More and more people are being encouraged to work (at least partially) from home. The benefits are plain to see. Working from home cuts down on commuting costs as well as expenses from things like dry cleaning and coworker luncheons. Perhaps more importantly, work from home statistics show that telecommuting allows for improved work life balance, lowering stress while increasing productivity.
From a company perspective, having permanent employees work from home is a greatly positive boon. It means a reduction in real estate and related costs like utilities, housekeeping, and office materials (such as dedicated computers, tech, and even free coffee) and studies show that the practice also increases productivity and employee retention.
While the pros likely outweigh the cons, there are still some downsides to working from home. But there are some useful strategies you can employ to help you navigate and negatives.
Some tips for working from home include:
- Reducing distractions: Some methods can include reducing push notifications, limiting social media time (there are many apps that can help you with this), and to try to stay off your phone as much as possible.
- Find a dedicated place to work: One of the pieces of advice that remote workers have for those just getting into telecommuting is to treat your work from home in a similar way that you would your traditional office work. That means getting showered and dressed as you would for a workday before and also having a dedicated workstation. They recommend not working on your couch, your kitchen table, or in your bed. Also there may be distractions at home that you simply can’t overcome. If that’s the case, find another place to work, like a coworking space.
- Combat loneliness: Around 20% of remote workers claim loneliness to be their number one issue. The isolation that can come with telecommuting is not something to just try to power through. Instead try to get ahead of the problem by finding ways to be more social.
- Be prepared: make sure you become the office manager for your dedicated space. The worst thing is to be constantly running out of things like toner, staples, pens and post its. Check what you have and what you need.
How Coworking Can Help
Coworking spaces can be to your advantage when addressing the tips outlined above.
- A work oasis: Even if you just use a space a few days a week or when you really need to focus on a specific project (if payroll is due, for example), using a virtual office can help you avoid the distractions at home and get somewhere that is designed specifically for work.
- Getting social: While those at a coworking office may not be in the same business as you, you will find common ground with other remote workers and maybe they have more tips and tricks to give you from their experience. It’s a great way to be more social and to see people as you work.
- Office supplies: Most coworking offices have a share where the residents have access to supplies like pens and coffee. This alleviates the issue of you having to keep track of all of your supplies at the home office.
- Meet your team: In addition, should you need a convenient place to convene with your team (and don’t want to do it from home for obvious reasons), most coworking spaces have conference rooms you can rent at inexpensive prices.
The reports of most people who telecommute are good. 9 out of 10 say they never want to work in a traditional office again and those who are doing it part time are now looking for more work from home time. Again, there are some small disadvantages to telecommuting, but most of these issues can be addressed by working at a virtual office for at least some of your work week.