Is working from home remotely the right option for you?

Have you been working  from home due to the impacts of COVID-19? If so, you might be wondering whether a return to the office will ever be possible.

And even if you DO get the option to work in an office again, you might question whether it’s even worthwhile.

The landscape of business was already shifting to remote-based roles long before the pandemic started. And millions more will complete the transition on the back of it. Let’s find out whether it could be the best choice for you.

The attraction of working from home

The concept of working from home is an attractive prospect right now. First and foremost, it is the easiest way to guarantee safety and prevent unnecessary exposure to the virus.

In turn, removing those fears of contracting COVID-19 allows you to work without distractions. Furthermore, it overcomes the need for daily commuting.

Research already shows that this can aid productivity speed and accuracy. Working remotely offers employers a less risky way to expand businesses and manage their budgets.

It’s very rewarding at this unprecedented time. For you, there may be opportunities to set a schedule that fits around your lifestyle with greater convenience. Similarly, you may be able to complete multiple roles from home.

The gig economy, which allows you to take individual contracts, is a great example. Working from home puts you in control of your career and personal life. Given the capabilities of modern tech, accessibility is at an all-time high. However, the transition from short-term to long-term needs attention.

What preparations do you need?

When the pandemic started, most employers took the view that any productivity was better than none. However, when embracing remote-based work on a more permanent basis, the speed of productivity will be important. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can meet employer needs. Otherwise, earnings will fall.

Firstly, you need a designated workspace. A summer house offers privacy and segregation from the main property. Aside from supporting an improved workflow, it encourages a healthier work-life balance.

It is advised to speak with your local council about any legal requirements. Likewise, HMRC should be contacted about potential tax benefits, such as claiming back utility bills. 

Storage may be an issue, which is why adopting paperless tech and storage is key. Likewise, home offices must be supported by reliable internet connections. VoIP tech can facilitate clear communication with employers, colleagues, clients, and business contacts.

What are the downsides of working from home?

Working from home appeals to a far greater audience, but it’s not a perfect option for everyone. If it were, commercial premises would no longer be needed.

Working from home won’t be possible if your job involves handling stock, for example. It is also suggested that long-term working from home could cause mental health issues for some workers.

The reasons for this stem to a lack of work-life balance, and a lack of human interaction. Video conferencing can solve the second issue. As for the work-life balance, a designated workspace should be supported with a mindset shift. Workers must give themselves a chance to switch off from work. Even if social distancing limits what they can do once the laptop is switched off. 

Ultimately, the face of business has changed and working from home may be the only option for some workers. When you have the choice between traditional or remote-based working, the key is to analyse every aspect in detail. Make the right decision, and your prospects will look a whole lot brighter.

Photo by Tina Witherspoon