Hotshot VC Mary Meeker gave her annual in-depth presentation about the digital landscape last Wednesday. Here’s what it means for freelancers and the world of work.
A common misconception about working from home is that employees become less productive and possibly even lazy.
What’s to stop you from sleeping in too late, watching TV all day or getting distracted without the kind of supervision that occurs in an office space?
In actual fact, a huge number of studies show that this almost always is not the case.
Remoters are much more likely to have improved productivity by completing tasks in a shorter amount of time, or producing more in the same amount of hours.
In an annual survey run by FlexJobs, they found that 65% of workers think they would be more productive at home than working in a traditional office environment.
And it working from home actually does translate into improved productivity, with the Global Workplace Analytics Costs & Benefits survey reporting that teleworkers are actually between 35-40% more productive than their in-office counterparts.
What then are some of the reasons behind this increase in productivity?
Fewer interruptions from coworkers
While working from home does provide different distractions in comparison to an office environment, more often than not there will be a significantly smaller number of people in your near vicinity.
Within an office, other coworkers can end up being a distraction. A two-minute chat by the water cooler can turn into 15 minutes of procrastination.
Someone interrupting you asking for help with their project can ruin your train of thought, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back to the task you were originally working on.
By having consistent, uninterrupted time you are much more likely to finish your work quickly and to a higher standard.
Less stress from commuting
It’s been shown that those who commute less than 30 minutes to work (or not at all if working from home) have seven extra days of productive time per year in comparison to those with a longer commute.
By not having to worry about being late into the office, or deal with the stress and busyness that commuting brings with it, you can enjoy a calmer start to the day.
Having the extra time in your day to enjoy activities you choose, rather than spending an hour traveling, is also beneficial to overall health and stress levels. A healthier and happier worker will end up being more productive over the long run—yet another tangible benefit of working from home.
Minimal office politics
Office politics cause distractions, upset and stress for workers involved. Having to tiptoe your way around bad office relationships is sure to interrupt the mind and decrease productivity.
Of course, these dynamics can’t be completely avoided when working from home, but they can be kept to a minimal level. You will still need to communicate regularly and engage, but being removed from the situation physically means your productivity shouldn’t suffer as much.
While it can be a bit more difficult to stay relevant when not in the near vicinity of your coworkers, this can be easily avoided through making a concerted effort with decent communication strategies.
Scheduling around most productive hours
For those who don’t work regularly from home, it can, of course, be tempting to make the most of all the creature comforts available to you.
However, once you enter into the remote work mindset you really can make more efficient use of your time. Remote workers can explore their own schedule and find out what times work best for different tasks.
The difference between being a morning or night person can be exploited here to its full advantage. It’s significantly easier to enter into your flow state at the time that works for you, without the noise and distractions that would occur in an office.
Less sick days
A reduction in stress associated with office life and the commute, along with an improved work-life balance can all contribute towards healthier workers. Overall, remote workers have been shown to take less sick days off for such reasons.
Many office workers will also take a sick day in order to not spread illnesses to their coworkers. Remote workers with a simple cold are more likely to continue working, since they’re used to completing tasks in a home environment.
A sizeable amount of sick days can also be contributed to workers feeling like they need a break from the office. This, of course, is less of an attractive option when you already work from home.
Try it for yourself
After seeing all the reasons why working from home can improve your productivity, why not try it out for yourself?
On the 10th of April, Remote-how is hosting Global Work From Home Day for employers and employees. It’s a day where you can learn more about flexible job arrangements and remote work in general. You’ll may even be able to see how much more productive your day can be when working from home.
The Fiverr Workspace team will be joining the celebration as well!
Sign up for the event here and receive tips, tricks, help and curated playlists from the Remote-how team.