There’s been a very interesting shift in workplace dynamics ever since our planet reported the first case of Covid-19. Here’s what’s changed in over a year but we bet you already knew this:
- Working From Home (WFH) became a legit HR term and wasn’t a random excuse that an employee gave just to avoid making an appearance at the office in person.
- Organizations all over the world first viewed working from home as a temporary adjustment. Employees were expected to resume working at normal office hours whenever the situation became ‘normal’.
- HR personnel worked overtime to ensure that employees understood how WFH actually worked. Many programs were initiated to help organizations shift to a different sort of work environment without experiencing a dip in productivity.
- Meetings that were usually held in boardrooms were now held online and keeping one’s video on was proof that the person was really paying attention to what was being said.
- Of course, when online meetings are held at home, one could only expect that the occasional ‘video-bomber’ would drop in every now and then. Soon, these little hiccups were all accepted as being part of the new ‘normal’.
- Organizations slowly began to understand that giving employees the option to work from home led to huge cost-savings in terms of infrastructure, on a monthly basis.
- Employees too, began to gradually get used to the idea that the work environment did not matter as long as work actually got done.
- Suddenly, attending late night team building meetings and activities in one’s pyjamas wasn’t so odd anymore.
- One’s home wasn’t just a place for putting up one’s feet anymore- it also became a makeshift office overnight.
The pandemic has made one country after the other realise that an employee doesn’t really need to be present in the office to make a positive contribution to an organization. What was once considered ‘normal’ is now being redefined and here’s what’s interesting to note- organizations are happy to invest extra resources into making employee WFH experiences valuable.
HR departments are being asked to rework KPA’s, rethink parameters for performance appraisals and to reward those who make working in a team more fun. Although, there’s plenty more fine-tuning to be done, it appears that the new ‘Working-From-Home’ mantra is yielding plenty of positive results for both organizations and employees alike.
Working From Home Productivity Statistics 2021
Is WFH really working for companies and their employees? Doesn’t anybody want to get dressed up and go to the workplace anymore? So, here are a few facts that two interesting studies that were conducted have shown:
Performance Can Increase By Up to 13%
Stanford conducted a very interesting study of nearly 16,000 employees working for Ctrip in China, for a period of nine months. They found that workers had improved their overall productivity by around 13%. This was attributed to two factors such as a quieter working environment and working more each day. The participants in the study took fewer breaks during working hours, rarely reported ill and attrition rates were also much lower.
Productivity Can Increase By Up to 77%
A study conducted by ConnectSolutions in 2015 showed that employees (77%) who work remotely even a few days a month have increased overall productivity. Around 24% of that workforce were doing more work in the same time period as well. In 2020, Airtasker conducted a survey in March which showed that employees who were working from home spent more time working on an average and took fewer breaks. One of the other reasons cited for this was that employees weren’t distracted by their co-workers and there was no ‘water-cooler’ talk.
Going by the data, employees are happier working remotely and here are a few reasons that experts think could be the prime contributing factors:
Organizations are fine with allowing employees to work at their own pace as long as they are able to meet deadlines and complete assigned work on time. Being able to work when one chooses gives an employee ample freedom to plan his day well ahead.
It’s no surprise that most employees felt that commuting to work every day was a sheer waste of time. Only a very small percentage of people surveyed said that they enjoyed driving to work or were able to use their commuting time effectively. Zero commuting means that employees can now save more and even enjoy lazy weekday mornings.
Lower Stress Levels
Employees also felt less stressed while working remotely because they could actually focus better on getting the work done with fewer distractions. A weekday when planned well in advance gave an employee ample time to indulge in hobbies and to even pick up a new skill or two.
No Fixed Working Environment
Working remotely could mean attending a meeting sitting in one’s drawing room or even while sipping a cappuccino at the local café. Many travel bugs have used the opportunity to shift to new cities on a temporary basis because the power to decide where his office space will be rests with the employee.
In surveys, employees mentioned that water cooler gossip did take up a significant part of one’s working hours at the office. With no distractions around, employees are now in a better position to turn in work that takes lesser time to complete.
More Time With Loved Ones
Getting to spend more time with loved ones and even doing tasks and chores together were mentioned as one of the highlights of working remotely. Busy parents are able to spend more time with their children and this no doubt, strengthens family bonds too.
Organizations across the globe recognise that working remotely requires a huge shift in modes of communication and in working methods. That’s why they are happy to reward employees in different ways. Gifting online redeemable vouchers, surprise gift baskets and hosting remote working lunches are quite popular. Better bonuses and higher salary packages are also being given to deserving employees.
Tips For Working From Home And Staying Productive
There’s so much that you can do to make the best out of working remotely and here are 6 tips guaranteed to help you make enough time for your professional and personal lives:
Create a separate space just for work
Research shows that creating a separate space for work at home is very beneficial in helping an employee stay focused on his job and to work with fewer distractions. Restrict your work-related files, laptop and other papers to just one room or one table so that the ‘office’ does not take over your home.
Make The Effort To Dress
It’s true that you may not need to invest in expensive r work wear any longer, but making the effort to dress up gives you so much confidence. Being presentable in virtual meetings by wearing formal wear scores any day over making an appearance online in faded pyjamas.
Invest in Comfortable Furniture
Now is the time to invest in a really good ergonomic chair which keeps your back comfortable, a low foldable table which can be propped up in bed and stackable shelves or drawers to store your office papers. Think long-term and don’t forget to check out reviews posted by users before spending your money.
Learn Basic Cooking
You’ll find that no matter how much you hate getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, now is the time to learn how to put together nutritious meals that can be eaten at your desk. You’ll find plenty of great recipes and videos online which won’t take up much of your time either. Snacks like salads and pasta can even be stored for a day or two in the fridge.
Decide Your Daily Schedule In Advance
Planning a day of work in advance helps you indirectly get more work done effortlessly. Discuss your schedule with the team beforehand and decide what working hours suit you best. This will give you ample time for leisurely activities too.
Keep Your Family Informed
Turning your home into a mini office space can become a success only when you have the support of your family. Inform your loved ones a day in advance if you have a meeting scheduled the following day or if you need a few hours of absolute quiet to get some work done.