Did you know that 77% of employees are more productive while working remotely? At least according to a survey by Condeco Software. Statistics strongly suggest that there are good reasons to work from home.
With the rise of digital technology, businesses are able to leverage remote working models, which not only benefit both the employers and the employees. This practice has already become commonplace, but still, relatively few companies are fully remote.
Of course, there are many businesses that need their employees onsite. This includes any companies whose work requires physical labor, for example. But wherever it’s possible, it’s good to introduce at least some degree of remote work. Why? Let’s look into the seven reasons to work from home.
Saving money & time on commuting
How long does your daily commute to the office and back take? Less than 55 minutes? If so, consider yourself lucky. 55 minutes is how long the average American spends to get to work and back every day. That’s quite a significant amount of time.
A typical year consists of 260 work days. Multiply that by 55 minutes, and you get more than 238 hours yearly! And that’s just the commute time. Driving to work or using public transport costs money too.
Say you drive 29 miles to and from work (almost 47 km). That would mean you use up 260 gallons of fuel per year if you have a frugal car. With the average fuel price at 3.44 USD per gallon, you’d pay almost 900 USD yearly. And many people drive twice that distance to work.
And if you live in Europe, you’d pay even more. In Germany, where gas prices are higher, you’d spend more than 1700 EUR yearly (1810 USD). As you can see, working from home can undoubtedly save money and time. And who doesn’t like saving money?
Supporting flexible working hours
Remote work also makes it easier for people who like atypical work hours. Many employees may be more productive, creative and focused in the evening. Others may need to take breaks during the day to run essential errands, like picking up their children from school.
Whatever the case, working remotely allows for a much smoother blend of personal and professional life. This makes remote working an ideal solution for those with tight schedules. Work hours in the office are often fixed, and the facilities are usually closed in the afternoon. Choosing your own hours to work is a lot easier when your work remotely.
Improving the work-life balance
Another one of the reasons to work from home is a better work-life balance. You can gain as much as five hours of work weekly (or even more) without the commute. This means more freedom to spend it.
You can have an additional coffee break, time for reading books or exercising before a long day. You could sleep for an extra hour or spend a little more time with your family and friends.
Working from home also helps avoid stressful office environments that can lead to burnout. Moreover, remote work encourages employees to take breaks throughout the day, which can help them relax and recharge.
Often remote employees experience lower stress levels during their days. This is a direct result of the improved work-life balance, more control workers have over their time and fewer workspace stressor. Stressors can include ringing phones or chatting coworkers, which can induce a sensory overload. And people struggling with anxiety can benefit on an even deeper level. All this has a positive impact on employee morale.
Reducing environmental impacts
One of the primary ways that working from home reduces environmental impact is by reducing commuting. Without a daily commute, remote workers avoid the carbon emissions associated with driving or taking a taxi to work. This can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, especially in urban areas where transportation is a major contributor to environmental degradation.
Another way remote work reduces environmental impact is by reducing the energy consumption of office buildings. With fewer people working in the office, there is less need for heating, cooling, and lighting, which can lead to lower bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, remote work reduces the need for the maintenance and repair of office equipment, which can further reduce power consumption and environmental impact.
Additionally, remote work can encourage digital technology and paperless systems, reducing waste and environmental impact. Overall, remote work has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of businesses and individuals.
Working from home can improve your health in several ways. For example, you may be able to eat healthier meals if you’re not limited to what’s available near your office. You may also be able to exercise more regularly if you have more flexibility in your schedule. Reduced stress levels obviously play a role too.
Another way that working from home can improve an employee’s health is by allowing for better sleep. Without the need to wake up early to commute to work, employees can get more sleep, which can positively impact their health. Finally, by reducing exposure to illness and infection, working from home can help employees stay healthy and avoid the spread of contagious illnesses.
All of these reasons to work from home can contribute to improved productivity for remote staff. By reducing commuting time and stress, people have more time and energy to devote to their work. A flexible schedule also allows employees to work when they are most productive, which can lead to higher quality work in less time.
Furthermore, working from home allows workers to create a customized work environment that works best for them. This can help them to feel more comfortable and focused, leading to better productivity. Additionally, home office employees are often able to avoid office distractions and interruptions, which can further improve the effectiveness of work.
Finally, by reducing exposure to illness and infection, working remotely can help employees stay healthy and avoid taking time off due to illness. This can ensure that work is not disrupted by employee absences and can contribute to better productivity.
Overall, the benefits of working from home can have a positive impact on productivity, employee satisfaction, and the environment. Employers who are able to offer remote work options may see improved performance, reduced turnover, and a more satisfied workforce.
While many benefits and reasons to work from home exist, some challenges come with them. We feel like it’s only right if we discuss them too. Here are the most common issues that may arise.
Isolation and loneliness
As we said, working from home can reduce stress, especially among people who enjoy solitude or are generally anxious. But it can be isolating and lonely, too, especially for people who thrive on social interaction. Without regular face-to-face contact with coworkers, people may feel disconnected from the company culture and miss out on important social interactions.
How do we tackle this issue? First, by realizing that there are people who won’t enjoy working remotely as much as others. Second, by having a healthy mix of both.
Difficulty in communication
It may be challenging to communicate with coworkers and managers from home, especially if they are in different time zones or have limited access to technology. Miscommunications can lead to confusion, delays, and frustration.
That’s why it’s so important to establish clear communication channels, set expectations, schedule regular check-ins, and use technology to facilitate remote collaboration.
Lack of structure
If you work from home, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal time, leading to a lack of structure and difficulty in managing time effectively. Without a clear separation between work and personal life, it can be hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance. So working from home is best for people with good organization and time management skills.
Helpful tools for those who work from home
Effective communication and collaboration are essential for remote teams. Communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom allow team members to stay connected through instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing. They make it easy to have virtual meetings, discuss projects, and share information, improving overall team productivity and collaboration.
Project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp can help remote workers stay organized and manage their workload effectively. They provide features like task assignment, deadline tracking, and progress monitoring, which help to ensure that all team members are on the same page and working towards the same goals. These tools allow home office employees to streamline their work processes and improve their productivity.
Finally, VPNs are crucial for remote workers who need to access sensitive company data securely. VPNs encrypt internet traffic, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept data and provide remote access to company networks. By using a VPN, one can protect data and access company resources from anywhere, giving them greater flexibility and allowing them to work more effectively from home.
Extended reality solutions
There is one more category of tools that can help people who work from home – extended reality software. Extended reality is an umbrella term that incorporates virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.
VR is a technology that allows users to immerse themselves in a computer-generated environment. It can be used for remote training and collaboration, allowing workers to simulate real-world scenarios and practice skills without the need for physical equipment or travel.
AR overlays digital information onto the real world. It is typically viewed through a smartphone or tablet camera, and the digital information is often anchored to a physical object. AR can be used for remote technical support and training, allowing workers to receive guidance and instructions in real time without the need for an expert to be physically present.
Finally, MR is a technology that combines elements of both VR and AR. It allows users to interact with virtual objects that are anchored to the real world, creating a more immersive and interactive experience. MR can be used for remote design and collaboration, allowing workers to visualize and manipulate 3D models in real time.
To find out more about the fantastic applications of XR in business settings, read our article about extended reality business solutions.
Develop custom XR tools for your business
Developing custom XR software for remote work can be a better option than using existing apps for several reasons. Custom software can be tailored to meet a company’s specific needs, provide a higher level of quality, give a competitive advantage, and offer better security.
While developing custom software may require more resources and time, its benefits can make it a more efficient and effective solution for facilitating remote work in a company. If you’d like to discover how extended reality can help your organization, drop us a line. We’ll write back shortly and schedule a free 60-minute consultation with one of our experts!