Many businesses have been slow to approve of their employees working from home. Managers often prefer to have their people physically present in the office. The current Coronavirus pandemic however is forcing the issue. With recommended or even forced lock downs being implemented in more and more places, teleworking is the best way for many businesses to keep going. They may come to like it and stick with it.
Teleworkers don’t have to stress out over commutes. They can sleep a little longer, wake up fresher and still start work earlier, with more energy and less anxiety. Meetings between more than two people are often unproductive, wasting precious time. Tools such as Skype, Slack and others allow teleworkers to communicate with each other whenever necessary, without having to go through the formalities of arranging large office meetings. At the end of the work day teleworkers are often able to put in some extra time if needed. They don’t face a daunting commute back home, trying to get out early to beat traffic.
Often there are periods of time during the day when there is actually nothing to do. Yet after hours there can suddenly be an emergency, for example because a team on another continent is running into trouble. Teleworkers are much more flexible with their time. They can easily use down time during the day for things like doctors visits and then get back to work for an hour or two after the kids have gone to bed.
Besides increased productivity and lowered stress, working from home has other benefits. Teleworkers can customize their home office to their own liking. This beats sitting in a cubicle. Not driving to work every day dramatically lowers the carbon foot print. It also saves money for gas. Having people work from home allows businesses to work out of smaller office spaces, lowering their cost, increasing profitability.
Businesses are currently being “forced” to see all these positive effects of allowing their employees to work from home. Hopefully it will lead to an awakening and widespread implementation of this practice as the default work option. In the long run this could even lead to a re-thinking of urban planning, as office buildings and parks in crowded city centers become unnecessary.