When the global health crisis hit its peak, it forced companies to reduce what they were doing, and send their teams to have to work from home, where this was possible. Working remotely over the past few weeks and months has been a big thing, with professionals juggling home and family life, alongside their work and other health concerns. For some businesses, working from home was a really new thing. But after months of doing so, people have become more settled with it all, got into more of a routine, and have embraced the working from home lifestyle. What is apparent for a number of office-based teams is that employees can be productive and keep focused when they work from home. In some cases, they can be even more focused and productive than when they’re in the office.
But what will working from look like as we embark on a world with restricted lockdown measures? Will companies be preparing to go back to normal in their office, and prepare their teams to do so? Or will this health crisis have actually brought about one silver lining, that will encourage more employers to embrace flexible working and working from home becoming the norm? Whether you are looking for a job, are an employer, or are already working remotely, here are some of the top benefits of working from home, even long after COVID-19 is a thing of the past.
Better Work-Life Balance
When you work from home, and don’t have back to back calls or Zoom meetings, it means that you as an employee can start your day when you would like to, and then stop work when you have got your work done. You’re less likely to take a long lunch break like you might if you’re in the office, but you can find it easier to drop in and out of your work depending on what is going on around you. If you have a medical appointment, errands, or want to drop the children at school, then you can work around that; just log back in when you get back. For that reason, working from home is a way to help you to get a good work and life balance. Working from home can leave you feeling less stressed, and even with more time on your hands as commuting will be a thing of the past.
Less Commute Stress
Commuting, as mentioned briefly above, can be something that is very stressful. It has been found that the average commute is just under thirty minutes, making it nearly an hour each day spent traveling to and from work. Some people will face much longer commutes, though, and it is one of the downsides of getting to and from work. Of course, if you’re working from home, this isn’t a commute that you will have. Commuting can lead to an increased level of stress and anxiety, and in fact, here is research that shows that commuting for least thirty minutes to or from work can lead to having higher cholesterol, elevated blood sugar levels, and an increased risk of anxiety or depression. So no having to commute can help your physical and mental health. You will be able to sleep for longer, and may have more time to eat a proper breakfast, and so on.
For individuals, not having to commute can save a lot of money. But for a business, no matter the size, having a team of employees that do work from home can help to save you a lot of money. You won’t need a large office space if the team works from home on certain days, for example. For a smaller business, and even for an entrepreneur wanting to get a business off the ground, you could look to get a virtual office to help you. This can help you to save money, as well as time. You can create and maintain a presence for your business in a rather desirable location, without having to pay the cost of the rent in the location. So for someone just starting out, this can be a great element of working from home, that can give your business some professionalism and some clout.
When you have a business that works remotely, it means that technically, people can work from anywhere in the world. As a result, it helps the business to embrace inclusion and diversity as the company can hire people from different locations, different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. If you are normally restricted to one location, and people who live within a committing distance of that location, then it can limit the talent pool somewhat, and mean a diverse workforce can be more difficult. Remote working also helps to give people who may have difficulty finding steady employment with a job with set hours in an office environment, for example. This could be parents needing flexibility around their children or those with disabilities. So you open the talentpool right up, when you have a team that can work from anywhere.
Positive Impact on the Environment
We have seen such an impact on the environment these past few months in lockdown. Imagine what would happen when more and more people continue to work from home? There won’t be a rush hour with cars filling up the roads. There will be less plans flying everywhere, because of more people calling or talking online for business. As a result, it can have such a positive impact on the environment. It has been found that if four million employees work from home, even for just half of the time, it will reduce greenhouse gases by a huge amount, equivalent to taking 600,000 cars off the road each year. So that is a staggering amount that is really worth thinking about. Plus, businesses can do more to make good choices for the environment, as there will be fewer disposable water or coffee cups used in the office, as well as reducing how much paper or energy for heating that they need.
So as you can see, there are a number of benefits to keep working from home, long after coronavirus.