Working from home is gaining acceptance among a growing number of organisations, as HR policy-makers latch on to the value of flexibility in creating a stable, productive workforce. It’s no longer a nice-to-have or just for working parents – flexibility is becoming a key concern for today’s employees who want more say in how, when and where they work. Companies that don’t adapt to this new reality risk losing talented people to more progressive rivals.
Home working: the pros…
If you’re considering working from home, the perks are obvious. As well as reducing your commute to 30 seconds from duvet to desk, you can regain vital minutes in your day by not having to find matching socks in the morning. In the low-shame environment of your home, you can eat a whole packet of biscuits without feeling obligated to share with your colleagues. And it’s handy to be around to sign for all your internet deliveries instead of coming home to a “sorry we missed you” card on the doormat.
…and the potential pitfalls
But joking aside, home working only works when you can stay sane, healthy, professional and productive. The potential pitfalls include domestic distractions (anything from YouTube to a nagging ironing pile), a sense of social isolation, and valid objections from your co-workers or customers if you’re inadequately connected or communicative. And let’s not forget, when dislocated from the office, you have to act as your own switchboard, IT department and occupational health nurse.
13 home working must-haves
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a handy infographic that summarises what you need to work from home – the essential kit you need to thrive in your domestic workspace – some of it surprisingly low tech! You may even be able to claim much of your home office equipment costs from your employer as a business expense. But remember, your wellbeing is your most important asset to productivity and performance. When you have no need to stride down a corridor to a meeting room, or stroll over to your co-worker’s cubicle for a chat, it’s easy to become even more sedentary at home than in your usual office job. So stay active, get some fresh air and natural daylight, and grab a glass of water – no expense report required.