Traditionally, work is done in an office. But imagine, your office chair is in your own home. Your commute is the length of your hallway. Your snack drawer is your entire pantry. Think it’s a dream? It’s not these days.
This is changing with the progression of digital transformation. Thanks to ever-evolving technologies like Skype, FaceTime, Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, authenticator apps, and cloud computing—not to mention texting and email—it’s no longer necessary to be in an office full time to be a productive member of the team. Many types of work can be done just as effectively, telecommuting, or working from home, can be just as efficient.
A remote job or work from home (WFH) means an employee is working from their house, apartment or place of residence rather than working from the office. Most companies have their own WFH policies. As appealing as remote work is to employees, employers also recognize the benefits from their side of the desk. Companies with work-from-anywhere policies can boost employee productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs.
Benefits of Work from Home (WFH)
With increasing numbers of employees working at home - or using home as a working base for at least part of the week - it's clear there are a number of benefits for employees and business, such as:
- Flexibility and Agility - Home working enables more agility and flexibility in working arrangements. Being no longer tied to an office, you may be better positioned and more willing to work flexible hours such as earlier or later in the day or even at weekends. This may help you meet certain business needs or what your employer is expected from you.
- Money Savings - People who work from home can increase their savings. Gas, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a professional wardrobe, lunches bought out, and more can all be reduced or eliminated from your spending entirely. These savings add up and put more money back into your pocket.
- Increased Productivity - Due to fewer interruptions, which would normally occur in an office environment. By contrast, working from home allows for a quieter environment that can facilitate more focused work.
- Increased Motivation - By working from home, you will feel more trusted by your employer as the working relationship isn't as closely monitored and you have been given a degree of autonomy to get on with your tasks. You will also be better-off developing a home working routine that suits you and this can contribute towards feeling more motivated to give your best shot.
- Improved Health and Wellbeing - Working from home eliminates the need for a commute to work that can be stressful. Time savings such as this also enables you to get extra health benefits such as additional sleep, spending more time with family, exercising, or preparing healthy meals.
- Financial Benefits for Employers - Savings on office space, office supplies, utility bills and other facilities, employers may gain these benefits lowering the cost of their operational expenses.
- Less Commute Stress - You do a lot of visits to customer locations and are therefore not regularly in the office. Allowing to base you at home may be more convenient and leads to further time and cost savings from daily commute.
- Better Work-Life Balance - Many remote jobs also come with flexible schedules, which means that you can start and end your day as you choose, as long as your work is complete and leads to strong outcomes (depending on the company’s policy). This control over your work schedule can be invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life
- Technology Makes it Easier - The internet has made it possible to be continually connected to the office. Tools such as Skype, Zoom and others have made communication between you and your team much easier and at times can lead to more efficient and effective meetings.
- Decrease in Sickness Absences - It is more likely to feel happier and more energized working from home and therefore less chance of your immune system being negatively impacted by burnout. Also, the fact that you are working in isolation there is less chance of infections spreading as would be the case within an office environment.
What Do You Need to Successfully WFH?
Setting up a functional home office space is absolutely essential for productivity and morale.
- A Quiet, Dedicated Space – Try to find the quietest place in your house to designate as your office. It doesn’t need to be big, or even an entire room, but it should be quiet and private.
- Self-Motivation and a Good Work Ethic - Employers want to know that they can trust you to get the job done while you're working from home. Some employers are nervous that remote workers aren't as productive, so you'll want to showcase that you're trustworthy and a hard worker, regardless of where you're physically doing your job.
- The Right Equipment – For almost everyone working from home, a computer, headset, webcam, strong internet connection, a desk, and a chair are needed. Most workplaces have guidelines as to the type of headset and internet speed required. As for the chair, make sure it’s comfortable and can be adjusted properly to the height of your desk and monitor.
- Proper Lighting – It may seem insignificant, but having good lighting affects how you work. The lighting should illuminate your workspace, but not result in a glare on your screen.
- Reliable Internet Connection – Not every internet connection will suffice when telecommuting. Each company will have its own requirements, but, in general, it needs to be fast and reliable. Some workplaces might even require a cabled connection.
- Other – Aside from the basics, it’s recommended that you create a space that feels comfortable and encourages productivity. Consider installing a white board, calendar, printer, and a shelf. You might even add some decorative pieces and photos for a personal touch.
So when you're interviewing for any remote jobs, you'll want to make sure to proactively highlight these attributes that are necessary to be successful while working remotely. Here is another blog post on how to best prepare for a remote job interview.