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Is working from home the new normal?

by Birgit Raes

Is working from home the new normal?

In the past, a lot of ‘remote workers’ got a bad name. A lot of employers believed that their people would only really work if they were at the office under the all seeing eye of a supervisor.

Up until 10 years ago, remote workers were kind of an exception to the rule. These days, our attitudes toward working from home have shifted. It’s not that weird for companies to let their employees work from home 1 or 2 days a week.

Is remote work efficient?

In the past, the main concern of employers was that working from home would be too comfortable an environment for employees, making them lazy and easily distracted. The question was how productive anyone could be when not supervised by a manager or colleagues. 

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Airtasker did a survey with 1004 full-time employees, 505 of which now and then worked from home. Turns out, people are actually capable of being productive all by themselves. Surprisingly, productivity rose up with people who worked from home:

  • Remote workers work an extra 1.4 days more per month than their colleagues at the office. That’s 17 more days each year!
  • Employees working from home take a longer break, but still work 10 minutes each day
  • 15% of remote workers admitted to sometimes being disturbed by managers or supervisors. At the office, this was 22%!

The biggest problem that arose with home workers was finding the balance between work and personal life, as the two are intertwined.

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Working from home is a viable option for your employees, given everyone can handle this.

The evolution of remote work

Remote work isn’t all that popular yet. It used to be totally unknown because the technology to make it happen simply didn’t exist. You couldn’t just end an email. The best thing to ever happen to remote work, was the invention of the video call. It helps colleagues to stay in touch, even when they’re not together in person. The only things you need are an internet connection and a camera. It’s no wonder that more and more companies are starting to see the light. In fact, right now, some companies are totally operational on remote work only. 

The future of remote work

Research predicts that the concept of working from home will only gain popularity thanks to its simplicity. There’s no need for office buildings, people just stay home (or go to a co-working space) and do their thing from there. A whopping 99% of employees working from home state to be very happy with the arrangement.

Conclusion

Instead of ignoring the growing working-from-home-movement, business leaders should prepare their companies to join the movement in the future. If you’re worried about productivity, just ask your employees a daily update of their done’s and to do’s. Give it a shot.

Chances are, you hired competent people who are capable of doing great work from the comfort of their own homes. Trust who you hired, and give it a shot!

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In 2015 Merchandise Essentials consisted out of two young guys with big dreams. Working out of their parents’ living room they started turning those dreams into goals.

The living room became a 600m2 office space with a showroom. The two man team turned into a workforce of more than 30 young and talented individuals who are now designing and producing merchandise for brands and businesses in 43 countries.

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