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Remote Jobs Benefit Employees and Employers

 

These days it seems as though companies are all trying to “out cool” each other and compete for the title of Best Place to Work. Taking their cues from Google, it’s now quite common for companies — especially tech companies — to offer their employees perks like gyms, game rooms, lunches, coffee baristas, and more. Many companies are moving from old musty buildings to brand new buildings with glass walls, bright colors, games, and even built-in beer taps.

I’ve worked in a few places like this, and I even worked as a recruiter at one. People who came in for interviews saw the ping pong table and arcade games and were instantly sold on the company culture. “This must be a super fun place to work,” they would say. And it mostly was, although that had much more to do with the people and the environment created by management than the games, which mostly collected dust.

Employees love bells and whistles. We love bagels with assortments of cream cheeses, and we get excited about wearing jeans to work. We love clubs and games and feeling like we’re part of a hip company culture. Sure, all those things are great, but many people would happily do away with all of those things entirely and embrace the benefits of working from home instead.

Although many companies have gone entirely paperless, there is often still hesitation from employers when it comes to allowing employees to work outside of the office. Yet the benefits of working from home far outweigh the benefits of working in an office, both for employees and employers.

Benefits for Employees

  1. Greater Productivity. Remote employees can focus on getting the job done without office distractions. Research done by Gallup has consistently shown that remote employees are happier, satisfied, and more productive.
  2. More Money. Working from home saves employee’s money otherwise spent on gas, fancy work clothes, and fast food. Getting more work done can lead to greater commissions for commissioned employees.
  3. Health Benefits. Waking up, rushing around, and dodging traffic doesn’t make for a great start to the workday. Cutting out commuting cuts out stress and makes for happier employees. At home, an extra chunk of time can be spent doing refreshing things like taking a power nap, taking a quick walk out in the fresh air, doing some yoga stretches, etc.
  4. Work/Life Balance. Instead of taking PTO and rushing around between the office and the kids’ school, parents can take a quick break and pick up their kids from school and see them more often. These small things can make a world of difference for both parents and children in terms of happiness.

Benefits for Employers

  1. Greater Productivity. One of the main concerns’ employers have is that if they allow their employees to work remotely, employees will be less productive. This mindset has been proven wrong repeatedly. Studies consistently show that productivity increases when employees work from home.
  2. More Money. When employee productivity increases, so does company revenue. Allowing employees to work from home also cuts down on office costs for supplies such as coffee, paper towels, etc. Healthier employees also lead to lower health insurance costs.
  3. Fewer Employee Absences. When employees work from home, they are less likely to call in and take unscheduled paid time off. Rather than calling in sick, an employee can sit at their desk or even lie on their bed at home and work, rather than coming in and spreading germs around the office, subsequently causing more employees to call in.
  4. Less Turnover. Healthier employees with a greater work/life balance are more satisfied employees, who are much more likely to stay in their position.

If the idea of letting employees fly away from the nest is still a terrifying idea for employers, they can start by allowing their employees to work from home one day a week or a few days a week. Rather than worrying about giving up control, employers should worry about employees’ productivity and overall well-being, for the benefit of all parties involved. In today’s world, companies should adapt and allow employees to work remotely in order to continue to attract and retain top talent.

 
 
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How to Be Your Most Productive You

 

At the end of the work week, you may look back exhausted at the 60 hours or more that you put in at the office and be dismayed at all the work you actually didn't get done. But you were there every day, from sun up to sun down. You had meetings, company lunches, hours of work at your desk each day. Why couldn't you get it all done? Are you feeling less than satisfied with what you've been accomplishing? It's likely not your lack of drive that's to blame. It's more likely that you're unproductive, failing to make the best use of your time. One of the keys to success is using your time wisely, rather than spinning your wheels and exhausting yourself. So, how can you be more productive in your work and life?

Set Clear Goals

Take some time to plan out your goals, or clarify and adjust the ones you already have. Seeing them on paper can push those goals into reality rather than something that's just floating around your head. Set both personal and business goals for the long and short term. Identify the goal, be specific, and set a time frame. This will help keep you accountable. To avoid procrastination, set clear and concise time frames for an added challenge, suggests Forbes. Don't forget to add in any setbacks you may predict that could roll back your goal. 

Stop the Excuses and Distractions

Setbacks and distractions have the power to weaken your goals and defeat you. Come up with a strategy that allows you to push through those challenges, past the pain, and into the pleasure of accomplishment. Adopt a laser focus to that one task, every day, reaching your goal closer and closer. Set priorities within the task. What has to be done first? What can wait a bit? Think about what you are currently doing: does it serve your goal or pull you away from it?

Embrace Your Strengths

Only YOU know YOU! If you do your best work first thing in the morning, follow that urge. If you do better late at night, burn the midnight oil and take advantage of your creative juices. Perhaps you do your best work after your fitness routine. Do you work best from home or does the chaos of a busy office fuel you? Whatever it is, identify the environments in which you thrive and get to work. Don't fight them. Working against your instincts will burn your energy and productivity.

Set Aside Time

Each day, set aside time for extreme focus for at least 90 minutes. Put away the phone, don't touch your email, tell your co-workers not to disturb. Use this block of time to work solely on your goal. Once finished, that sense of accomplishment will drive you forward another day.

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