High-speed internet connections and laptop computers are not only revolutionizing how people work, it’s completely reconfiguring how businesses are operating. More and more companies are going global and workplaces are going virtual, enabling more people now have the opportunity to work from their home base. Yay!!!
Today more than 4 million people in the UK work solely from home and more and more people are picking up on this as a better way to work and live enabling greater flexibility as people tap into their businesses from anywhere in the world.
You have probably already aware of some of the benefits of working from home but there are the 10 best things to really think about when you don’t have to check in to the office every day:
1. You Can Wear What You Like.
If no makeup, morning hair and pj’s is your thing, then drink your coffee from the comfort of your bed and go for it. If you want to be your own kick-ass boss and chuck on a suit before you make it to the kitchen, sweet! Maybe a Pimms cocktail on the deck in the sun with your laptop? – no worries. As long as the job gets done, what does it matter what you look like while you are doing it?
2. Avoid the Commute.
You can start your day in a relaxing way, not rudely awakened by your alarm going off when you are just not quite ready to get out of bed. No car starting problems and stress of being delayed at work. No lengthy commute and being stuck with the angry hoards hogging the same road as you at exactly the same time only to arrive at work frazzled before you even start. You’ll be saving money too.
3. Your Office Can Be What You Make It
My kitchen table is largely my office space, only because we rarely use it for anything other than formal dining, which is not that often. Why not? It's sunny, good lighting, easy access to the kitchen and to the deck and only comprises of my laptop a calculator and my cell phone! I have a friend who has a large cupboard in her living room and just shuts her work away at the end of the day or if she has visitors arrive. You don’t have to have an exec desk or even a separate space – just fit your office wherever it fits your life.
4. Your Office Can Be Anywhere
You don’t have to be tied to your own home. You can take your laptop wherever you go. Chilling out at your favorite coffee shop is a nice way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon. Waiting for your plane? Whip out your laptop and maximize your spare time. Enjoying some time outside? No worries you only need a good laptop with a decent battery life.
5. Create Your Own Schedule
Gone are your days of 9-5 work life when you work from home. Maybe you are an early riser and you can make that 5am start giving you the opportunity to finish your workload early and have the whole afternoon off! As long as you meet your targets for the day, write your own schedule and create that flexibility into your life.
You still need regular breaks to maintain maximum productivity with your work, but instead of a 10-minute coffee break in the smoko room, maybe you can tinkle out some tunes on your piano, do a 15 power walk around the block, take a refreshing shower or even a power nap! Filling your breaks with things you really enjoy doing will keep your fulfillment levels high!
6. Avoid Office Politics
Basically, office politics require you to learn the rules of the game and then play them better than anyone else while always remembering that the toes you step on today could be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow. Seriously, who can be bothered? While working from home you can skip the idle chat, the office gossip and the swagger that tends to happen in traditional office settings - that’s a huge bonus, right?
7. Upskilling is Inevitable
Working away from an office environment will require you to rely more on your own resources and be more proactive about finding your own solutions than you would if you had a work colleague to ask or do tasks for you. No doubt there will be some things you need specialist advice on and that goes for anyone no matter where they work, but most things can be found online these days. Mr. Google is a wealth of knowledge and an expert on almost everything and he’s always available, just waiting to help you.
8. Play the Obnoxious Music You Love
Studies and researchers claim that listening to music while you work or study can make you more productive. That will, of course, depend on your unique work or study style and what type of music you are playing. I once worked in an office that had the main sound system right next to my desk and it whopped out music that just was not my genre. The result was that it stressed me greatly to the point whereby 10am I was edgy for the rest of the day – not so good when you are the first point of call for the business and feeling grumpy. In your own space, however, you get to play whatever music that is good for you, or none at all. The point is that a happy worker will always be more productive.
9. Create the Work/Life Balance that Suits You
Family first right? Working from home offers the flexibility of working around the unique needs of your family. So you need that half hour to pick young Johnny up from daycare, or the afternoon off to attend Suzie's swimming championships. Maybe your job requires you to attend nighttime meetings? These days you don’t have to venture out at night time to get to a stuffy conference room in order to join a meeting. Online tools like Skype and Zoom are at your fingertips from the comfort of your own home. How wonderful to have the ability to prioritize your work around your life and not the other way around.
10. Health Choices Made Easy
Getting exercise while you have an office job is basically walking to the smoko room to get the next coffee, or taking the stairs when the escalator doesn’t work. At home, these choices are more varied. A quick jog around the block, a strop on the treadmill or a swim in the lake to freshen up and vitalize your creativity. What about the option to make a quick, energizing, healthy smoothie in place of that cup of coffee?
The benefits of working from home just makes sense for so many. It’s about enabling people to live the life that suits their individual needs in a happy and productive way and if this contributes to highly-engaged and happy workforce then it’s a big WIN all round!