Does working from home make you more or less productive?

With August set to see big disruptions across some of the UK’s busiest rail stations, many regular commuters are being encouraged to work from home to avoid delays. Working from home has become increasingly popular in recent years – not just because of disruptive rail engineering – but also because people are opting to work for companies that offer more flexibility.

But as with most things, it comes with its ups and downs.  Many employers can be wary that letting staff work from home means they’ll be less productive. But as this style of working is becoming increasingly important to professionals, more companies need to adapt to the trend. So the question remains, does working from home make you more or less productive? I explore below:

It’s about avoiding distractions

It is often argued that working from home can be distracting, mainly because you’re removed from the office environment and surrounded by all your possessions – most dangerously, the TV. That said it could be the case for some that they are actually more distracted at work due to a range of factors, including colleague chats, meetings and the infamous tea round! For some, working from home will help to keep them productive as they can get their head down.

It’s good for wellbeing

Working away from the office every now and then can actually be very beneficial to your wellbeing, and as a result, keep productivity levels high. No matter how much you love your job, sometimes office politics or a slight dip in morale can have a negative impact on your mood and efforts at work. Having a day at home can do wonders for feeling revitalised and getting more done! Especially given that you can continue to work in your pyjamas if you wish.

There’s no one to look over your shoulder

Having no one else around while you’re working can be both positive and negative. If you’re the kind of person that needs a nudge every now and then, working from home could be potentially problematic. On the other hand, if you find being micro-managed or watched closely while you work a little distracting, working from home can be a great way to keep yourself working at maximum productivity.

It’s easier to get focus back

There are times when work, projects and problem solving can really take it out of you – in these instances you need to remove yourself from the situation and come back later refreshed. This can be tricky at work, you can’t just take yourself off for a walk around the block. But working from home means that if you need a five minute break to do the washing up, and return to your project in a clearer frame of mind – you can!

But there are risks

There are some ways that working from home could slow you down. From a technical perspective, if your laptop goes into meltdown or the printer gives up on you, there might not be anyone there to help. Not only this, but sometimes it pays to be in the same room as your colleagues, bouncing ideas off one another. That said, technology today means that you can see or speak to your co-workers in the click of a button.

Working from home can have mixed results, largely dependent on who you are and the kind of work you do. That said, if you are a driven and motivated person you should have no problem keeping productive and focused no matter where you are working from. In situations such as this summer’s disruptive rail works, working from home can be a real life saver. But in short, there is no right or wrong answer.

If you want to read more about why you should offer flexible working, click here.

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