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Can Work from Home Be More Productive?

14 May 2021

As the whole world shifted to a new normal, employers have pushed forward the work-from-home work setup. Workers are doing their jobs remotely. Face-to-face interactions are no longer advisable because the coronavirus is an invisible enemy that can wreak havoc on all our bodies in more ways than we could even imagine. 

To bring a solution to having less personal contact and fewer chances of getting infected, most if not all industries shifted to the work-from-home dynamic. 

There is no denying that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has altered the business environment in 2020 up until this current time, with more companies than ever allowing or forcing workers to work from home. While many employees already work from home, many staff and managers are still adjusting to the new model. 

Let us dive deeper as to how this new work setup affected workers worldwide. Does it increase productivity among workers at home or it just makes things worse?

New Location for Working

The pandemic, however, struck in March 2020. All of us were abruptly sent home and forced to learn new work methods. We now have a clear idea of how our day-to-day plans have changed after many months. 

Since the start of COVID-19, more people are working from home than ever before. This presents both challenges and opportunities, and it necessitates a change in a variety of work practices. But on the bright side of things, it has led to an increase in worker’s productivity.

Because remote employees often have more flexibility in their schedules, absences are minimized, and they can save money daily. Also, there is no need to take days off here and there to fulfill personal commitments since they are spending the majority of their time at home.

Productivity in the Home Office Environment

Researchers surveyed 1,004 full-time workers around the United States about their productivity, commutes, and other aspects of their lives. 505 people in that community worked from home. Working from home, according to the report, benefits workers not only by reducing regular commutes but also by increasing productivity and leading to healthier lifestyles.

Office employees lose an average of 37 minutes during their breaks, compared to 27 minutes for remote workers. When mouse movement or screen time is monitored, remote workers spent 39 percent of their time avoiding work, compared to 56 percent of office workers. So, while remote workers may face more distractions, they are usually more efficient once they get to work.

It is thought that remote employees are more productive because they do not have to deal with a noisy workplace or the disruptions of unnecessary meetings. 

Workers Having More Productive Hours

Working from home increases efficiency. Employees will work at their most productive hours while doing errands in the meantime. They now have the freedom to work from wherever they are most relaxed and efficient, which means no more noisy coworkers or frequent interruptions.

Telecommuters have a lower level of tension. Working from home means you won't have to deal with rush hour traffic on your daily commute, and you'll have less time to prepare for the day ahead.

Workplace burnout was reduced by half in a remote work environment, according to a Stanford University report, resulting in higher employee retention.

Companies save money on leases, equipment, and the general expense of running an office, resulting in lower operating costs.

As a result, it can come as a surprise to some that people who work from home are more efficient, less likely to leave, and have higher job satisfaction. Employees who worked from home for nine months were 13.5 percent more effective than their workplace colleagues, according to one case study. According to another study, 91% of remote employees say they are more effective when they work from home.

Absence of the Daily Commute Struggles

One of the most significant advantages of working remotely is that workers no longer have to commute to work. According to a report, commuting has caused at least 1 in 4 respondents to leave their employment. Many employees said that they would be willing to give up several items to eliminate their commute. Furthermore, when commuting stress is reduced, remote workers can concentrate on their assignments rather than having to wind down from the stress of morning rush hour. 

The absence of a daily commute has resulted in lower maintenance costs and reduced travel and preparation time. Remote employees save money and have more time to spend on their other responsibilities. It also benefits the environment by reducing the number of people who drive, train, or take the bus to and from work.

The time saved by eliminating the regular commute has been used to develop healthy workout patterns. Researchers found that remote staff spent two hours and 44 minutes a week on physical activity, a 25-minute improvement over office workers.

The Start of Productivity Bouts

Many of the reports of increased productivity were early in the pandemic. Some have dubbed this “panic productivity,” attributing the early perception of increased productivity to the adrenaline boost people got from the sudden shifts in the nature and location of their work. 

Job loss was widespread, and people may have been working like crazy in the hopes of staying visible, relevant, and ensuring their boss thought they were still adding value, even from home. 

Some Drawbacks of the Work-From-Home Setup

But we are hearing a lot of people are now hitting a wall. They are tired, fed up, and burned out. If their productivity was high at first, it has declined as the pandemic has worn on and as the stressors around them have mounted. Facilitating learning for children at home, caring for loved ones, and navigating all the new norms for work are pressure points that have built over time and are unlikely to let up anytime soon.

When working from home, productivity can be a challenge. Working away from your coworkers and just having remote online meetings may lead to emotional disconnect and apathy. It has the potential to inspire procrastination.

Final Thoughts

There are ways you can improve productivity and achieve that work-life balance. There are far more distractions, less transparency, and less contact at home than there are at work. However, this does not rule out the possibility of remaining productive. There are numerous options for staying productive when working from any place.