Let’s review all of the compelling reasons why you would want a workspace at home.
The world changed in 2020 and a new reality was forced upon us. With the spread of Covid-19 and the necessity of social distancing, companies mandated new work-from-home policies across every industry imaginable, with the exception of essential workers such as health care providers, first responders, vital retail positions, law enforcement, and other roles. For most professionals, there was no choice…it was “work from home” or don’t work at all. This meant creating a space at home that would allow you to work effectively and avoid the distractions around the house. Safety precautions also meant that children were also home, trying to learn virtually, and this certainly added to the need for a space where you have a productive day while still attending to the demands of home. The home office has now become a requirement even as office restrictions are gradually lifted.
Companies have realized they can maintain a home-based workforce and still not lose productivity. They are offering work-from-home (WFH) options now not only as defense against the spread of viruses, but also because it costs less to maintain less space. The professional being offered the WFH option also must consider the significant cost savings generated by not having to commute on a daily basis. There are many expenses involved in driving to the office: the vehicle, insurance, maintenance, gas, and parking are the most significant. This can amount to hundreds of dollars a month. Even if you take public transportation (good for you!), there are the costs of monthly metro pass. And if your company pays for this particular expense, chances are you are buying coffee or a quick breakfast for the ride. If you have a home office, all of this goes away. The only increase in expense may be utilities for keeping your home comfortable while you work and keeping your computer and peripherals powered up.
It almost goes without saying that a home office lets you work much more on your own schedule. For example, if you have an early morning conference call, but then a long period of unscheduled activity, it’s easy to get yourself ready, do you call from your home office, and then get back to things that may need to get done around the house before starting your work day. Similarly, if you work on the east coast and your home office is on the west coast, you may find it easier to have dinner with your family and then jump on a scheduled call. Of course, it’s easy to see the inherent risk of a too-convenient home office – you could be working much longer hours simply because the office is “always there”. So make sure you plan your time carefully so you have personal and family time to balance off all that work.
These days, the safety aspect of having a home office cannot be overestimated. While most corporate offices are usually very safe places, remember that the current virus situation can make the workplace a risky place to be, and most companies recognize that the safety of their employees is paramount. Their corporate responsibility is to provide an office environment where their employees can be productive and in a state of well-being, both mentally and physically. Understanding the current dangers, as well as the stress this situation produces, almost all companies now ask that employees work from home for safety reasons. It is absolutely true that if you and your entire family are careful with the way you conduct yourselves in public places, you will be safer, and this rule extends to the workplace as well
One of the greatest attributes of a home office is flexibility. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, if you have a project that needs to get done, you can take it on whenever you want. This is particularly true if you are a contract worker, as many people are today. Your employer can’t necessarily tell you when to work, they can just tell you what they expect to receive. This means if you feel like working for 12 hours straight because you want to go on a long bike ride or hike with your family, you can! And you can optimize how efficiently you work with a well-designed home office.