Ever since the pandemic hit, government guidance was that people should work from home where possible. While these restrictions have since been lifted, a lot of staff have found the benefits of working from home more appealing than going into the workplace every day. Some managers and business owners find this surprising, given the lack of objections to what was standard working practices before the pandemic.
While the technology has allowed remote and hybrid working patterns (which is a balance of remote and in-person working) for a while, it wasn’t until people were made to adapt to it that some realised it’s a better solution for them.
It’s left businesses owners wondering why some people flourish with remote working while others long to be back in the workplace.
Why Do Some People Prefer To Work From Home?
There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to work from home instead of an office. One of the biggest reasons is it suits their personality. Some find offices to be crowded, noisy and distracting – especially if they’re more introverted than others. This can lead to them feeling stressed more easily than others.
This is just one part of the equation, however. There are plenty of reasons why remote working appeals, and once staff have gotten used to it, they might not want to go back to what the status quo from before the change. This can lead to headaches for businesses looking to maximise the use of their workplace.
Out Of Work Commitments
Life doesn’t stop just because we go to work, and there are things we all have to balance at different times. This might be childcare commitments, for example, whether that’s cost-cutting or to spend more time with the kids. There might be things happening at home you have to be around for, such as renovations or repair work – even if it’s just to let people in. This can’t be done while in the workplace.
Medical appointments often take place during working hours, too, which means more time out of the office travelling closer to home to get to your local GP clinic. Being at home means less time not working, so there are plenty of things which make working more practical.
Avoiding Long Commutes
For many people, there’s a commute involved in going to and from work. This can be over an hour each way in some cases, which is a lot of time lost every day. Even if employees use public transport, which means they can read or do something else along the way, it’s not the most enjoyable or relaxing of times.
Delays due to traffic, accidents or road works can also add to stress levels about getting to work on time, or making other plans at the end of the day. By not having to put up with this each day, people can enjoy more of their time and do things they want.
More Opportunities Without Relocating
Remote working means employees can apply for jobs anywhere in the country – or even the world – without having to relocate. Suddenly the number of job opportunities increases drastically, meaning they have much more leverage in negotiations on salary and work-life balances, as well as responsibilities.
For people with families, having to relocate can be stressful, and it causes disruption for everyone involved, especially children. The move itself, changing schools, and becoming a part of a new community is extra pressure on top of a new job. Working remotely means this doesn’t have to happen – or at least, not right away.
What Are The Benefits Of Working Remotely?
Knowing why some people prefer to work remotely doesn’t fully explain why they are more productive at home compared to being in the office or workplace, though. These reasons can vary as much as the people do, so while it’s hard to get a full list that covers everything or everyone.
What we can do is look at some of the most common reasons. If helping people return to the workplace is your goal, then you can use these as a starting point to make the workplace more suitable and appealing to them, which will help encourage them to work in person again, even if it’s only part of the time.
A Quieter, More Focused Environment
Even the quieter offices or workplaces can be noisy and distracting for people. Whether it’s bouts of office chatter, noise from technology, tools or machinery, or even just the coming and going of visitors, clients or customers – it can feel like there’s no end of distractions that affects productivity.
Some people thrive off this kind of busy environment, but others prefer to be able to focus, minimising distractions and noises while they get on with the work at hand. This can be hard to create in open workspaces where noise carries easily across large distances. Quiet areas or rooms help, but this largely depends on the composition of the teams in your business.
Making The Most Of Free Time
Without the daily commute, there’s more time for people to spend doing the things they want or enjoy doing. The early morning workout or run can be done without giving up even more sleep than used to be needed, for example. Lunch breaks can also be more useful, rather than sitting at work waiting to go back to the desk, people can do fun things at home, or even do chores.
At the end of the day, there’s no waiting for traffic or transport, it’s a simple case of heading to the couch to unwind. You can have meals ready for when the family comes home, or head straight out to meet friends or make it to local events.
We mentioned before about the other commitments that people may have, but the flexibility that comes from working from home means that these can be managed much easier, without having to account for the travel time that comes with it. If flexi is included in a contract, starting work early without having to commute means more rested workers, for example.
It also means that if an emergency pops up, staff are able to handle it from their home, which also reduces the response time. While it’s important to be able to separate work and personal time, urgent tasks can arise. Being flexible works both ways.
Home Office Ideas To Improve Productivity
To make sure remote working is as productive as possible, there are plenty of home office ideas that can make a huge difference. Sitting on the sofa with a laptop might seem revolutionary, but it’s going to bleed over into your personal time, and you’ll find yourself not switching off.
The first thing to do is create a dedicated working area in your home. This can be a separate room or a space in another room, but it needs to be big enough for a good desk and chair that you can use comfortably every day.
Think about the tools and equipment you need to work effectively, from monitors to printers and more specialised equipment for the role you do. Natural light is important, so position the desk near a window where possible but also have a lamp or other light source for when it turns dark. The top of your monitor should be at eye level, too, to ensure a good sitting posture.
Finally, think about the furniture you need. Whether it’s supplies or storage, a set of drawers can help, as can shelves above or around your desk, keeping things within easy reach for whenever you need them.
How Will Remote Working Affect Your Search For A Commercial Property?
One of the biggest considerations for any business is how remote working changes the commercial property you operate from. It’s true that many people find remote working a boon, but just as many prefer to be in the workplace. This is largely down to personal circumstance and preference over the kind of environment they want to work in to get the best results.
It does pose a problem when searching for a property to base your business in, though. Do you need an office that’s large enough for all of your staff – and any new hires – or are you accounting for a remote or hybrid work schedule. This can help you go for a smaller space to lower the cost.
Our team at Williams Sillitoe will work with you to not only find the best property for your needs, but also help you understand what kind and size of property best suits your needs. Contact us today to find out more.