The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the way people live and work, including conventional office work setups. The lockdown that commenced in 2020 forced employers to implement a work-from-home policy due to the threat of the spread of the virus. While working remotely is not a new concept, some may find this immediate change disconcerting.
However, with the help of tools such as Google Meet and Zoom, working remotely became more manageable and employees slowly acclimated to the idea of working from home.
According to a survey, 15,000 responders from the United States suggest that work conducted remotely may increase from 5% pre-pandemic to 22% post the crisis. Amid the pandemic, people have warmed up to the idea of conducting work remotely. Moreover, this new norm may be here to stay even as the pandemic eases and eventually draws to a close.
With the world slowly reopening its doors, some people still choose to remain indoors and work in the comfort of their own homes for several reasons.
Let’s look into why some workers prefer to work from home and how remote work can increase individual and team efficiency.
8 Reasons Employees Prefer Working Remotely
- Increased productivity and better focus
One of the major reasons employees prefer working remotely is being alone with their thoughts. Conventional office setups often present several distractions like calls, meetings, and water-cooler talk, among other things.
Working from home allows you to settle in, sit at your desk, and conduct productive work without the distractions that you typically encounter at the office.
- No daily commutes
According to a study conducted by the United States Census Bureau, the average one-way commute increased by 10% between 2006 and 2019. The average commute time back in 2006 was 25.0 minutes compared to the 27.6 minutes in 2019, which saw a 2.6-minute increase.
According to another survey, 28% of respondents spend an average of 30 to 59 minutes daily when commuting to work, which roughly amounts to two hours of total office travel time.
Besides being time-consuming, daily office commutes can be expensive, too—whether it involves using public transportation, carpooling services, or bringing a car to work.
With the absorbent amount of time spent merely commuting to and from the workplace, working from home allows workers to have more personal time and experience less stress brought on by constant commuting.
Some employees who come from distant places often spend more time traveling than being in their own homes to rest. Working remotely grants them the privilege to recharge, thus leading to increased productivity.
- A change in scenery and perspective
Going through a monotonous routine can stifle one’s productivity. Being able to change your scenery at a moment’s notice—you could be working in your home office one moment and then decide to tag along with your sibling to the nearby coffee shop—can drastically change your mood and perception, leading to new and fresh ideas.
This also impacts productivity at work. Working in new environments allows you to refocus and tackle your job from different angles.
- Fewer expenses
Work-from-home setups benefit not only employees but also employers. Renting or owning an office space can be costly. It requires maintenance, rental fees, and utilities like electricity and water to make the office a conducive work environment.
However, with portions of the world still under lockdown, there’s no need to return to the office, thus saving your company from costly expenditures.
- Work-life balance
Generally speaking, modern people are always on the go. Whether it’s for school or work, many are always in a rush to get to their destination. However, with people slowly realizing the benefits of working from home, they are more open to the idea of doing it full-time as it allows them to have a work-life balance.
Having a work-life balance changes the dynamic of one’s daily routine. You can finally have time for yourself or your kids, not rush through breakfast or lunch, and have the flexibility to take on more activities you wouldn’t have otherwise fit into your busy schedule.
- Improved well-being
Besides eliminating commute times and achieving a work-life balance, working from home can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. Having a routine that involves factors other than actual work can take its toll on a person.
Beyond the constant worries about the virus, the pandemic has provided some silver lining for employees. This includes the opportunity to focus solely on work, reduce stress, and limit interactions with potentially sick co-workers and individuals.
- Competitive advantage in the labor market
Companies offering work-from-home setups could potentially increase job candidates’ interest in working for them. With the health crisis still looming, job seekers entering the labor force for the first time or looking for new career opportunities are more likely to favor remote work arrangements for safety reasons.Businesses who offer this option make themselves more enticing to work for since they prioritize health and safety over physical presence.
- Employee retention
A study conducted on the role of remote work in retaining employees shows that 58% of total respondents may consider transferring jobs more strongly if their company would stop offering the opportunity to work from home.
With many still wary of COVID-19, companies that provide the option to work remotely have a substantially higher chance to improve employee retention than businesses that don’t. Indeed, the increase in demand for work-from-home is tremendous.
The work-from-home trend is slowly turning into the “new normal,” and companies might need to reassess their pooling strategies to attract and retain employees.
Work from Home: Tackling the New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a spike in interest for the work-from-home setup, as workers slowly realize that it is a viable alternative to physically working in the office. While some may have doubted the effectiveness of this practice, statistics prove that many companies and employees see the benefits that come with it, urging them to explore this alternative for the foreseeable future.
Author Bio :
Regina del Rosario is from Booth & Partners, a Seattle-based company with operations in the Philippines. With a solid background in conducting interviews with multiple candidates to identify the one with the most potential. Hired over 100 applicants for positions in dozens of industries and campaigns, at levels ranging from interns to upper-level management. Excellent communication abilities, including written and oral, professional and interpersonal. Highly organized and is able to complete several complicated administrative tasks simultaneously.