- Why is Working from Home So Hot with Millennials?
- How to be More Productive During Working from Home?
- Quitting a Job to Work from Home – Is it Worth It?
Why is Working from Home So Hot with Millennials?
Many believe COVID-19 to be the driving factor behind the working from home mindset. Still, the fact is that the majority of Millennials (people born between 1981 – 1996) prefer remote working opportunities much earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, this 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey reveals that 51% of the survey participants agree that their working from home productivity goes considerably higher than working in office productivity.
And, if you’re wondering why it matters how Millennials prefer working, they constitute the majority of the American workforce since 2017, according to this report by the Pew Research Center. Now let’s look at some of the major factors that make remote work and flexibility one of the top priorities of the Millennials.
Enhanced Work-Life Balance
The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey also reveals that a significant percentage of the respondents consider work-life balance the most influential factor (excluding the financial perks) in assessing a potential job. Millennials have been successful at reshaping the conventional definition of a successful career among their generation. A big paycheck is no more the sole determinant of whether or not a Millennial chooses a job. They also value fulfilment at work, efficiency, and family time a great deal in measuring their career success.
Millennials’ disloyalty towards their employers is one of the widespread misconceptions, primarily based on their constant hunt for a better work opportunity. However, this is a totally misplaced notion. This generation’s continuous struggle in finding a highly productive, functional, and happy work environment is actually an indicator of their loyalty – to themselves and their work/employer. All they want is a favourable work scenario, which contributes to their thriving and their employers. They are well aware of the consequences of burnout and firmly believe that work-at-home opportunities can help them avoid one.
You cannot confine the benefits of working from home to the Millenials only, and they know it well enough. A 9-months long study by Stanford on 16,000 employees indicates that working from home can increase employees’ productivity up to 13%. Millennials recognise this kind of practicality in telecommuting, demanding one for their benefit and their company’s. And why not, when it’s a win-win situation for both?
How to be More Productive During Working from Home?
You cannot be any farther from reality if you believe that all you need for a telecommuting job is a laptop, internet connectivity, and a place to sit. Reaping work for home benefits is much easier said than done, but once you get the knack for it, there’s no turning back. This New York Times publication estimates a whopping 79% rise in telecommuting across the U.S between 2005 and 2012 alone.
So, whether you’re working from home as a freelancer full-time or into occasional telecommuting, the following working from home tips will help you make the most of it.
Schedule Your Workday
If you’re living alone and working remotely, you may not have to face this. But it’s pretty different for those with families. You may have to spend your workday with your school-going children, which can make all the difference in the world in terms of productivity and focus. That’s why it’s so crucial to intimate your whole family about your work schedule.
In doing so, you may also consider and coordinate with your spouse to cater to your family’s childcare needs. One of the best ways to manage such a scenario is to let one spouse work in the mornings and the other in the evenings. Or, you may also start getting up an hour earlier to pace up the work while your children are still asleep.
The temptation of working from your bed or couch is certainly not easy to overcome, especially if you’re new to this telecommuting scenario. Still, it’s better to get as close to an office-like setup as possible. Ideally, there should be a door to your workspace so that you may shut it down to cut off from unnecessary distractions.
If so, you need to stock the place with everything that may coerce you to get up to grab, for instance, laptop/desktop, headphones, paper, printer etc. Otherwise, you may end up affecting your productivity. If such an arrangement is not possible, you may look to set up a makeshift workspace, such as in your dining room.
Be an Early Bird
When you want to work from home, being an early bird is one of the best things to do. Resisting some extra sleep is very hard when you know that you don’t have to rush out the door to reach somewhere in time. However, getting up early can work out fantastic for you if you face productivity issues leaving your day job to work from home.
It may be something as simple as setting up the alarm about an hour earlier than your spouse or kids generally get up. The amount of work you can do with the least amount of distractions around will surprise you. You better try it out soon to improve your productivity.
Breaks Are Good
There’s no need to relate the length of time you work in one go and your overall productivity. Though it may help, you can work only for so long. In fact, regular breaks help recharge your body and mind. Getting up from your seat for a few minutes every few hours is much advisable. You may refill your water bottle, get a cup of tea ready, or even pet your dog while up. You can take longer breaks in between too. For instance, you can get your pet out for a quick walk, grabbing a couple of grocery list items on the way back home to save time later. Talk to your parents or friends, or do anything that can help your mind get off from work to help it recharge better.
Cut Out the Digital Distractions
While you’re least likely to go through your Facebook feed or WhatsApp messages at work, it’s not easy to resist the temptation when you’re managing work from home. It may start with a passive peek at the latest comment on a post and the urge to respond to it quickly, and you’ll end up losing a whole hour of work without even noticing. Do whatever you can to eliminate the menace of digital distractions if you don’t want to see your productivity taking a nosedive – period.
Make To-Do List Daily
A daily to-do list is not just a list; it will serve as a reliable accountability measure to keep you in line with your daily tasks. At the end of each workday, jot down your essential functions for the next day while reconciling your performance of the day. It works the best if you resort to it right after logging in the next day. Try it, and you can thank us later!
Prolonged isolation can be a silent killer for your productivity and motivation. And the worst part is that you even fail to realise this in most cases. So, if your job doesn’t require daily facetime with others, you better be ready to go the extra mile in connecting with people. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if the other person sits on the opposite end of the office or works remotely from another country. From mainstream wifi calling and texting apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom to the best apps for international calling like Talk Home, Millennials are apt in choosing what suits them best to connect with the concerned people.
Useful Read: 15 Best WhatsApp Alternatives for Users in 2021
Celebrate Your Victories
Similarly, keeping your motivation alive can also become a challenge when you work from home long, especially with distractions around; for example, the heated debate on a Facebook post, an unattended pile of laundry, an unorganised closet, and so much more. One simple but effective way of keeping the momentum going can be acknowledging and celebrating your achievements of the day rather than worrying about what’s yet to be done.
Quitting a Job to Work from Home – Is it Worth It?
Everyone is carrying a different set of variables, which discourages the one-size-fits-all approach here. Every individual has to weigh in on the merits and demerits of leaving your day job to work from home. So, here you go with a handful of pros and cons of working from home to assess what suits you best, regular office work or work from home.
Flexible Time Management
One of the worst things about a run-of-the-mill 9-5 desk job is your inability to handle almost anything else coming up in your life. You need to undergo extra effort, time, and pressure in pursuing anything from attending a regular dentist appointment to picking up a sick kid from school. While deadlines are still very much a part of your daily routine when you work from home, you can still be available for any commitments you make. Most importantly, without compromising your job.
Blurry Work Schedule
Taking care of your official duties from home often makes you work around the clock since you’re not following specific start and end times. That’s why people who are engaged long-term in working from their homes often feel they are tied to work indefinitely. It also makes it difficult for them to shift gears and land in that post-work relaxation mode, an excellent refuge for office-going lot.
You can achieve a higher state of focus and attention when there’s no one to drop by impromptu and engage you in a casual conversation. Or when you don’t have to break the tempo of your work to attend a not-so-helpful meeting. This freedom from your colleagues and bosses interrupting you at unwanted times is a big plus in improving productivity and efficiency when working from home. While you may still need to set up online meetings, but it would be fewer than you’re exposed to in regular 9-5 office jobs.
Risk of Miscommunication
You may not find many remote workers who complain of feeling lonely. But you’ll find many who find it difficult to set the tone suitable with their mates and colleagues communicating digitally, such as text, chat, email, and social media. Without facial expression, body language, and other cues at your disposal, the probability of misinterpreting the communication increases significantly. So, the remote workers must put in extra effort to overcome the lag and carry on positive communication.
Travel Time & Expenses
Not only do you save money when you’re telecommuting, but you also save a lot of time and hassle that you face when travelling to and from the office. Many remote workers also enjoy the liberty of wearing whatever they feel comfortable in, saving money on buying new, formal office wear.
Trapped Inside Home
What seems to be a blessing initially often carries a curse around the other end, cabin fever in this case. Staying at home to work means getting confined to the same place day and night, as this kind of scenario lacks a clear distinction between time and place. When the day starts, you find yourself in the same place, and you’re still there as the night follows. This type of monotonous can frustrate some after a particular time. People didn’t have to face such circumstances pre-pandemic even if they had to work from home. They could dine out conveniently at night or set up a meeting with family and friends during the day without any worries about the pandemic.
More Family Time
If you enjoy living a family-centric life, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in work-at-home opportunities. Where the regular officegoers need to kiss their family goodbye every day leaving for work, your family is just out the door if you’re a remote worker. That means you can have significantly more time with your family and build a stronger relationship with them.
Minimal Coworkers Contact
Though telecommuting gives you more opportunities to build stronger ties with your families, it cuts down on your chances of strengthening the bonds with your coworkers. On-screen contacts can take a toll on the healthy bonding that’s productive for teams and groups. So, if you’re a person who thrives in the buzz in the office, remote working is going to affect your productivity as well as social well-being in one way or the other.
Adjusting Productive Time
Let’s admit that no one can be optimally productive all the time. There are times when you’re down due to one reason or the other. And, when there’s an imposing boss around (or if you’re lucky), or those colleagues who don’t care how busy you’re before bothering you for unnecessary chat, you can burn out pretty quickly. Telecommuting means you don’t have to face any such issues. If you’re feeling down, perhaps a walk in the park with your pet can cheer you up, fueling you to give your best when you’re back to work. Or, if you’ve kids, spending just a few minutes with their neverending positive energy can uplift yours as well without any extra effort. Since you can take breaks at will when you’re at home for work, you can choose to work when you’re feeling most positive and productive.
Less of In-office Perks
You can easily miss out on various perks that come with your regular office-going jobs, for instance, getting up and grabbing your favourite coffee with a doughnut from the office kitchen. Or working out with a coworker in your office gym, for that matter. Many offices like to celebrate their victories and achievements with their teams, arranging in-office lunches or late-eve dinners. If you’re telecommuting, you’d be missing such perks that you can avail yourself while working in office 9 to 5.
There’s always a trade-off in the end, isn’t it? That’s why you should weigh in the pros and cons of working from home even thoroughly in the wake of the current pandemic. Many businesses now offer their employees the liberty to work from home, primarily due to the post-pandemic situation. But, you cannot confine such offers only to the pandemic, as the businesses have started to realise that they cannot run successfully, ignoring the needs and wants of the most significant chunk of their potential workforce, the Millenials.
Remote work offers you benefits that regular office-based jobs don’t, but you may not always end up in a perfect situation. So, if you’re asked to work from home permanently, make sure you think through what’s the most important for you. A deep understanding of the reasons to work from home or not can affect your career as well as life in the long run. Hopefully, this blog helps you make the best decision.