More and more people are working from home as the economy evolves. The commercial office is only one place where we can get work done. Now, the trend shows home offices becoming increasingly common each week.
But what is driving this shift towards working from home? Why would someone want to work from home? Let’s take a look at what’s directing this trend:
COVID-19’s Effect on Work From Home Trends
The most obvious driving force for the work from home trend is the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic.
Offices are places where germs can easily spread. More specifically, cramped spaces like elevators are a significant threat to many people’s health during a pandemic.
Co-working spaces had been increasing rapidly in popularity before the pandemic, especially for smaller businesses and companies. But co-working spaces are often more dense than a single company’s office building or floor, with numerous different people coming in and out of their shared co-working space. This does not bode well during a pandemic.
Even when the COVID-19 pandemic is over or becomes less prevalent, the trend towards home offices will have been drastically accelerated.
Many people and companies will be fearful of exposing themselves to the threat of a spreading disease. If a company can easily have its workers stay home while still meeting its productivity goals, why wouldn’t it do that?
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Technology Has Quickly Advanced to Allow for Virtual Work Meetings
One of the biggest objections to working from home is that you are less able to meet and talk with co-workers and other team members. Technology has dramatically changed this.
Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, among others, make it very easy for teams to talk face-to-face without having to physically move somewhere. Sure, you can’t shake the other person’s hand, but you can see their facial expressions and reactions to whatever you are saying. And it requires no commuting.
The average American spends about an hour each day commuting between work and home. That’s about 250 hours per year if you work 5 days per week with 2 weeks of vacation. Video conferencing software can completely eliminate this massive time drain.
As an added bonus, you might more quickly go through your morning routine, rather than taking extra time to pretty yourself up before heading to work. After all, unless you have an important video meeting, you can more readily shorten your routine since there’s less pressure to look super polished. Though looking good and being confident can help you be more productive, so take that with a grain of salt.
The point is: video conferencing saves time. There is no commute. It frees up your time to use towards more productive things. You can work from anywhere. It also allows for you to take a job somewhere far away that formerly would have required you to move. That’s a major innovation!
These benefits of working from home make it important to have a strong video conferencing option available. In time, more software will be available with different features that will continue to improve video conferencing worldwide. Current options are still great for many companies.
Office Space is Expensive for Companies
In many cases, companies would be more willing to spend money on high quality video software as opposed to office space rent.
Office rent often makes up a large portion of company expenses, big and small. When companies are able to save on this cost, that helps their bottom lines.
It can also help a company offer higher salaries or other benefits to workers due to the saved costs. But this is only when a worker can still be as (if not more) productive at home when compared to being at the office. That is not always the case, though many white-collar jobs do allow for this.
Many companies are learning from their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic to look towards more permanent work from home arrangements. Many employees are happier working from home as it is. This could be the new norm, so companies will look to cut back on office rent and expenses.
Furthermore, companies will be able to recruit talent from all over the world without needing to have the employees come to them. This will give companies the ability to create even stronger teams and become even more competitive. Being nimble and flexible is a major advantage for the company itself, too.
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Employees Value Flexibility
Many employers have allowed workers to work from home for part of the week. This has given those workers greater flexibility in creating a work week ideal for them.
One of the biggest drawbacks of going to a centralized office is the long commute that many employees face. Having that time back creates even more flexibility.
However, some people would note the drawbacks of using a home office. One of those is distractions. Especially for those with kids not in school, it can be hard to separate themselves from their other obligations to do their jobs from home. Similarly, it can be hard to write a dense e-mail clearly and efficiently when a child is tugging on your arm for your attention. That said, those drawbacks are less severe in some homes than others.
A worker might have greater flexibility in designing his or her home office as well. Whereas the company’s office might have rules against pinning things on the wall, you can do whatever you want to your home office!
One thing that workers can do to upgrade their work spaces, whether in the company office or from home, is to invest in a standing desk.
Standing desks allow someone to quickly transition to standing from sitting without having to break work flow. This comes with a number of potential health and productivity benefits, and there are many affordable standing desk options in all shapes and sizes!
Conclusion – Working from Home is Here to Stay
The economy is always changing. Workplace trends change with it. With improved technology and acceptance of the idea of working from home, it’s hard to see a future without employees working from home offices.
The working from home trend does not seem to be slowing. Instead, it is speeding up. Workers will have more flexibility in their work days and career choices – you won’t have to move to a different state to take a job there.
Maybe your company is considering a permanent switch to a work from home arrangement. Maybe your company does not think it is feasible, yet.
Either way, if you’re looking to build out a home office, or improve your existing workspace, check out our reviews of some of the most popular standing desks on the market. Your neck and back will almost certainly thank you.
*Learn about our 8 favorite standing desk options by clicking here!*