“When you work from home, there is no such thing as a holiday.”― Anthony T. Hincks
We at St. Conti Communications have always worked from home or remote offices; we are a virtual agency after all. Therefore, we can understand the challenges that those who are new to the experience might encounter. We also know that there will be some unexpected, even funny, experiences ahead for many people. For this reason, we thought we’d share information that we think could help people stay productive while working from home along with a funny anecdote or two.
The rise of working remotely
As a direct result of reliable access to broadband internet, working from home is and has been on the rise. According to this article by redcode, the number of people working at home (prior to stay-at-home protocols related to the new coronavirus) ranged from, those that typically did so at 5.3 percent, and “nearly two-thirds” if you were to include those who had ever worked remotely in the US. While there are many reasons for this rise, such as the Great Recession of 2008 that caused employers to downsize and encourage more people to work from home, this concept has stuck. Further, with the COVID-19 outbreak, working remotely has once again become a necessity. While this change might be a large one for many of you, the long-term pros of working from home often outweigh the cons.
The pros and cons of working from home
Making the shift to work from home can be difficult for many people, especially those who are used to going to a fixed location, putting their time in, and leaving knowing that there is little else to do. The biggest factor in the shift is realizing that while your hours are now flexible, you should stick to working consistently around the same time. This article by In.Space puts it best when it states, “Unless you’re sure that you are wired differently and can work a night, it is recommended that you have a schedule within the 7am-7pm range.” Another poignant suggestion for those of you who are schedule oriented is to make sure to also schedule your personal time. The same article highly recommends that you fit in time for personal things such as giving your mind a break after a long stretch of working.
On a more practical note, this article by Facility Executive goes into the specifics of working from home as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The overall theme of the article is to remain calm in the face of this transition; make sure that you have adequate devices and bandwidth to be productive; secure your device with anti-virus software; use video calls with your co-workers to stave off loneliness, and keep unnecessary distraction to a minimum.
The future of remote employment
Although the COVID-19 outbreak has created a sense of uncertainty, the article by Facility Executive points out that it has also brought some valuable lessons. For example, workers in Japan have found that their stress levels have significantly decreased as a result of being banned from their offices. Another benefit, other than decreased stress, is that the time spent commuting can now be put towards work. For those of you with longer commute times, this can be a significant portion of your day freed up for productivity.
Finishing thoughts and humor in the face of uncertainty
This is without a doubt, an unprecedented time of uncertainty. However, this does not mean that everything must be in disarray. If you can establish a work schedule for yourself, work in necessary breaks, stave off loneliness with video calls and family time, keep your devices protected and running efficiently, and keep yourself productive, a new norm will be established. For those of you who wish to read up on how to best work from home, this article by Fullhomeliving provides a list of the 20 best books. On a lighter note, this article by Actioned provides a list of 83 memes that revolve around working from home. St Conti wishes you all the best of luck in your transition to working from home.