Do you work from home? Maybe not all the time, but definitely a day or two here and there? This used to be impossible, and now it’s part of everyday life.
More companies are enabling their employees to do remote work (usually from home) or choose flexible hours because they see the clear and immediate benefits. Employees with these options are happier, more loyal and more productive.
According to a study from Global Workplace Analytics, 72% of employers say remote work options help retain their employees. Flexible work options allow employees with families to enjoy better work/life balance. They are able to make decisions that enable them to be productive without having to decide against spending time with family.
Remote work options also allow companies to hire the best talent. In real estate it’s all about ‘location-location-location’, but in the new world economy where collaboration technology is ubiquitous, you can hire the best people for the job no matter where they reside.
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This transformation of the workplace is inevitable, and it is now being accelerated by fears of the coronavirus. Remote work and videoconferencing have grown dramatically in the last few weeks. More companies are (as mentioned last week) canceling events and asking their employees to stay at home.
Companies realise that a sick employee is an unproductive employee and as a result they are accelerating the adoption of tools and policies that enable these options for their teams.
Remote work is the new norm
You are seeing the buzzword of the day emerge as ‘business continuity’, with the press and companies pointing to this concept as a crucial way to deal with the stress of the coronavirus on the collective mental landscape.
The next two months will see a high rate of adoption of these new policies – and once they’re out there, there’s little chance of taking them back. This should have a highly positive impact on the day-to-day of employees, if they adopt some clear advice.
Remote workers need to set boundaries. When you work from home, it becomes very difficult to know when you start and stop your day. It becomes even more difficult to know when to take a break. I find that most people I know who work from home forget to eat lunch, drink water or get up from their desk.
If you don’t have a standing desk, you should make sure you get up and walk around every hour or so. You have to get the blood circulating, maybe grab some water or a snack, and get away from things for a minute to you can return fresh and rested.
You also have to set a clock. Try to set a start time and an end time, understanding that like any other day, things can change. When you are done for the day, try to close your laptop and move into a different room. Don’t sit next to your computer, or you’ll be tempted to stay online.
Remote work is the new norm, and it can be a great boon for business. It can save an average of 90 minutes per day from commuting (according to a study I saw, the average person commutes 26.1 miles each way for work) and it can help you balance your life. It’s a bummer that it is being accelerated out of fear, but the end result should still be quite positive.
Cory Treffiletti is chief marketing officer at Voicera. He has been a thought leader, executive and business driver in the digital media landscape since 1994. In addition to authoring a weekly column on digital media, advertising and marketing since 2000 for MediaPost‘s Online Spin, Treffiletti has been a successful executive, media expert and/or founding team member for a number of companies and published a book, Internet Ad Pioneers, in 2012.
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