It seems that remote working is here to stay, at least in some form. Whilst some workers are eager to get back to the office full time, many of us have embraced the flexibility of working from home some or all of the time. But what will this mean for business?
Home vs. Office
The main concern for employers with a remote workforce is the issue of productivity. After all, an office setting is designed to help us focus and get tasks done. Can the same be said for someone working at their kitchen table? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. In fact, several studies have shown that working from home actually increases productivity – on average, remote workers are 47% more productive, work more hours, are more consistent, and get more done.
There are many reasons why. Firstly, no commute to the office saves time, and many employees start their workday earlier. No commute saves an average of 8.5 hours per week or 408 hours per year. And whilst social interaction in an office setting is important, a study by Ask.com found that 86% of employees prefer to work alone when they are trying to meet a deadline. So, minimizing social interaction in the office maximizes productivity.
The wider impact
Many employers are embracing the cultural shift towards having a remote workforce, according to the blog Hubstaff. For those of us who can work remotely, this means a mental shift to start viewing our home as our workplace too. Inevitably, working from home impacts our decisions when it comes to property – estate agents report a marked increase in demand for home office spaces. And remote working has also led to greater flexibility on where we’re located – WFH employees now have more freedom of choice to live where and how they like.
If your home isn’t right for working from home space-wise, or you’d like to move to a new area now you’re not tied to the office, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll fund your plans. A re-mortgage to release cash to convert your attic into a workspace? Or the new mortgage deal that’ll get you moving? As a result of this need, mortgage brokerage services like Trussle provide comprehensive comparisons of what’s on offer. They’ll search every mortgage option on the market and recommend providers based on what the searcher needs.
Beyond that, there’s the reality of the need for home office furniture. In the US, the Census Bureau and Department of Commerce reported in 2020 that furniture sales outperformed much of the retail sector, showing the broader effects of the work-from-home revolution. In fact, a report released in May of this year stated that the office supplies market in 2027 would be worth US$186.9 billion. This shows why companies like Ikea offering planning services for offices amongst the standard rooms of someone’s home. The business will boom, and it helps to be there to benefit.
Remote working is the new reality
Now that we’ve all embraced the reality of remote working as not just the future but the here and now, will we see working from home replacing the office? Bruce Daisley, the author of The Joy of Work, says, “the game is up for the office as we know it.” So long as organizations continue to provide the opportunity to connect with co-workers and ensure your wellbeing as a WFH employee, we can all get down to business – pajamas optional!