Most of the world is now working at home. Not everyone has that choice or the luxury of course, but this is the situation many of us find ourselves in.
My home work journey began 3 and a bit weeks ago and I must admit I was very apprehensive, Sure Ive worked at home before if Ive been ill or I have had a deadline to meet that meant evening or weekend work and I couldn’t get to the office. I have to be honest though and say I always hated home working. Firstly my mind prefers a physical boundary between where I work and where I live. Secondly Ive always just found too many distractions at home.
Now that I’m the position of working from home along with my partner I really have no choice except get on with it, and well the results have been surprising.
This has required some careful planning and logistics for both of us, as my partner actually works for the client, that I work with exclusively. So separate private work spaces were key from the start of the experiment.
However after we set a routine, some boundaries and got offices set up as far apart as possible (me in the basement and her in the spare room 2 floors up) I can actually say I’m starting to enjoy working from home.
Instead of leaving home at 7:30am and commuting for an hour, I simply start work at 8:30. The time I normally spend commuting well that’s now my time, to read, write, exercise, or anything else I feel like of a morning.
At 8:30 i have already accomplished some of my personal goals for the day and I’m into my work day, which starts with online calls/meetings. This has been a revelation especially for a Luddite like me, I can now be an active participant in meetings and get on with my day at the Same time.
By 12 I’m ready for a 30 minute break and catch up with my partner. Then its back to the action until around 6 which is the same time I’d normally leave the office.
What has been massively surprising for me is the additional productivity I have found.
When you strip out the physical meetings, the informal meetings where someone comes to the office for a conversation and the time spent commuting, productivity and concentration levels are massively increased.
Bear in mind that I write this as someone who has the luxury of an office to myself. I cant imagine the benefits to someone working in a cubicle or open plan office.
Is this the future? Well yes I really think it is for several compelling reasons:
. We don’t need to face to face meetings all of the time, a lot of our communication has moved online and its more productive as a result
. Do we need to be in a physical office space? I think this situation is proving to us that really we don’t.
So for those of us who don’t need to work in an office what are the overall benefits:
It’s better for the environment, less traffic, less commuters, less office space and emissions and more green space.
It’s a benefit to us personally, no commute, less stress, less cost, more productivity and more time to ourselves
It’s a benefit to business, less office space required is less cost and less liability
It’s a win, win all round, albeit not one that’s able to be universally adopted by us all. But its a very practical, low investment and high impact way to change the environment, lower costs for business and help humanity to thrive.
Given the challenges the world faces today, this really seems like a no brainier to me