Work From Home Is Here To Stay
by Halie Smith
Within the past year and a half, our world has seen a lot of change. Among those changes was an overwhelming shift to working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of mid-2020, at least 42 percent of the U.S. reported working full-time from home. Many working professionals found this shift to be beneficial for themselves and their employers. So much so that 1 in 3 people would look for a new job if their current employer required them to be back in the office full time. The unprecedented times highlighted the opportunities working from home creates for both the employee and employer. Read on to find out why work from home is the way of the future—a future that Hoffmann Murtaugh has operated under since 2004—and tips to optimize your work from home setup!
Working remotely addresses the needs, wants, and motivations of employees.
According to a study conducted by LiveCareer, 81 percent stated that they enjoyed working from home. With the many benefits of working remotely, employers must listen to their employees in what they wish to see in the workplace as the world shifts to a post-pandemic era. The work from home model personalizes the experience of every employee, accommodating to their specific needs from the comfort of their own home.
As the times have shifted, so have employees’ expectations, needs, and wants. To make the greatest impact while working from home, employers must understand what drives their employees to produce quality work and how they wish to be recognized for their contributions. Most employers invest a large portion of their budget on providing the most money, benefits, and promotional opportunities for the employees. However, according to Gallup, 67 percent of employees pinned recognition as their top motivator for work performance. What is most important in today’s remote-friendly workforce are personal shoutouts for good work, direct two-way communication, professional growth, and autonomy. Giving employees the choice and flexibility to work wherever they perform best is necessary for ensuring a positive work environment. Whether it’s a weekly team-building exercise via Zoom or an educational lunch webinar, an employer’s efforts toward an inclusive, collaborative remote work environment will leave its employees motivated and satisfied.
Remote work nixes the daily commute and gives professionals flexibility in how they spend their time and money.
Doing away with long commutes stuck in traffic saves money and stress for many. Working professionals save up to $5,000 annually by skipping the daily commute, a top benefit for 84 percent of professionals. In turn, by working from home, less stressed employees are more productive and engaged in their work which helps the employer succeed. Time saved can be used for extra sleep, more time with family, or even practicing self-care through exercise or meditation. Eliminating the daily commute also benefits the environment. Working from home lowers air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon footprint, thus doing good for not only yourself and your employer, but the world around us!
Fully remote employers eliminate geographic barriers in hiring talent.
Widespread access to a multitude of talent opens up the hiring process to an even larger playing field that benefits both the employer and employee. The employer has the upper hand in seeking the most qualified candidates based in any location, while the employee no longer has to stress about the financial burden of moving to a new city.
Hoffmann Murtaugh has a talented, driven workforce spanning across several states and has benefitted firsthand from the flexibility remote agency work offers in recruiting talent no matter the location.
Looking to stay on the remote work bandwagon? We have advice on this topic too. Here’s how to create a productive work from home environment:
1) Keep your routine.
Having a schedule is a top priority and key to productivity, especially with remote work. As if you were headed out for your daily commute, wake up around the same time you typically would when working in person. You’ll have more time to yourself with a quick, 20-feet commute to the home office, however, a consistent schedule will resync your body’s circadian rhythm to the days pre-pandemic and set you up for a day of hard work. Additionally, give yourself the lunch and bathroom breaks you would’ve as well as occasional time away from your work to refocus. Don’t lose the structure of your workday just because your office has shifted homebound.
2) Dress the part.
Don’t let your office clothes collect dust! Be sure to change out of your pajamas every morning into an outfit that will leave you feeling confident and inspired. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good. Sticking to a (relaxed) office dress code will shift your mindset to stay focused and motivated throughout your workday at home.
3) Set boundaries within your household.
Working from home is seen as a major benefit to those with families, especially young children. However, sometimes dividing the lines of your familial responsibilities from your work can get blurry. Talk with your family and establish some guidelines to follow when working at home. For example, if the door is closed, that is a tell-tale sign for ‘Do Not Enter’. Setting boundaries and expectations for you and those who you live with you will optimize your experience working remotely.
4) Stay connected with your colleagues.
To seek clarification on a project or brainstorm a campaign proposal, prioritize time to engage with the people you typically would have small talk discussions with at the office. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. Be sure to check in on your colleagues and see efficiency and productivity skyrocket!
5) Get outside when you can.
Working remotely on a full-time basis doesn’t mean you need to become a homebody. Go for a walk, get dinner with a friend, or take a yoga class at a local studio. Don’t compartmentalize all of the aspects of your life into one room. Time away from the home and your home office will rejuvenate both your personal and professional lives.
COVID-19 lockdowns allowed many professionals to find success in working from home. Fast forward to the present day and employees are not ready to give that flexibility up as restrictions ease across the world. Whatever your office’s return to work plan may be, just know, ‘there’s no place like home.’