With millions of employees working from home, we are now facing a shift in working culture. Due to technological advancement, more people can continue their work remotely without obstruction.
A home office has its upsides and downsides. There is no dress code, and you don’t need to waste time getting to work. However, some people find it hard to work in isolation for so long and have trouble with efficiency. So what is the future of remote work? Will it remain with us forever, or is it only a phase that will pass?
Working from home is very comfortable for most people. The only thing you have to do is wake up and turn on the computer. But is it always so easy? Sitting at home without a dedicated workspace can be very distracting. If you plan to work from home for a long time, it’s a good idea to remove yourself to a separate office. If you have a small apartment problem, you can always check out stores like Sena UK suited for stylish and practical rooms.
When it comes to the surroundings, the most annoying thing you have to face are the constant reminders of all the things you need to do, from laundry to half-read books. With a space prepared only for work, you will be less likely to succumb to these temptations. It may be a good idea to purchase noise-canceling headphones and set strict rules with your family about not disturbing you while working.
Flexible hours are, for sure, one of the best perks of remote working. No more waking up at 6 am and sitting in the office for 8 hours straight. You can just start whenever you want and finish when you decide to. But is it really that great?
Regular office hours help people be efficient. When you have set work hours, you know when you are supposed to work and take a break or pursue other interests. Without a strict structure, many employees find themselves in a lot of trouble. They are more likely to postpone work, attend to other, more appealing activities, or just relax. Then, they realize that it’s already evening and they didn’t achieve anything.
The best solution is to set up time boundaries and use time management apps like Toggl, for example. You can see how effective you are at work and how much you have already done.
It’s hard to stay in touch with the rest of the team if you can’t see them and talk to them. People rely on non-verbal communication, so that a sudden shift can make it much harder for anyone that works closely with a team. E-mails, phone calls, and texts remove much of the nuance from how we communicate and leave us with a wide range of mistakes. Just think about the last time you misunderstood someone’s message.
That’s why tools like Slack exist and are widely used by many companies. Constant communication with other employees is important not only for the organization but also for morale. Many team leaders or supervisors schedule weekly video meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams in order to stay connected to other workers.
Sitting at home by yourself may not be the best idea for many, as humans are social beings. We need contact with other people to stay sane. Office for most is not only a place to work but a social gathering where you can talk, gossip, swap jokes, eat lunches together. Without daily interactions with others, people may get lonely and sad.
In the regular world, the problem would be less severe. You would just go out with friends to a pub, lunch, gym, or anywhere you want. Right now, in the times of Covid-19, most of these are closed, and the only thing you can do is to video meet with friends. You can always consider walks, hikes, or other outdoor activities in an isolated area. Moreover, good ventilation will positively influence your efficiency the next day.
Will Remote Work Become Permanent?
Companies have to consider many factors before becoming permanently remote. For some, remote working has worked out beneficial or has had no significant change in their business efficiency. Others will want their employees back in the office as fast as possible. The most significant benefit of working from home is, for sure, the lack of office renting costs. It is tough to predict how the corporate world will look after the pandemic, but the number of remote workers will certainly increase.
The Bottom Line
It’s already the first quarter of 2021, and even with vaccines in place, we can’t predict when it will end. However, it has shown us that we can handle our work without losing productivity. The future of home offices will require many changes, from the work culture to digital infrastructure.
The environment and economy can also benefit from remote working, as overcrowded cities can finally take a breath and invest in more cultural spaces, as the offices will become empty, and people will be more eager to move to the suburbs. Nevertheless, all we can do is wait and see how everything will turn out.