Working
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Why working from home can boost productivity

Whether you are an SME owner wondering if a remote working policy might be good for your business long term, or an employee looking at asking for longer term flexible hours, we explore some of the benefits of working from home.

 

It reduces commuting time

Cooking up a storm

It reduces commuting time

Working from home literally gives people the gift of time, as they no longer need to spend valuable minutes (or hours) travelling to and from their place of work. Instead, they can avoid a stressful commute and concentrate on preparing for the day ahead. And, when it’s time to down tools, they are already at home and ready to relax, help with the kids’ homework or open that bottle of wine and whip up a delicious dinner. 

It boosts work-life balance

Spending time with family

It boosts work-life balance

Offering a flexible approach to work means people may be better able to arrange personal commitments – the school run, a dentist appointment, shopping for an elderly relative ¬– around their working life, which often leads to reduced absenteeism. That said, the blurring of professional and personal lives can mean some employees find it difficult to switch off, so encourage your team to log out of their emails at the end of the workday and place a ban on non-essential phone calls outside of ‘office hours’. 

It can bring people together

Bringing people together

It can bring people together

Everyone's connected pretty much all of the time – it doesn’t matter if they aren’t physically sitting next to each other. There are so many digital tools, apps and platforms out there that not only make it easier to maintain contact among employees, they can also help increase productivity levels. Take project management software like Basecamp, Wrike and Plutio, which allows managers and team members to organise projects, streamline tasks and track progress through a dashboard that everyone can access and update in real-time. 
 

It might mean less meetings

Desktop working

It might mean less meetings

Speaking of keeping everyone in the loop, remote working can mean people think twice before scheduling catchups. If your finger is hovering over the ‘meeting request’ button, ask yourself – what is the purpose of the meeting, who really needs to be involved, and can it be conducted online instead? You might just find that lengthy face-to-face conversation can be reduced to quick digital interaction via instant messaging apps for business, like Flowdock or Microsoft Teams.

… and less distractions

Concentrating at work

… and less distractions

A recent survey found office workers spent an average of 66 minutes per day discussing non-work topics, while remote employees only spent 29 minutes doing the same. Working remotely means staff can no longer sidle up to each other’s desk and start chatting about the weather / Tiger King / their new fitness regime and, while online chat groups can sometimes stray down the same path, it seems people working from home are still better at dodging distractions than their office-bound counterparts. The same survey revealed remote employees lost 27 minutes per day on distractions, as opposed to the 37 minutes lost by distracted office workers. 
 

It allows you to rule your routine

Manage your own time

It allows you to rule your routine

According to recent research, some of the most effective ways for remote employees to stay productive is to take breaks (37% said this was useful), have set working hours (33%) and keep a to-do list (30%). Whether your team are observing 9-5 hours or taking a more flexible approach, they can still enjoy calling the shots when it comes to dividing up their day. Letting them use a time tracker like Clockify as an extension on their web browser can help check the hours you're logging each day and offer an interesting insight into how you spend your time. From answering emails to client meetings and working on different projects, easy-to-generate daily and weekly reports reveal a whole host of interesting productivity insights. 

It can increase job satisfaction 

Work life balance

It can increase job satisfaction 

Feeling in control of your work-life balance, being able to take a lunch hour in the comfort of your own kitchen to create something healthy, avoiding unnecessary meetings – all these things can lead to a greater sense of job satisfaction, which in turn is a sure-fire way to ensure productivity doesn’t suffer and motivation stays high.

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