There have been no studies that conclude that working from home diminishes productivity. In fact, many studies have been published that show remote work actually increases productivity. One of the main reasons people are more productive at home is that office life sucks at most places, which leads us to the first advantage of remote work...avoidance of annoying people.
Some co-workers, managers, and owners are rude, condescending, and just outright weird. Your surroundings have a large impact on your happiness and people tend to perform better when they are happy. Now, that doesn't mean remote work environments can't become toxic. Anytime you gather two people virtually or in person, there is potential for conflict but in the remote world it's less likely to happen.
In the work-from-home world, employees are not forced into awkward lunches with people they don't like, nor are they pestered to go out for drinks after work. Simply put, the average person would rather be at home around their pets and family than be surrounded by co-workers, managers, and company owners.
Business owners often underestimate how much most employees loathe working in general. Most would rather be at home with their families, not working for decades and then finally retiring when they are very old and unable to fully enjoy life. Its not that they're lazy they just want to be home, not looking at a bunch of strangers all day.
I used to spend at least an hour on the road in decent traffic when I had an in-person job. This meant I had to get up a lot earlier and when it was time to go home, I bolted out of the office. The commute was frustrating and I was always in a bad mood when I got to the office due to the horrendous traffic in South Florida.
Once I switched to a remote job, there was no commute and I didn't have to spend time getting ready, so I got way more sleep. This led to me being in much better spirits in the mornings and I didn't mind working a little after the end of my shift where needed. It's really a win-win, the employer gets more productivity and the employee retains their sanity.
Now, some will say they can already do this in the office. And those that say that are horribly incorrect. First and foremost, the desk they occupy in-office is company property, it does not belong to them. In the event they are terminated, they won't be able to take the desk home with them. Thus employees decorating it makes about as much sense as somebody putting tints on a rental car.
The desk they own at their place of residence does belong to them so they can decorate it as they see fit without worrying about someone coming ask them to clear it off and follow security out of the building. For me having my custom mechanical keyboard, Yoshi action figure, and gaming mice adorn my desk brings tremendous joy that bolsters my creativity.
Work-life balance is anything but. Working 5 days a week and being off 2 is not a balance by any stretch of the word. This "balance" is even worse in the office as you need to factor in commute time and any awkward company functions you are coerced into.
If you work from home, you generally don't have to worry about any additional time other than the hours you have committed to work. When the shift is over, company assets should be put away somewhere safe until it's time to use them again. Sometimes looking a computer or some other peripheral belonging to the company can evoke stress about an overdue report or an upcoming meeting.
If these things are out of sight, it will allow employees to focus on their personal lives and de-stress.
Since employees are not in the office there won't be a need for the company to purchase routers, switches, internet, and other related services. Many people already have the internet at home and the speeds provided by most ISPs are sufficient enough for most jobs.
If the company is still using physcial handsets, they can migrate easily over to softphones. These not only cut costs but are much easier to scale as all you need to do is purchase additional numbers from a vendor. Anyone who has access to the internet will be able to use them via the browser or desktop app, depending on the vendor.
In-person meetings are very difficult to document, there is often side chatter and people tend to veer off topic a lot. And as much as I want it to exist, there is a mute button that works in person. With Teams or Zoom, you can have much more focused, easily documented meetings.
Meetings can be recorded and transcribed more accurately. And you can mute those who are not talking so the meeting can stay on track. Taking the minutes of meetings has never been easier.
Those who work from home don't need to drive to pick up their lunch. They can use that time to lift weights at the gym or get a couple of miles in on their exercise bike. This reduces stress and helps maintain a healthy weight.
One of the routines I have is to try and get in 30 - 50 pushups every hour while working. This keeps me active and helps me decompose in between tasks.
If you don't believe in climate change, you can skip this one. But those companies, like Tesla, that constantly proclaim to be pushing for sustainability should allow employees to work from home when possible. Reducing our carbon footprint is important our planet.
Posted by: Matt Irving on 7/11/2022