I have been drafting this blog about remote working for a while now, but as concerns over the Coronavirus grow, it has been pushed rapidly to the top of my to-do list. Let me begin by stating that I am a champion of remote working. I have been working this way since I started my business Momentum VA in 2017.
Riding the remote working bandwagon.
Remote working has always been at the heart of our business ethos, and I built the business upon these values. I strongly believe the mixture of flexible and remote working is crucial to creating a happy and productive workplace. Inc.com found full-time remote workers were 22% happier in their jobs than office workers. They also reported as having a better work-life balance, focus, and less stress. It isn’t really surprising, is it?
I complete most of my work in my pyjamas.
Having spent most of my career in stuffy corporate offices with long hours and an awful commute I found that my mental health was being held to ransom. Office work can be a hard slog, whether it’s a long underground journey or rush hour clutch-ache, high lunch prices or the requirement to be dressed appropriately – says me working in my pyjamas.
With the spread of the new Coronavirus, there are many who have had their offices disbanded in favour of remote working. Whilst this has been put in place in the interest of public safety, not everyone can work seamlessly from a laptop. Often they require additional equipment or access to internal systems to complete their tasks.
With this sudden shift into enforced remote working, I decided to take a poll of the team at Momentum VA to find out the top reasons why they prefer remote working:
#1 No commute
Commutes can be long, tiring and expensive. I am not surprised that Airtasker.com found that 1 in 4 employees hand in their notice over long commutes – That’s 25%!
Charlotte, our Junior Virtual Assistant, said: “I timed my current commute. From climbing out of bed to switching on my laptop: 4 minutes and 56 seconds. Quite a dramatic change from the 55-minute drive I used to endure, and that was in good traffic. There was also a period of 8 months where the motorway I used was being widened. Picture me. A bleary eyed shadow of my former self leaving at the crack of dawn to ensure I got to my desk for 9am!”
#2 No lunch or coffee costs
It is not uncommon for people to spend at least £10 on lunch and coffee throughout the day. It’s something our Bookkeeper, Nicola, regularly experienced. “I would spend upwards of £8 per day on lunch and drinks, which really added up over the week. I just didn’t have time to make myself a lunch in the morning, so I fell victim to the costs. Now I work remotely, I’m saving so much money and time because my fridge is never too far away!”
#3 Increased productivity
It’s quiet, comfortable, and the best part: no distractions. Whether you have a big deadline looming or lots of admin to catch up on, the days you work remotely are the days you will be most productive. As long as you aren’t sneaking off to the gym or watching television instead of writing those emails, of course!
#4 You will be healthier and happier!
Since working with Momentum VA, Charlotte said “It’s just more relaxed than being in an office. I feel trusted to complete my job without feeling micromanaged. I’m not spending long chunks of my day sitting in traffic, nor am I being affected by my colleagues’ stresses and anxieties (a throwback to when I worked in corporate cut-throat advertising). I feel happier and more content now than I ever did in the office environment.” This is not an uncommon experience. A survey by Timedoctor.com found remote workers are overall much happier and feel more valued than full-time office workers.
#5 Work life balance
Employees will regain hours of their own time, which is important when considering the delicate scales of work-life balance. This is time that can be spent with family and friends as soon as 5.30pm rolls around! Lunch breaks could be spent doing household chores, relaxing, watching television or meeting friends. You can even work in your garden in the sunshine. Assuming your Wi-Fi allows it. And considering all the pros listed above…. I would say paying a touch more for a better connection is worth it, wouldn’t you?
Let’s weave some of the lessons learnt about the benefits of remote working into our business models.
I hope that when the Coronavirus disappears and normality returns, employers will objectively take stock of how their companies ran remotely. Now is the time for progressive change. Employee mental health and work-life balance should be a priority as productivity and quality will rise and employees will be happier! And who wouldn’t want a happier workforce?
If you are struggling with your workload due to staff absences or are finding it challenging to work remotely, contact our lovely Virtual Assistants at Momentum VA who will be happy to assist you. We are already set up to work remotely.