Does remote get your vote?
As a freelance graphic designer, I am lucky enough to change my workspace often – I can work from home or within a client’s office.
Whilst many businesses make their office space inviting using quirky furniture, vending machines and comfy sofas, I believe it is good to have a balance between social collaborative space and complete focus and avoidance of distraction.
One size fits all
Collaboration is a fantastic tool for creativity in any field, but research suggests open-plan offices may not be as productive to the business as may have been intended.
We can’t help it! We’re only human ..some like the office warm and cosy, some prefer it cooler, some like music ..some prefer silence – I think placing a group of people in one room together may not be ideal for focus.
We are in an age where the internet and computers are integrated into how we work and ‘remoting in’ is becoming the norm for many companies. Some business owners wince at the idea of an employee or freelancer working from another office but it’s not as scary as it seems, yes you won’t be able to ‘keep your eye’ on employees, but is that a productive way to spend your time? Provide a list of jobs to complete by the close of business and as long as they’re completed to a high standard, there shouldn’t be any problems.
As well as optimising actual work time, meetings can be condensed. We can video chat on so many different platforms, a ‘quick’ boardroom meeting can be reduced dramatically. It’s all about making choices that enable effective use of your time.
A nationwide survey revealed [source]
61% of staff agreed loud colleagues were the biggest source of distraction.
86% prefer to work alone to maximise productivity.
Only 19% of workers would opt for open plan office layouts.
In a further survey, it was found that:
42% of people thought gossip was a productivity inhibitor within the workplace.
Multitasking reduces productivity by up to 40%
More than 2 out of 3 employers reported increased productivity from employees who telecommute.
Teamwork (..without the mess)
Staff who work remotely will be able to communicate their ideas well, it allows focus in order to draft an email or prepare notes for a video chat to avoid confusion, or steering off topic. Not only this but it’s also an effective way of keeping track of comments and questions for future reference as it’s doubtful all phone calls or quick meetings are kept note of.
Productivity is higher due to the lack of distractions and being drawn into office chit-chat, alongside this sick days/absences will likely to reduce as employees can work from home (despite the sniffles) and avoid infecting others.
Remote workers are able to knuckle down and focus on the task at hand and are happy whilst doing it. It may be necessary for staff to attend the office from time to time, but I believe a good balance will keep productivity high and employees inspired.
Words: Jennifer Wood