Remote employees working from home was on the rise even before the pandemic, with more and more employee making the case that they should try working from home, at least part-time. While some employers were on board with it, others weren’t – or didn’t think it was a possibility for their company. Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly lots of people were working from home – even people whose companies didn’t think work-from-home was a possibility for them previously. And now that more people have given it a shot, more remote employees than ever prefer to continue work from home, at least part-time.
Take a look at some of the reasons why remote workers prefer working from home, and find out how you can effectively facilitate work-from-home at your company.
Driving to work has always been a hassle for some workers. And the commute has only gotten longer. The average American’s commute was up to 27 minutes in 2018, which was an all-time high. That’s a lot of time that could be spent any other way than in the car. Then, in 2020, when the pandemic hit and many workers went home, American workers saved about 89 million hours each week, just by getting rid of their commute.
But remote employees don’t have to commute. They can just get up and go to their computer to start work. This opens up a lot of possibilities. Workers can sleep later, or drive their kids to school before they start. They can get to work earlier so that they can finish earlier in the day, or they can just start earlier so that they can get more done.
What’s more, skipping the commute also means skipping the stress of the commute. Driving is a real source of stress for a lot of people, especially in heavy traffic at peak commuting hours. And stress can negatively affect a worker’s productivity. Many people feel that they’re not giving their job their best after a stressful commute or right before they have to make another stressful commute. And they’re probably right.
To be fair, some people don’t hate their commutes. It can be an opportunity to catch up on the news, listen to a podcast, or just reflect. And while it’s common to find people who say that driving is stressful, it’s also fairly common to find people who enjoy driving and find it relaxing. So not all workers want to go remote for the lack of commute. Still, it’s a factor for a substantial number of people.
When you employ and manage people, you hear more than your share of complaints about the atmosphere. One employee complains that it’s too cold. Another complains it’s too hot. One wants more light, while another thinks it’s too bright as it is. Some employees want a quieter office, but others work better with some background noise.
People are different, and it’s hard to make a variety of individuals comfortable in one office. Somebody is always going to feel like they’re not as comfortable as they’d like to be. But at home, workers can control their environments. They can turn the thermostat up or down, turn the lights on or off, work in a soundproofed room or turn on the radio while they work. It’s not surprising that a lot of workers would see the allure of working in a place that they can customize to their liking and feel completely comfortable in.
It’s easy to think of people that you only see at work as just workers, but nobody’s life is work alone. Everyone has other priorities– kids, pets, siblings, parents, a group of friends, a hobby that they like to spend time on. While a paycheck is important, remote workers appreciate the flexibility that makes them better able to schedule time to tend to other priorities in their lives.
Working from home can improve work/life balance for many people. Depending on how flexible their hours and duties are at home, they may be able to let the babysitter go home early or walk the dogs in the middle of the day. Even if they’re on a stricter schedule, they may be able to do little things they couldn’t do before – be home to get a package delivery or let in a workman, for example. And while being easily accessible in case of a family emergency is a requirement for many people during the pandemic, it’s a good thing for a subset of your workers all the time – for those taking care of aging parents or a medically fragile family member, for example.
Even now that you understand why your workers may prefer working from home, you might have difficulty understanding how you can make it work on a regular basis. Work from home does present some challenges to employers, like an increased risk of security breaches and concern about employees wasting time since they aren’t being watched.
Remote employee monitoring software can help ease some of those concerns and make working from home more feasible for workers and employers. With monitoring software installed on your employee’s work devices, you can tell if they’re on task, see if they’re working productively, and spot potential security problems before they become breaches.
To find out how InterGuard can help your hybrid or remote employees stay safe and productive while working from home: