If remote work didn’t come with genuine benefits, most companies would have returned to the traditional office after the worst of COVID-19. However, that’s not the case. Instead, telework is now one of the most sought-after styles of work for most employees.
Cost savings and flexibility are not the only reasons why remote work is growing in popularity. Many working from home productivity research materials have shown that, when done right, telework can significantly boost efficiency.
In a FlexJobs survey, 65% of respondents believed they’d be more productive working from home. Another experiment carried out at a Chinese travel agency found that remote work boosted performance by 13%. The increase was mainly due to a more convenient environment and fewer sick days and breaks. For employees that are on the move a lot, it may be worth considering 50 of the Most Move-friendly Jobs in the US.
However, while it’s apparent that telework boosts productivity, it doesn’t always work. According to a policy brief by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), efficiency decreases with excessive telecommuting. This means there are best practices to boost and maintain employee productivity in a virtual workplace.
This article will help you understand how telework can boost your performance by explaining the different factors affecting work-from-home productivity.
The OECD report pointed out that reduced in-person communications and social activities can affect performance. For example, employees can slip into solo work bubbles and work in silos when telecommuting. The result of this disconnect is reduced teamwork and collective performance.
To alleviate this, companies must instill a culture of open communication in their remote work environment. This means more daily briefs, virtual meetings, and heavier use of tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
By ensuring regular communication, there will be no gaps in efficiency and productivity.
Employees have to go through a transition phase when they make the shift to remote work. For example, sleep patterns, living arrangements, and general work schedules will change. Indeed, sleep quality increases with teleworking as your body no longer expects the bustle of early morning traffic.
That said, since you’re working from home and no longer under physical supervision, it’s easy to get distracted. For example, social media activity, which reduces work performance, increases in a virtual workplace. Also, distractions from family members could hurt productivity.
There are remedies to this problem. For starters, you can create a home office and structure a work schedule to avoid distractions from family. Keeping a separate social-media-free device for work will also help.
There’s more: how you previously commuted to your physical office also determines whether going remote will boost your productivity or not. For example, a study published on Findings reported that those who commuted to work by walking were less likely to be more productive in a remote setting. On the contrary, those who commuted to work in single-occupancy vehicles before telecommuting increased productivity.
The survey also found that spending less time on social media and investing in better sleep and personal hobbies boosted work performance.
Remote Work Tools
When it comes to telecommuting, you’re as good as the tools you use. These include project management apps and communication tools dedicated to remote workers. You need an organized workspace, optimized work schedule, and a better communication system to improve your productivity while working teleworking.
Also, some productivity apps for remote workers allow you to monitor the applications you spend the most time on. Using these tools will help you track your performance and curtail your use of specific programs and sites that reduce concentration.
One of the major difficulties of working from home is time management. Teleworking presents a unique challenge in the pursuit of work-life balance because it easily blurs the boundary between work and personal life.
Since employees work from home, it’s increasingly difficult to know when to stop and switch off their work mode. This has led to IT teams bypassing security policies that prevent them from working past a certain period, according to an HP Wolf Security report.
However, the poor time management issue doesn’t only cause security concerns. Workers are easily burned out trying to beat deadlines, negatively affecting productivity.
According to a Monster poll, 59% of teleworkers agreed they’re taking less time off work than they did before telecommuting. The survey also reported that 69% of respondents are showing signs of burnout.
Resolving the problem involves creating strict work schedules and sticking to them. However, it doesn’t end there; you can use a time management application to keep yourself accountable.
Remote work boosts productivity depending on how you approach it. You should employ best practices and communicate with your manager or supervisor on the work schedule that suits you best.
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