- Knowing how to stay productive while working from home is the key to realizing success away from the office.
- Weigh today’s working from home pros and cons before you make the decision to do so yourself.
- Working from home has proven that it can result in more productive and happy employees.
As the advent of technology continues to award us the opportunity to detach ourselves from traditional office spaces, the opportunity to work from home has become more of a reality for a large portion of today’s workforce. Real estate investors, in particular, find themselves working from home more often than not. To take advantage of the benefits of working from home, one needs to know how to stay productive. Continue reading to learn the best tips and processes for working from home, productively.
5 Benefits Of Working From Home
The benefits of working from home have manifested themselves in some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak famously started Apple, one of today’s greatest success stories in the business world, out of a garage. Nonetheless, there are those who would doubt the benefits of knowing how to work at home.
Fortunately for today’s investors, studies have been shown to refute the downsides of working from home. In fact, a two-year Stanford study, conducted by Nicholas Bloom, resulted in definitive evidence in support of working from home. The study, which accounted for 500 employees at Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, offers empirical data in favor of working from home.
In addition to increasing the majority of employees’ quality of life, the study also found that working from home ultimately resulted in the following benefits:
- More True Full-Shifts Are Realized: The study found that work-from-home employees were much more likely to work a true full-shift than being late on occasion or leaving early over the course of the week.
- Employee Attrition Decreases: Employee attrition decreased by as much as 50 percent among the group that was allowed to work from home; they took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days, and took less time off compared to their in-office counterparts.
- Less Distracting & Easier To Concentrate: Employees who partook in the study found it easier to concentrate with fewer distractions at home.
- Employee Costs Decreased: The company was able to cut costs by as much as $2,000 per employee that was able to work from home by decreasing the amount of office space rented each month.
- Productivity Increased: The comprehensive study uncovered a significant productivity boost among the employees that worked from home, equivalent to a 13 percent increase over those working in an office.
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4 Tips For Running Your Real Estate Business From Home
- Have A Plan
- Stick To A Schedule
- Set Yourself Up For Success
- Create A Work-Friendly Space
Have A Plan
One of the easiest ways to remain productive over the course of a typical workday is to go into each day with a plan. If you are an employee, talk with your managers to come up with a schedule of the things that must be done, and rank them in order of importance. Each day should then be dedicated to tackling your priorities.
If, however, you are your own boss, you’ll need to come up with your own list of priorities. Take some time to highlight the most productive use of your time, and make sure you are spending your time where your own expertise is most valuable. In doing so, write out what it is you hope to accomplish in a day’s time and methodically check off the items as the hours go by. Writing out a plan will help you stick to your most important tasks.
Stick To A Schedule
Once you have an idea of what it is you hope to accomplish, proceed to allocate time as needed. It is not enough to simply know what you want to accomplish; you will need to give yourself a time frame in which to work.
Only after you can identify how much time you need to accomplish a specific task will you be able to identify whether or not you are on schedule. To stay on schedule, try segmenting what you’ll do and when on a physical calendar; that way you will have a physical representation to adhere to, and you’ll be less likely to fall behind.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Despite Nicholas Bloom’s previously mentioned study, there are scenarios in which working at home can actually serve as a detriment, as opposed to a benefit. In other words, if you aren’t set up to realize success from working a home, you simply won’t. There are things you can do to place yourself in a position to be productive at home.
One thing you may want consider is getting an early start. Without having to worry about a commute, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to sit down at your computer earlier than you would have if you went into work. Simply finishing a project earlier than anticipated can be the key to making more progress throughout the day and setting yourself up for success.
Create A Work Friendly Space
Working at home has as much to do with your own personal discipline as it does with your dedicated workspace. If for nothing else, you can’t possibly hope to get anything done in an environment that isn’t conducive to your goal.
One of the first things you should do is set aside a dedicated work space. Do not assume you will be productive working from your kitchen table or in front of the television on the couch. Instead, dedicate a workspace to maximize your efficiency. An area not only free from distractions, but full of everything you might need, is of the utmost importance to realizing one’s true potential at home. Doing so will put you in the right frame of mind to accomplish what it is you set out to do.
It is also important to note that a work-friendly space also includes anyone else that may be at home with you. Therefore, be sure to set expectations with anyone you may come into contact with; let them know when you can and can’t be disturbed.
4 Myths About Working From Home
While the concept of working from home appears to be widely accepted, it still has a long way to go before it is adopted by more companies. Rightfully so, there are those who doubt what remote working can achieve. However, their perception may be founded on misconceptions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions holding back the working from home movement:
- Working from home translates to a decrease in productivity: As you have probably already gathered, some people are not convinced that working from home can actually increase productivity. In fact, there’s an entire contingent of employers convinced working from home will kill productivity. While their fears are justified, they are certainly overblown. As Bloom’s study points out, the average telecommuter increases their productivity by as much as 13 percent. At the very least, disciplined employees have far fewer distractions to worry about at home.
- It’s hard to maintain contact with remote workers: While remote workers can’t be reached in the office, they are by no means any more difficult to reach than in-office employees. The advent of technology has seen to it that it is easier than ever to remain in constant contact with each other, regardless of where we are. Programs like Skype and Trello see to it that employees can be reached anywhere and anytime. With the simple click of a mouse or opening of an app on your phone, anyone is able to send and receive messages.
- Working from home sacrifices security: Understandably so, an entire contingent of employers are concerned that letting their employees work from home may sacrifice the security of data being sent back and forth. However, their concerns—while relevant—are aren’t substantiated. Technology has advanced as such that a qualified IT team can keep these types of issues to a minimum.
- Company culture suffers: It’s a valid concern to assume company culture will suffer if more employees are allowed to work from home. However, good company cultures aren’t founded on the “water cooler talk” one gets from remaining in an office. Truly great company cultures, for that matter, are founded on respect and how well their employees are treated. Of course, for a company culture to grow, managers need to make a conscious effort to show their appreciation and maintain a positive team morale, even when employees are working remotely.
The ability to work from home has been touted as a luxury in the past. However, with the benefits now shown to be significant and advancements in technology making it more accessible, the concept of working from home is gaining significant momentum. To take advantage of this trend, it is imperative that you utilize the above tips and learn how to stay productive on your own. If you have a plan, stick to a schedule and maintain a dedicated work atmosphere, you will be on your path to realize success (remotely).
Have you had any luck working from home in the past? What were some of the tricks you used to remain productive? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
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