In 2019, the Republic of Ireland had the 4th highest rate of people working from home in the EU. The percentage of workers that reported their home to be their primary place of work was nearly double at 5.4%.
By mid 2020, Irelands work from home population grew even more as 40% were working from home (6.3% higher than the EU average.)
Now, the number of employees who would like to work fully remotely has nearly tripled. As we were initially forced into a lockdown, we had no choice but to put up with working from home, however, the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and several lockdowns later has made some climatize to this new way of life.
A survey led by NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission found that 95% are in favour of working remotely on an ongoing basis to some extent. Whether that be fully remote, several times a week or a few times a month, nearly all of us have enjoyed the flexibility that comes with working from home and don’t want to give that up.
But how do we ensure we have the same output, produce the same quality of work, stay productive, and be a good team player all while we work from home?
Establish a work-life balance
A worry that comes with the decision to work from home, whether full-time or occasionally, is how to separate your work and home. The Mental Health Foundation says that if you do happen to take work home with you, you should try to confine it to a certain area of your home and be able to close the door on it.
Having a separate room as a home office means you can literally close the door on it. However, many aren’t don’t have this luxury, so if you work from home in your living room or dining room, for example, ensure your work is cleared away when the working day is done. Out of sight, out of mind.
Although, these days, work-life blend and balance can seem like an impossible feat with technology making workers accessible around the clock. In fact, 51% of workers said they work more hours and aren’t logging off until 8pm, increasing their working week by almost 25%.
So, what can you do about it?
There is a solution to help tip the work life balance back in your favour by following these simple steps:
- Separate - Have a separate space to work from that doesn’t interfere with your usual home set up.
- Unplug – There are times when you just need to turn off your phone, laptop or TV and appreciate what is happening around you.
- Routine – The lines between work-life and personal time can get blurred so by having a set routine and schedule your daily routine is consistent.
- Boundaries – Set boundaries with your team at work and other members of your household so your time can be split more effectively, and you can stick to your routine.
- Support – Make sure your supervisors and managers are providing you with the support you need from your work to ensure your mental wellbeing is looked after and you are not overworked.
Take Regular Breaks
With no commute or reason to go out on your lunch break, it’s easy to just sit at your desk and not move all day (except for tea or toilet breaks!) The long stretches of time sat in one place can actually reduce productivity and might be the reason you are working longer days.
A suggestion you could try is to go on a “fake” commute. Before you start work, go for a walk, or even a drive, to separate your morning routine from the start of your workday. This will still give you the feeling of “going to work” and can set you up to start and end your workday without it interfering in your personal life.
Even if you no longer go out for your lunch break, setting an hour out of your day to step away from your computer, eat some food and take the time out will encourage you to step away from your computer. You might even have the chance to fit in a quick workout, go for another walk or simply chill out on the sofa.
Be more productive
Levels of productivity while working from home was questioned at the start of the pandemic. How can we possibly stay productive in our home environment?
89% of business leaders say their productivity improved or maintained with remote working and only 11% said it had declined. This could be down to a variety of reasons:
- Less fatigue due to no commute
- More time to spend with yourself, friends, and family
- Better work-life balance
- More control over taking breaks
- Eating a healthier and more balanced diet
- Less distractions
- More time to exercise
Lots of people thrive while working independently and the flexibility working from home has given is favoured by more than not. Thankfully many businesses are adopting this new way of working, known as the hybrid model, to attract and retain talent and keep up with the competition.
Are you looking for a remote role?
Thankfully 35% of companies are planning to hire more people over the next 12 months so have a look at our available job vacancies here where many of our clients offer flexible working.