By Stefano Virgilli — In the business world, every entrepreneur aims towards productivity. And so does almost every dedicated and professional employee. However, being productive by using less time and effort to deliver more, while facing regular productivity struggles is something that causes difficulties to professionals worldwide.
The Internet and various technology, including time-tracking software and cloud storage, ease the process of working from home and empower remote work. For many people, working from home is the main source of income, enabling them to find a job overseas or in another country.
In recent years, remote work is becoming more common, both part-time and full-time.
However, there are some issues that employees and employers face in this field, including fear of procrastination and irresponsibility, like using excuses for the work that has not been finished by the given deadline. On one hand, this is completely justified knowing the uncertainties that come with the risk of remote working. The biggest fears are:
When people have a 9 to 5 job and have to drive an hour to the office, they do their best to get to work on time. When workers’ office is in their house or bedroom, then they can start working whenever they feel comfortable. Procrastination and laziness are the employers’ biggest fears because people are at their laziest when they are at home and do not have to leave their house to go to the office.
When people work from home they face many distractions, including fulfilling the needs of family or children, at the same time postponing the job they must do until late hours.
Aside from tracking software, there are not many effective ways that can regulate the person’s responsible behaviour during work. Accountability is another factor that affects remote worker, as there is no one that can watch them during work hours and there are no coworkers that regulate their behaviour.
Apart from these three disadvantages of remote working, there are many advantages experienced by people that work from home and have helped them be more productive. Consequently, some of the reasons that employees who work from home are more productive include:
1. Personalised working hours
People know their optimal working hours. When they work from home, they do the work during those hours and are productive and focused during that time. For many, working in the early morning is not their optimal time and they cannot get much work done. So, working from home allows people to work at the time when they are more productive and get more work done. Therefore, morning people can work during the morning hours and evening people during the evening hours.
2. Dedicated pockets of time
Compared to the open-office concept (which works perfectly fine for some, but ruins productivity for others), working from home is a much better option. Sure, there are many distractions that can show up during the day, unexpected home visitors, or family issues, but some of this problems will happen regardless if the person is at the office or not. So, instead of leaving the office and skip working days, the employee can deal with their family worries but also find a few hours to be productive.
When someone is professional and dedicated, they will manage to meet their deadlines and easily remove all the distractions from their home and find a private space where they can spend their time working.
One of the employer’s fear is accountability. However, when looking from another perspective the worker that works from home will be more careful at doing the job on time knowing that one mistake can cause them losing the opportunity to continue working from home.
The problem with communication at the workplace has two sides. One of them is positive because the employees are at one place and can easily communicate to each other when they need something, instead of wasting time to write an email make a phone call or wait for the other side to respond. On the other hand, this can be a massive distraction for the employees as they will be in each other’s offices, asking questions and communicating without clear restrictions.
5. Personal space
Working in an environment where the person feels comfortable and happy is a major productivity boost. People are happier when they can have a break at the comfort of their home without anyone watching them. Also, they can go to the local coffee shop, eat their favourite snack or watch their favourite show during breaks.
Even though remote work has many advantages supported by a few studies that show that this type of working environment increases productivity, more research and stronger evidence is needed.
In the meantime, we should develop the necessary mechanisms that will allow each worker to achieve their full potential and work from a place where they can be more productive.
After all, many entrepreneurs escape the well-known ‘office procrastination’ by working from home or combining work and travel.