Benefits of Working From Home Beyond Pandemic
WFH is going to stay whether we like it or not.
Everyone seems to have strong feelings about the “work from home” life. It’s much more complicated than just laptops and video conferencing. For instance, what does working from home do to your performance, productivity, and creativity?
I did not like it in the beginning due to my inability to get into the work mode without going to the office. It made me lazy and I lost the will to go out for a run. I was watching more TV than before, and I missed bumping into people while getting a coffee or going out for lunch with colleagues.
Eventually, I got used to it. Things started falling into place. I started feeling more responsible. My backaches forced me to go out for a run. I started working at my own pace and at my own schedule. I could sleep late and work late in the night after having a nice break for dinner.
I want to talk about a few things that I have really enjoyed while working from home, as it seems that we will be working from home for quite some time.
The most common argument is losing work-life balance. It is hard to draw a line between work and life and it can be frustrating in the beginning. But after some time, you get used to it and figure out better ways to deal with the balance.
And one of the things is the flexibility to take breaks. A lot of the work can be done on a flexible schedule. For example, if you’re a developer or a content creator, you can most likely do your coding or writing whenever it suits you as long as you meet your deadlines.
So, night owls, rejoice! You can still put in your eight hours without starting at 8 a.m.
If you do need to work specific hours, you’re sure to still have some break time — time you can use however you’d like! Even if you have just 30 minutes, you can do something that just wouldn’t be possible in a traditional setup like taking a refreshing power nap. You’re guaranteed to come back feeling more refreshed!
While working, if I find some interesting talk on YouTube on some topic, I watch it right away instead of watching it later or sometimes never. This helps me apply the learnings right away.
Additionally, since there is no one around you to ask questions whenever you are stuck, you’ll find yourself developing the skill of looking for your own answers and becoming more proactive to find what you need on your own.
You can still ask questions and get help if you need to but it is going to be passive. And with time you will end up having skills to work well remotely. For example, you’ll probably be able to write more clear and concise emails, figuring more ways to communicate, having clear agendas in the meeting invites, etc.
Recent studies have supported the idea that working from home can increase productivity and decrease stress. Working from home usually leads to fewer interruptions, a quieter noise level, and less or more efficient meetings.
I am the kind of person who easily gets distracted because of impromptu meetings or music in the background. Working from home makes me more productive as I can control distractions like phone notifications.
Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, lamented the loss of in-person interactions, even as he said productivity is ticking up.
With some willpower and a steady routine, you’ll soon learn to avoid being distracted by the TV or a phone call. And, in fact, you should find yourself getting more done when you work remotely.
I know some of you might have had a completely different experience and are waiting to go to the office, and I feel that too sometimes. I am willing to continue like this, but also want to have the flexibility to go to the office whenever needed.
If we can strike the right balance between “work from home” and “work from office”, we will have a much happier and healthier life.
Thanks for reading.