Benefits of Working from Home
Jessica Jones, Obp Chartered Accountants | 5th December 2019
Besides all of the obvious benefits like an unlimited supply of biscuits, as many Netflix breaks as you like, and staying in your PJ’s all day (if that’s what you’re into), there are also major practical and economic advantages to working from home, for both you and whoever you’re working for.
Here are just a few of said pros…
- You can save time and money on commuting every day.
- Then with all that extra time you have on your hands you could knock off some off those weekend chores.
- You will also save your employer money on office space.
- Being at home means you can be there if anyone needs you, e.g. look after a sick relative at home, walk the dog, be there when the kids come home from school.
- And what about this? You can make any lunch you fancy, no more Tesco meal deals for you.
- Finally, you can take breaks whenever you like, your time is yours…sort of.
If you’re easily distracted then maybe it’s not for you. Sometimes the calling of that Netflix show you just can’t wait to watch is too much, and before you know it you’re neck deep in a bowl of Butterkist popcorn six episodes into the new Game of Thrones series.
So how do we avoid slacking off when working from home?
And when we consider this, do the positives outweigh the negatives?
Well, Professor Nicholas Bloom had a little look into it…
Having worked from home in a previous job Bloom had begun to see first hand the sorts of innovation and optimization working in this way breeds. In his TED talk, ‘Go ahead, tell your boss you are working from home’ he told his audience about a recent study he had undergone with James Liang, CEO and cofounder of travel company Ctrip. Over 200 of Liang’s workers took part in Bloom’s experiment to clear up once and for all whether telecommuting was a good move for the company or not.
And the results are in…
Those working from home reported higher job satisfaction, and took shorter breaks, fewer sick days, and less time off, and the attrition rates were 50 percent lower than those who worked in the office.
But that’s not all, “Ctrip saved $1,900 per employee over the course of the study on office space,” Blooms says and, “increased productivity by 13.5 percent over those working in the office. That’s like getting an extra day’s work from each employee.”
Even so, there were some minor pitfalls, which lead more than half of the participants deciding that working from home wasn’t for them. Some said that working from home was too isolating, and for those living with their parents it was not alone enough.
In all, Bloom concluded that one or two days a week is the optimal amount of time for working from home for both employer and employee. This way you can stay in the know with your office pals whilst also being a productivity powerhouse and saving the company some cash.
So turns out there’s no slacking to stop…
Despite the stigma that surrounds it, working from home is in fact majorly beneficial (for the most part). But could this out of office time lead to our work encroaching even more upon our day-to-day lives?
Being able to determine a work-life balance is becoming more and more difficult due to the use of the Internet. Ever been out with friends having clocked off an hour ago when yet another email pops up from your boss? We all have. But it’s hard to ignore, right?
Pretty much everything can be (and is half the time) done online now, shopping, gaming, watching videos, socialising, and of course…working. So, as wonderful as this ever-growing span of technological terrain is, it can be all too easy to forget the divide between what is ‘work’ and what is ‘life,’ for that all important work-life balance.
Tell me how?
Advice if you’re working from home: manage your time effectively and remember that you can’t do everything at once. Sometimes we might try to take it all on, but when we inevitably realize that we can’t…well, everything starts to go a bit wrong. My last blog talked about how to create a space for calm in your mind when things get too much. Check it out if you like. It helped me so it might help you too.