Let’s face it, working from home is the next normal. The COVID-19 crisis has forced many companies to rethink their business models – going forward. While remote working was already gaining currency before the crisis, the pandemic has escalated the process and the step-change in the use of video-conferencing globally has shown that remote working is here to stay.
More and more businesses have been adopting a remote workforce system especially with the advancements in technology nowadays. Working at home has become a new norm from days of working within four walls of the office. These days, employees are embracing unconventional personal interactions such as videoconferencing, email correspondence, team viewer software.
Businesses have opted to outsource their workforce for a number of reasons though mainly to reduce overhead expenses. They can also easily hire highly competent candidates wherever they are. It has also been observed by Stanford University that work from home employees are more productive than their office-based counterparts. This due to the fact that working at home employees tends to be happier and less stressed than others. Having worked at home employees, if done right, also poses an impactful message to the business community creating a great PR for the company.
Lessons That Can Improve Your Work From Home
Before it rose in popularity, the work from the home industry encountered several setbacks especially in the technological aspects of it. Internet connections back then were unreliable. However, its quality has greatly improved, giving birth to numerous freelancing platforms, business video and/or chat platforms, and online payroll systems. Freelancers back then struggle to find companies willing to risk delegating work to someone they have not met face to face yet. Nevertheless, the experience taught them so much in return.
Working From Home is Not For Everyone
Not everyone is fit for the life of a work at home employee. Yes, there are those that thrive in a relaxed and lenient working environment. But there are those that excel in high pressured jobs and fast-paced environments. Like a famous quote aptly put it, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
In addition to this, working at home is not impervious to downsides. Some of these include:
Most people find it difficult not to insert a few household chores in between working hours. They deem the flexibility of the work-at-home setup to include laundry, dishes, and so forth.
Yes, homemakers often use home-based jobs to transition from homemakers to career women. This is a noble gesture. Unfortunately, balancing work life and mommy duties can be tough. There are times when your children barge in while you are working or normal kid shenanigans demand your attention.
Spouses are often no different from kids. Interruptions may be unintentional but distracting still.
Work at home veterans takes time to set up their home offices keeping in mind factors that may cause disturbances while working. These include noises from the neighborhood, pets, and yes, your own kids. There are times that jobs require a silent environment so as to have a more efficient working pace.
Monotony kills motivation
Oftentimes, the same routine gets old. And with no one to interact face to face, the monotony can get to you. Unlike in-office setups, officemates can become allies that combat boredom, loneliness, and stress. In a home-based setup, you usually have no one to turn to for a friendly chatter or just to take a break from the screen.
Fuzzy border between comfort and laziness
Home-Based working environments are indeed laid-back. However, there is a difference between being comfortable and being lazy. This gets a bit fuzzy in the long run though.
Struggling in unplugging
It is no different from the traditional office that at times, people overwork. More often than not, a huge majority of workers bring their work home. It is the same for home-based freelancers. They can be susceptible to overworking especially since they have the flexibility to take on numerous tasks for different clients.
Work From Home is a Discipline
Do not mistake the laid-back quality of a home-based setup as a setup of no rules, no responsibilities, and no consequences. Longevity in a home-based career requires discipline too. Sometimes, more than that of a traditional working environment because of all the added distractions surrounding a home office.
Integrity is key
Employers do have a disadvantage when it comes to trusting remote employees. Of course, in an office, you have the ability to assess an individual’s credibility by his/her actions, manners, and body language which remote employers do not have. Remote workers should exude integrity in order to get more clients or have a long term working relationship with a client. Keep in mind, trust is a prized commodity.
Integrity breeds accountability. Be responsible enough to own your mistakes. Your work affects the rest of the team. Have the decency to inform your employer of your shortcomings and try to rectify them as soon as possible.
Set goals for your career
Remember that home-based jobs can also define your career path. Assess what goals you want to achieve in the long run, whether it be staying in a home-based career or to transition into an office set up after a period of time. Make an effort to invest in quality equipment if you would be pursuing a long-term career in a home-based setup.