Remote working has long had its advocates. It isn’t without its detractors, though. Many company heads feel that it’s necessary for employees to be in the office so they can be supervised and micro-managed. These two viewpoints have been at odds for many years, and the debate was, yet again, brought to the fore at the onset of the pandemic. That debate has seemingly been put to bed, however, with several academic and scientific studies producing results that seem to confirm that allowing staff to perform their duties remotely is actually rather efficient. Having intimate knowledge of this fact from personal experience, the results of these studies and tests are no surprise. In this post, we’re going to look at five ways working remotely is more efficient than working from the office:
Time Saved from Commuting
A 2019 TUC report stated that Londoners spent an average of 79 minutes commuting every day, totaling around 300 hours a year. Switching to remote working not only saves all that time - which could then be spent on work – but it saves money on train or bus fares, or fuel and other driving expenses. It's also more environmentally friendly, minimizing carbon emissions, which also reflects well on the carbon footprint of the company and the employees. The elimination of rush-hour traffic jams and/or crowded trains will also have a positive impact on the mental health of employees, allowing them to be happier, thus more productive.
Better Work-Life Balance
Many office workers have trouble balancing their work and personal life. Long hours at the office coupled with the stress that comes from long commutes usually results in tension at home. Employees who are young parents also tend to suffer the worst as childcare costs have risen exponentially over the last few decades, adding financial constraints to list of worries. Working remotely alleviates some of these tensions and stresses as employees have a more flexible schedule. This allows them to spend time with their families and look after their kids, thus becoming less stressed. Employees who are more relaxed can actually appreciate their jobs more, and that job satisfaction invariably translates to their personal lives.
Less Time Spent on Meetings
Office meetings can be a contentious topic, depending on who you talk to. A large number of employees consider them to be a waste of time, and many are openly disdainful about attending them. However, the importance of meetings is something that cannot be escaped – especially in contexts where employees have to work in teams in order to deliver projects. However, working remotely implies that employees are in front of their computers for the duration of their work time. As such, attending virtual meetings is much easier and much less time consuming than several employees from different departments, sometimes from different offices, physically meeting in one conference room.
Working from home usually means that employees aren’t constrained by the traditional 9 to 5 working hours. This allows greater flexibility for responding to urgent tasks or work emergencies. With fewer time-consuming interruptions such as meetings, employees can easily get back on track after every distraction. It also implies that employees are more likely to work uninterrupted for longer stretches in comparison to working from the office.