Most of the time, you can find me happily ensconced in my cubicle, surrounded by pictures of my family and more than a few Starbucks cups. But some days, the call of the office just isn’t there. I want to buckle down, get ahead, or, in the case of last Friday, be able to work while surrounded by a couple of new coworkers: my one-year-old nephew and my sister.
Working remotely is not a dazzlingly new concept.
Forbes reports that “at least 50% of the U.S. population” has gone remote as of 2019. Our company has a flexible plan to their work-from-home strategy; some of our coworkers operate solely in their homes, while people like me can enjoy a welcome break from Atlanta traffic when the occasion arises.
And as work-from-homers, we’re still as productive as our office counterparts! Or, as a two-year long study from Stanford found, we’re arguably more productive, since we’re saving time. Working from the comfort of your (or your sister’s, as it was in my case) own home cuts down on countless environmental factors:
- you can’t be late because of highway gridlock when your laptop is in your living room
- you don’t need to sacrifice that sick day because a certain coworker sneezed near your desk, and
- you don’t need to take long breaks when your home office already includes access to a supportive easy chair.
Working remotely is different for everyone. Personally, I’m an introvert, so relieving the pressure that comes with standard office social interaction or environmental factors to focus on a tough project is way easier for me when I work from home. There’s no wasted time settling into my desk or exchanging small talk—I can just go straight to work.
Which isn’t to say my interaction with my coworkers takes a downturn. Interoffice messaging systems makes it easy to check in with supervisors and coworkers to see if they got my latest email, or my last gif in the group chat.
Beyond that, I experienced a great level of job satisfaction that day just by being in the presence of my nephew. Even though he wasn’t my most knowledgeable coworker, per se, it was great to see him, since I rarely have time to visit due to a six-hour travel commute.
In between assignments, I had time to read him a story, or cuddle with him before his nap. These were negligible breaks, time constraints we wouldn’t even bat an eye at in our office. But they meant the world to me as a young professional.
So take the time to peruse those articles.
You know, the ones that are literally giving you the key to effectively recruiting and retaining hard-to-get talent. There is no shortage of evidence that proves working from home is a cost-efficient way to entice new candidates, and to me, there are still many more untold benefits just waiting to be discovered by your employees.
Because really, how stressful can a work day be when you hear a baby giggle in the background?
(P.S. Maybe that’s our next tool to beat burnout!)