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Even prior to Governor Cuomo signing an executive order on March 19 mandating businesses to decrease their in-office workforce by 75%, more and more companies have been shifting towards remote work. Technology that is easily accessible, affordable and user-friendly has made telecommuting and teleconferencing a viable option for businesses of all sizes.
This is not to say that there weren’t many years of skepticism surrounding the remote work concept. There was concern over ease of communication, productivity and accountability. However, these stressors are slowly, but surely, being put to rest. According to a study conducted by Airtasker, employees working remotely are more productive than those working within office walls. The following discoveries were made from surveying 1,004 full-time employees, 50.29% of whom were remote employees:
While the statistics on productivity are overwhelming in favor of remote workers, there are pitfalls that come with the work-from-home territory. For example, 54% of remote workers from the above study stated that they felt “overly stressed during the workday,” whereas 49% of in-office workers experienced the same level of stress.
We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to keep your remote workdays productive while minimizing levels of stress. As with most things in life, balance is key!
Without a morning commute, you may find yourself jumping into your workday earlier than you ordinarily would. While this might suit you and your company well, be sure to communicate with your superiors on the hours you will be working. Shifting your work schedule may cause unforeseen disruptions to not only your company, but also might cause you to work more hours in a day than you normally would. Staying true to pre-determined work hours will help avoid burnout, maintain productivity levels and allow you maintain work-life balance.
While not a groundbreaking statement, it’s still important to note that people are creatures of habit – whether we want to admit it or not! According to Northwestern Medicine, having a routine leads to better stress levels, better sleep and better overall health. If you are transitioning from an in-office work environment to a remote work environment, sticking to your pre-work and post-work routines is key to your success. If you ordinarily listen to a podcast on your drive into and from work or spend your mornings or evenings in the gym, find a way to continue to incorporate these activities while telecommuting.
Not all remote-work employees have a formal “office” in their residence and that’s more than okay! However, creating a space that is easy to work within and fosters an environment of productivity is key. Set up shop at your kitchen table if you must, but try to avoid setting up and breaking down your work station daily in the interest if time and remaining organized.
We’ve (finally!) crossed the finish line into April. Take advantage of the longer, warmer days coming our way. According to the New York Department of Labor, all non-factory workers are entitled to a 30-minute lunch break between 11AM and 2PM. Take advantage of this time in a fashion that makes sense for you.
When working outside of your office’s walls and out of ear shot from your peers, it is essential that you communicate often and effectively. Keeping your coworkers and your managers privy to what you are working on now and in the future will help alleviate a great deal of unnecessary stress for all parties involved. If you effectively highlight your productivity verbally and continue to produce high-quality work in a timely manner, your transition to a remote-work environment will be smooth with limited interruptions.
Not only does remote work lend itself to having more free time per week (8.5 more hours of free time per week compared to in-office employees), but it allows full-time employees to save roughly $94 on fuel costs during a 5-day work week. In short, enjoy the extra time with family and friends (we suggest utilizing FaceTime more during these difficult periods of time!), be thankful for the money saved on transportation costs and do everything within your power to set yourself up for success – now and into the future.
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