Work From Home Option

Work From Home OptionThere is a trend in startup office design (and among tech companies in particular) to pack as many “perks” as possible into these collaborative spaces with the goal of attracting and retaining employees. Candy dispensers, indoor treehouses, foosball and table tennis, even beer taps are among some of the gimmicks that I’ve seen in my research.

We all understand the goal of collaborative workspaces: better communication, engaging in an exchange of ideas, and energizing creativity between workers. However, the latest research is showing that, while these collaborative, fun-filled office designs may have made an initial splash, the number of workers who prefer a peaceful, distraction-free workspace is increasing.

It’s not surprising that the number of people who say they can’t concentrate at their desk has increased by 16% since 2008, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, the number of workers who say they do not have access to quiet places to do focused work is up by 13 percent.

Enter the Work From Home/Remote Work Option

While the work from home option is not for everyone, the research suggests that a growing number of workers perform better in a less distracting environment.

Here are three potential reasons remote workers outperform office workers in some of the open-concept workspaces:

  1. Less distractions leads to more productivity

Allowing workers to choose to work where they are most efficient is the key to productivity. If workers are distracted at the office, particularly in the open, collaborative environment, they will be much more productive if they choose a home office environment. If workers feel stifled because they crave more autonomy in how to order their day, they may be more productive in their choice of a remote office environment.

Work distractions can include: loud colleagues, impromptu visits by colleagues stopping by workspace, IMs or emails by colleagues or others during workday, unnecessary meetings, colleagues putting calls on speaker phone in addition to the environmental conditions of some workplaces described above.

  1. Teamwork encouraged

Business owners may be afraid that teamwork will suffer as a result of the isolation of working remotely. However, the reverse has proven to be true. Distance requires a demand for increase communication – via IM messaging, phone, and especially video chat. In fact, 92% of workers report that video collaboration improves their teamwork, according to a global survey commissioned by Polycom, Inc.

  1. Flexibility appreciated

Remote workers can prioritize their day to include running errands or making doctors’ appointments without cutting into an entire workday. If they have a cold, they can still work from home and avoid spreading germs to co-workers. They are more present and appreciative of the flexibility when their minds aren’t troubled by these external tasks.

Do you have an option for remote workers in your office? If not, and you are thinking about a move in this direction, you may want to consider implementing some policies and security protocols. NoWorriesIT is happy to offer a free “Ultimate Small Business Guide To Setting Up a Work-From-Home System For Your Staff”.

About The Author

Jean Burgess, Marketing Manager

Jean Burgess, Marketing Manager

Jean Burgess is Marketing Manager for NoWorriesIT, where she is continually surrounded by techno-speak and computer gear throughout the day. From Jean's desire to understand this alien world of Cloud Computing, Remote Monitoring and Management, Data Backup and Disaster Recovery, and Network Security sprang this blog -Thoughts From A Wannabe Techno Geek. Her goal: to be a liaison between the knowledgeable NoWorriesIT system engineers and the small business reader in an entertaining and informative manner.

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