While many people dream of working from home for the flexibility and freedom it provides, one of the biggest advantages I’ve discovered is that it leads to increased productivity.
Cutting out the commute
When I do have to go into an office, my commuting time there and back can take more than two hours.
While many use their commuting time in a constructive way – responding to emails, listening to podcasts, making phone calls – there is a lot of wasted time when you’re stuck in peak-hour traffic or on a bus that is travelling at snail’s pace.
Instead of spending time commuting, I can use that time more productively either working or carving out some personal time for exercise, relaxation and family. Or online shopping!
Dressing for success
Because I don’t have to face colleagues and clients when working at home, I spend minimal time getting ready in the morning. There’s no need to do my make-up, style my hair or choose a suitable outfit if the only person I’ll see all day is the parcel delivery man (refer to online shopping above).
When I work from home I simply run a brush through my hair (that step isn’t strictly required, but I do have some pride) and wear something casual. I may not look as put together as I do when working in an office, but it gives me at least an extra half an hour a day.
Less ‘wasted’ time
An advantage of working in an office is having co-workers and, until you work from home, you don’t realise how much time you waste spend interacting with your colleagues every day.
This ranges from general chit chat in the kitchen to rambling meetings that take up an inordinate amount of time while your workload continues to pile up.
When you work from home, you tend to have fewer meetings. I often catch up with people over the phone rather than scheduling a formal meeting, which generally results it getting the outcomes required in a much shorter time.
I’m not dismissing meetings altogether. As a communications specialist I’m a big believer in face-to-face communication. However, as a freelancer my meetings are usually for a specific purpose and a set time. It contrasts quite starkly to some of the aimless weekly meetings I attended in my old corporate life that were scheduled on a regular basis, whether required or not.
End result – increased productivity
This ability to simply get on with your work without all the extraneous distractions, proves a real boost to productivity.
And just imagine what you could achieve with all that extra time in your day.