avoid any negative gossip and idle chatting that emits from the office environment, and you no longer need to have your day ruined by that strange guy in Sales who believes that subtle insults are a form of banter. Remote working allows you to focus and concentrate on your projects without being distracted by colleagues and surrounding conflicts, which can create a more positive and healthier environment overall.
Staying in touch with your teammates when working away from them becomes much more important when working remotely. Rather than popping over to a colleague’s desk to ask a quick question, you can email, video chat or ping an instant message to them instead. This form of communication can be more beneficial, as it allows you to refine your thoughts and questions before you make contact, which saves time during conversations and ensures all information is concise and relevant
Remote working means you will reduce your travel to and from the office and automatically decrease your carbon footprint. The beauty of working from home means you can recycle to your heart's content and have more control over how green your business is.
Studies have shown that people who work from home have healthier eating habits and suffer from less stress than those based in an office environment. This is because you have fewer restrictions and can spend more time doing the things you enjoy around your work schedule. Having a manageable work-life balance can promote further happiness and productivity in employees.
Besides this, working from home gives you the freedom to customise your work space precisely the way you want it; perhaps you enjoy being surrounded by pictures of your family, require the room to be a certain temperature to concentrate fully or prefer sitting on the sofa with a laptop rather than chained to a desktop computer all day. Regardless of your workspace preferences, working from home gives you the flexibility to live the lifestyle that makes you happy.
As you can see, working from home has many advantages from greater job satisfaction, flexibility, fewer interruptions from work colleagues to zero commuting, however regardless of this, how effectively you work from home purely depends on your personal work preferences. There are many ways you can customise your workspace at home to feel just as formal and productive as the office environment.
Many of our students are now taking advantage of our virtual learning courses and can fit their studies in more easily around their current working-from-home situation. If you looking to upskill in your current role or are considering a career change altogether, get in touch with our friendly team today for more information on our range of virtual learning courses and study advice.