Many people imagine remote workers sitting around the house in their pajamas, sipping coffee and checking emails. While that may be somewhat true (for those still in their pajamas), a new survey has found that employees who work from home are more productive and reliable than many of their in-office colleagues. The survey, which was conducted by ConnectSolutions, suggests that employers who allow their workers to work remotely benefit from cost-savings and productivity gains, while employees reap similar advantages.
“Even the personal benefits workers experience can be viewed as employer benefits since workers tend to be happier, less stressed out, and healthier, thereby bringing down the costs of turnover, absenteeism, lower productivity, and other issues,” boasts Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of ConnectSolutions. When employee satisfaction is at a high, their performance tends to reflect their state of mind.
Remote work yields high benefits, and the numbers are there to prove it. Among the survey highlights are these impressive statistics:
- 77% of remote workers said that they’re more productive when working outside the office.
- 52% of remote workers said they’re less likely to take time off from work, even if they’re sick.
- $5,240 is saved annually in expenses by remote workers.
- 45% of employees who work from home report that they’re getting more sleep.
Being free from an office cubicle means that you’re more likely to engage the sensory parts of your brain, which ultimately results in increased productivity, enhanced mood, and even a more active lifestyle. Walking the dog during breaks, getting sunshine instead of a glow from fluorescent lights, and taking time to wander a little can reset the brain and encourage creativity. If you’ve ever wondered why our best ideas come when we’re showering, hiking, or falling asleep, executive coach Christine Comaford has an idea. “Our brain is wandering, forming connections, resolving incongruencies, testing out theories,” she writes. “Working from home enables more vision-time.”
Most of us need a balance of steady, routine patterns, especially when working from home. It’s critical that you establish a solid routine. Though staying in your PJs all day is a perk for many, getting up and preparing yourself for the day is critical in establishing a solid routine. The physical act of getting to work is a part of that. Make the start of your work day similar each and every day in order to avoid the trap of letting the day get away from you.
What you choose as your office space matters. The most exciting part is that your home, or your chosen work location, is your domain and that you get to choose how big your “bubble” is. Whether you want to work in distraction-free solitude or to the sound of your television is up to you. Remote work allows employees to make the world their office.
Be prepared – it can be distracting. The perfect work space doesn’t just appear in your home. Even if you’ve arranged your home office to become an oasis of creativity, you still may need to deal with spouses, kids, pets, and phone calls. There’s more vision-time and positive stimuli at home, but there is also more opportunity for distraction. Setting boundaries and trying to clearly define what a work day looks like to yourself and those around you is essential to reducing frustration. When the stresses of work and home collide, you will need a management plan to deal with it. Going to work is proven to be less stressful than dealing with conflict at home, so finding a balance will create its own unique set of challenges. Working from home grants you precious time with your family, but work and home must be separated during the work day. This means being willing to make tough decisions and adhering to your established schedule.
PJs or no PJs- the choice is yours. Even with its own unique set of challenges, working from home, a coffee shop, or even the park is extremely rewarding to employers, employees, and their families. You get to decide, is remote work for you?