Working from Home Guide
Before COVID-19 hit, the option of working from home was available to only 7 percent of the U.S. workforce, mostly highly paid white collar workers. That percentage has increased more than nine-fold to 66 percent of employees in the weeks since the pandemic barred everyone not designated an essential worker from going to their jobs. This abrupt change means that a lot of people accustomed to working in their offices are finding new ways of doing their jobs. Working from home isn’t easy, even for those who have been doing it for years. There are distractions, from chores to pets, that you used to leave behind when you “went to work.” It’s also difficult to develop, and stick to, a new routine. Collaborating with coworkers you’ve shared offices with for years is a challenge now that you’re no longer talking face to face. There are no more casual lunchroom conversations. Working from home can be lonely. We’ve written this guide to help you successfully make the adjustment to working from home, whether you run a business or work for someone else. Here’s what you’ll learn: What is working from home? This chapter will explain what working from home actually means, why it was already becoming more common even before the pandemic, and current trends and statistics. Remote work vs working from home. There are some differences between remote work and working from home, and this chapter gives you a brief overview. Advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Like everything else, there are upsides and downsides to working from home. How to create an effective work-from-home policy. This chapter teaches employers how to set employee expectations, determine which positions are eligible to work from home, and decide on prudent security measures. How to work from home successfully. This chapter gives employees tips on staying focused, establishing a routine, communicating with coworkers, and managing distractions. You’ll also learn how to set up a home office. Best work-from-home software. Technology makes it possible to work from home. This chapter covers the software you’ll need to succeed. Though this guide is intended for both managers and employees who are making the switch to working from home, there’s a lot here that can be valuable to work-from-home veterans, too. Whether you’re an employee, a manager, or a WFH vet, these tips can help you be more efficient and get more out of the experience. What is working from home? Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average American worker spent 4.35 hours per week, or 26.1 minutes each way, commuting to and from work. The commute in the notoriously congested Washington, D.C. metro area averages 43.6 minutes, one way. The productivity argument for working from home has gained a lot more traction now that “shelter in place” orders have limited the choices to working from home or not at all. Working from home (WFH), also known as teleworking, remote working, or flexible workplace, has long been viewed as a benefit for a small percentage of employees. Many people think it’s an option made possible by the internet, but it’s actually been around for almost 50 years. The history of working from home The first work-from-home experiment involved 30 federal government workers in the 1970s, when the oil supply crisis resulted in long gas lines and expensive fuel. Farsighted employers considered ways to shorten commutes, » Read More
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