Has working from home made me a more productive employee?
So can you start when you want? Aren’t there too many distractions? Does it get frustrating being alone all day? Can you finish when you want? - These are just some of the questions I frequently get asked when people learn that I work from home.
In the two and half years as the Yorkshire editor for Bdaily, I’ve always worked from home.
Obviously not every single day is spent in my home office. I attend monthly staff meetings, various engagements and events throughout the region and a lot of my time is in fact being out on the road meeting different people in the Yorkshire business community. But my day-to-day base is a home office.
For anyone who hasn’t worked from home, the prospect almost seems fascinating and intriguing. People either love the idea or hate it.
As someone with a lot of experience being home-based, I wanted to reflect on what working from home has taught me and how it has enhanced my skill set as an employee.
Firstly, working from home saves you a lot of time that you would otherwise need for the commute to and from work. Not worrying about being late, beating the morning traffic, rushing breakfast, getting caught up in motorway congestion, fuel consumption or relying on public transport, gives me plenty of time to prepare for the day ahead.
To begin my day, I am able to plan in detail what I am going to do with a near-enough guarantee that I won’t be disturbed or distracted. I can control almost every aspect of my home office life and my working environment is completely of my design.
Although people are always quick to say that they couldn’t work from home because of the distractions that a home may present, working towards a daily deadline has allowed me to never be faced with such an issue. I believe this a test of my work ethic, which is helped with the planning and preparations I am able to accomplish at the beginning of the day.
This does, however, take practise and within the first few months of working from the more I felt my self-discipline was improving.
Another common misconception of working from home is the lack of communication and interaction with others. This couldn’t be further from the truth in my case. As my role depends highly on me immersing myself within the region’s business community, communicating with others is an essential part of that.
Despite being home-based, I still enjoy a great relationship with my colleagues as well. Being proactive in communicating with the main office as well as other editors off site has enabled me to become part of a very strong team, and forge both professional and personal bonds. Although many people may feel working from home may appear to be isolating, I genuinely feel that I’ve become a better communicator during this time.
One of the most important aspects that working from home has taught me is accountability. Taking responsibility for time management when it comes to completing different projects, planning an entire work day and strategy, and learning how to maintain a strong work ethic.
I believe these are all crucial to be a successful employee based at home.