For a steadily growing number of Americans, the option to work remotely is changing the way we understand our careers and our lives. Trade services, web development, and interior design are just a few fields where employees have found TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGES to opting to work from a flexible location. A more manageable WORK-LIFE BALANCE, and the removal of often long and tiring commutes are some of the MAJOR BENEFITS, and have resulted in a noticeable increase in PRODUCTIVITY¹.
Despite what may seem to most like the obvious benefits of remote work, not all employers are on-board. Part of the benefit of working in-office is the option at frequent communication between employees and teams and a feeling of collaboration. Managers worry about interrupting the informal learning process that occurs in-office, with more general concerns about employees working less, multi-tasking, or mixing personal responsibilities with work².
Making the Case for Remote Work
There is a strong case to be made for companies to increase the number of opportunities for remote work. Statistics prove the efficacy of the model:
- Remote employees work an additional 1.4 more days per month than in-office employees, which is nearly 17 additional workdays a year.
- Remote employees take longer breaks on average than office employees (22 minutes versus 18 minutes, respectively), but they work an additional 10 minutes a day.
- Office workers are unproductive for an average 37 minutes a day, not including lunch or breaks, whereas remote employees are unproductive for only 27 minutes.
- 15% of remote workers said their boss distracted them from work, which is less than the 22% of office-based employees who said the same thing³.
In light of the real and tangible results of greater output that stems from working from home, perhaps the time has come to ask how the remote work model might be A NATURAL NEXT-STEP in the evolution of global workflows. Advancements in communication technology and the internet means an increasingly interconnected world. Today, one is never farther than the push of a button away from a teleconference, group call, or message. With the ability to be almost anywhere instantly, remote work seems as though it’s here to stay—here’s how to make the most of your workday while at home.
Top 3 Tips for Staying Focused While Working from Home
1. Set Up a Defined Schedule
In an office environment where you are surrounded by coworkers and supervisors, it is much harder to break your daily routine. Even that 3pm coffee break might be prompted by a look exchanged with your favorite colleague, or a nudge by your boss. At home, however, all initiative and all motivation completely rests on your shoulders alone.
That is why it is so important that you set up a clear and rigid structure at the very start of your day. It may be a stricter schedule than you are used to, but it is important to set up boundaries to your work day so that you can stay focused. That doesn’t mean that you have work nonstop. It is also necessary to schedule breaks at specific points throughout the day⁴.
2. Create a Dedicated Space for Working From Home
When working from home, it is essential that you get out of bed and out of your bedroom, if you can. Even the couch is not a good place to set up your work space. Instead, aim to construct your own private office in another room or corner in your home, far from the TV or the kitchen. Find a place where you can work without interruption, distractions, or the desire to go back to sleep⁵.
3. Dress for Success
If you shouldn’t work from your bed, you shouldn’t work in your pajamas either, no matter how tempting the idea. Take time before your work day to shower, put on office-appropriate clothing, and apply makeup, even if you won’t be seeing any of your coworkers. Just the act of getting ready for the day will put you in the right mindset and help you avoid getting flustered if you have to answer any unexpected video calls.
The Future of Working From Home
Working remotely, just like working in an office, requires focus, and, although it comes with its own set of challenges, it also has many benefits. Remote work is REWARDING for employees who value FLEXIBILITY and for those who have a tendency to get frustrated in long, crowded commutes. However, remote also requires a high degree of self-motivation and can be challenging for people who have difficulty communicating or teaching at a distance. It may not be for everyone, but it seems that, given the incredible technological advances of our modern society and the potential of remote work to ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY, this new opportunity is here to stay.
 Mola, Rani. “How remote work is quietly remaking our lives.” recode, October, 2019. https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/10/9/20885699/remote-work-from-anywhere-change-coworking-office-real-estate
 Choudhury Prithwiraj (Raj), Barbara Z. Larson and Cirrus Foroughi. “Is It Time to Let Employees Work from Anywhere?” Harvard Business Review, August 14, 2019. https://hbr.org/2019/08/is-it-time-to-let-employees-work-from-anywhere
 Peak, Sean. “Communication Technology and Inclusion Will Shape the Future of Remote Work.” Business News Daily, March 18, 2020. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8156-future-of-remote-work.html
 Carlson, Elisette. “10 Tips From CEOs on Working From Home Effectively and Happily.” Entrepreneur, March 19, 2020. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/347479
 Austin, Patrick Lucas. “5 Tips for Staying Productive and Mentally Healthy While You’re Working From Home.” Time, March 12, 2020. https://time.com/5801725/work-from-home-remote-tips/