The Office of the Future – Benefits of Remote working and Home Offices
By Wendy van Wyk
When COVID-19 forced companies in South Africa and all over the world to send their employees home to work virtually, remote work became the “new normal”. A growing list of business leaders are adding their weight to working from home and more flexible working arrangements, aided by technology and video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
As everyone is settling into Level 3 of lockdown, it has become apparent to many office-based teams that employees could be productive and focused when not in the office and in many cases, even more so. Employers everywhere are beginning to understand that remote work really works!
6 Benefits of Working from Home
- Better Work-Life Balance
Many remote jobs also come with flexible schedules, which means that workers can start and end their day as they choose, as long as their work is complete and leads to strong outcomes. This control over your work schedule can be invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life.
- Less Commute Stress
Wasting time commuting is just one of the downsides to getting to and from work. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. The time savings can allow you to focus on priorities outside of work, like getting extra sleep in the morning, spending more time with family, getting in a workout, or eating a healthy breakfast.
- Saving Money
Petrol, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a work 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. These savings aren’t just for employees, either. As more and more companies allow employees to continue working from home post-pandemic, they’ll also see significant long-term cost savings.
- Positive Environmental Impact
In the US, the 3.9 million employees who work from home at least half time reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking more than 600,000 cars off the road for an entire year according to the “State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce” report. By making environmentally sound choices, like using less paper and monitoring air conditioning, heating, and lighting, remote workers have the same potential impact on air quality as planting an entire forest of 91 million trees.
- Increased Productivity and Performance
Working from home usually leads to fewer interruptions, less office politics, a quieter noise level, and less or more efficient meetings. Add in the lack of a commute, remote workers typically have more time and fewer distractions, which leads to increased productivity – a huge benefit of working from home for both employees and employers alike.