Now that the pandemic is reaching its second year and work from home (WFH) policies alongside it, it’s time that we look into the productivity of the policy and how we can improve on it during the coming years.
Arguably, remote work is a product of circumstance. It’s estimated that 70% of the employees will work from home or remotely by 2025. Almost three-fourths of the overall US workforce is working in the comfort of their home. The circumstance behind this growth isn’t necessarily from the pandemic itself but because of the need for increased productivity.
Remote Work Has Always Been There
Many people worldwide believe that remote work or WFH policies were only implemented to combat the pandemic. But this isn’t the case.
Remote work has been around since the early 1970s. Telecommuting has been the term used for it during those earlier times, and it was only in 1979 when such a model was explored. Interestingly enough, big companies such as PayPal and Apple all started with this model. Back then, remote work was still an alien concept, and it was only until the 2000s when it became more famous because of the rise of the tech and IT industry.
Nowadays, remote work has become the norm, but is it more productive than a traditional work setting?
First, let’s talk about the savings that WFH policies can give to companies. The major benefit of such a policy is that businesses can save from rent, utilities, food, and cleaning services. For many startups, this is already one-fourth of their overall expenses annually. That’s a decent chunk of revenue saved.
Moreover, employees also have a chance to save money. They no longer need to worry about transportation costs going to work and the meals they have to buy working. Furthermore, they won’t have the temptation to purchase items in a nearby retail store on their way home. But do these reduced costs translate to better productivity? The simple answer to that is yes.
Remote Work is Productive
There had been struggles last year when we first implemented WFH policies in our companies. In some situations, companies had lost 20% of their overall production when compared to 2019. That’s a severe problem for every company.
However, this year, WFM policies have increased the productivity of many companies by 13%. This shows that remote work is productive. But looking at general numbers isn’t enough. We have to explore the reasons behind it. One of the less explored reasons is that we’re now more open to customized office equipment.
Customized Office Equipment
Procuring office equipment can be challenging for many companies that have a WFH policy. However, many companies have implemented ‘Bring Your Device’ policies. This means that employees can use their equipment at home, which increases employees building their own computers. Customized office equipment, especially gaming computers and laptops, has been more efficient than traditional office computers. Arguably, increasing work productivity and efficiency.
Overall, this can be a blessing in disguise. As more companies fund their employees in building their computers, the more productive their employees can become. But this still requires a bit more observation in the coming months. The cost of such funding can also bring more harm than good to some companies.
Less Office Stress
Office stress can be a severe problem for many employees. Some employees don’t like being watched by their managers or by their boss. They also don’t want other chatty employees who can distract them from work. Now that people are working at home, there is less perceived office stress, which can translate to better productivity.
Many companies have experienced this. Employees are a lot happier because they spend zero hours in the office and more time at home by the end of the day. However, this has its problem as well. And one of them being a lack of communication.
Companies that might be experiencing an increase in productivity due to this might be spending more time in communication. Meetings might be longer despite the improvements to Zoom meetings.
No Other Choice
By the end of the day, WFH policies are the only way we can work efficiently without the risk of having an infection in the office. But more employees are voting to make such a policy permanent in their company. For some business owners, this might be a risk they are willing to take because of the advantages listed above.
However, we suggest that you observe first if it’s working in your company through performance metrics. For example, if the metrics have shown positive input in six months, such an option might be meant for you.