While remote work may still be a new concept to many businesses, it has proved to be time-saving and cost-effective in many ways. So, what exactly is remote work?
What Is Remote Work?
Remote work, also known as telecommuting or working from home (wfh), is a work arrangement where employees of an organization do not report to their organization’s physical address. Instead, the employees work from their homes, abroad, or any other location.
Most companies that allow their employees to work remotely ensure that each employee has access to devices and equipment, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, that would enable them to complete tasks efficiently from wherever they are.
In any case, most professionals do not need to work from a specific space to accomplish their set objectives.
Pros and Cons of Remote Work
Here are some aspects of remote working that companies ought to consider before they adopt it:
Pros of remote work
When employees can work from outside the office, it allows them to balance many other aspects of their lives. Sometimes situations or events occur risking an employee’s job, for example, sickness, frequent visits to the doctor, relocation of a partner, and maternity leave, among others. If employees were allowed to work remotely through such circumstances, they would be able to find time in their day and complete their job tasks from wherever they are; compared to if they had to report to work to complete their work duties.
A lot of time is saved when employees do not have to travel back and forth to the organization’s physical address.
Most people who work remotely tend to find a quiet space in their home where they can work from with minimum distractions. Employees in a quiet place are likely to be more productive than employees in an average office environment filled with other co-workers.
Cons of remote work
Employers cannot control the environment that employees work in when they are not in the office. If the employee works from home, roommates, or family members living in the house are likely to keep distracting them by shifting their attention from work.
Online distractions are also prevalent and might include visiting social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, instead of working. Distractions lead to low productivity and often make it hard for the employee to meet its deadlines.
In cases where an employee lives alone, working remotely will require them to continue spending increased amounts of time on their own, leading to isolation. A busy work environment creates a social atmosphere and eliminates feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Some employees with existing underlying mental issues like depression may struggle with isolation, reducing their productivity when working from home.
5 Remote Work Best Practices You and Your Team Should Follow
Here are 5 working from home best practices your whole team should follow.
Employees can improve their productivity while working from home by getting rid of all distractions. While working from home, one must know how to deal with distractions emanating from food, social media (Facebook, Instagram, and any other), TV, pets, kids, neighbours, music, and friends.
When an employee is working from home and has to work on a proposal or report for their company, they can maximize their level of focus by turning off the TV or music system and focusing on the task at hand. They can also set their phones aside or switch them off whenever they are working to minimize online distractions that result from social media.
Structure your day
If you work for an organization that allows you to work remotely, you may need to structure your day to perform your tasks with ease. A great way to do this is by creating a timetable and highlighting the number of hours you are supposed to work each day. Allocate the working hours into your most productive time of the day.
If you are more productive in the morning, spend most of your morning hours working. Everything else you need to do around the house can be done before you start working or in the evening when you are through with your work.
Start Eat Healthy
Make sure that the food you eat at home while working is healthy. After all, your health will affect your productivity at work. If you eat contaminated food, you may end up having food poisoning, which might result in you spending many hours in the hospital.
A healthy diet will also help you avoid lifestyle diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. One way of maintaining a healthy diet is by including fruits and vegetables in your meals. Stay away from snacks, sugary foods, and drinks when working remotely.
Separate work and life
To keep accomplishing your tasks on time, ensure that you keep your work life separate from your personal life even when working from home. If you have a family, let your children and spouse know that there are hours during the day when you cannot be disturbed. If your home has a study room or home office, you can use it as your working space.
You can also use any room and furnish it as a working area during the day, where you seclude yourself from everyone else in the house to work. When you are done with work, give your family the attention that they need.
Invest in your working environment
How does your working environment look like at home? If you have been struggling to work from your couch or bed at home, then it is time you invested in your working area. You can buy yourself a working desk and chair, which you can place in a secluded corner in your home. From here, you can work efficiently, comfortably, and without any distractions.
Are You Already Working Remotely?
Working remotely is fast gaining popularity in many industries. However, for it to work, employers have to ensure that employees have access to the company’s network and resources that they need to execute their work quickly. Companies should also have a good IT department with IT specialists who will be available at all times to solve any technical errors that workers may experience when working remotely.