When Covid hit back in 2020 (Time flies hey?!) it forced the team to work from home, as it did for the majority of the world. From what was an extremely confusing time for everyone in the working world, turned out to work better than we had ever thought, and remote/flexible working has continued at Shape ever since.
Working from home has brought more benefits than I can list. That’s not to say that working at the office also doesn’t have any benefits - but here at Shape, we’re proud to have crafted a manageable and efficient workflow for all of our Team. In this article, I’ll go over some of the benefits of working from home, and why we have adopted this workflow at Shape.
Day to day comparison
This first point goes without saying. Productivity levels have increased hugely since going remote. According to a CIPD survey of over 1,000 employers, more companies see positive benefits of homeworking on productivity than negative impacts. The survey found more than twice as many employers believe flexible working policies have increased productivity, than not (41% compared with 18%).
These stats speak for themselves. 🤯
I personally have found that there are fewer distractions when working from home as it means less time for non-related chit-chat, leaving room for more important and work-related conversations. Of course, we still talk about what we’re having for tea tonight, duh. I find myself more focused on the task at hand when I'm working from home, free from any distractions in the Office.
It’s no surprise that your work commute can be stressful. This is one of the reasons why we moved outside of Manchester City centre. A long commute can cause some problems: Traffic, Trains, Cancellations, buses, petrol, road closures… it can be exhausting.
For me, the commute on a good day is 45 minutes. Mix that in with queues, feeling like you’ve forgotten something, a rumbly tummy, and getting up an hour earlier - it shows. No one wants to feel stressed before they’ve even opened their computer, and the time spent in traffic jams or delayed trains could be better used elsewhere (Although I do love to take the traffic time blasting out some of my fave tunes).
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like coming into the Studio to work, because I love it. But, not every single day. Having that human interaction in person is pretty powerful, particularly for someone who may live alone, and being able to see my teammates in the flesh reminds me they’re not just a picture on a screen. By working from home I can sit and concentrate without wasting time commuting or being distracted by the thought of having to leave the office in a rush to try and avoid queues or miss a train.
Working from home allows, for many people, to save some dosh. 💰
Everyone will know that the cost of fuel is astronomical at the minute and with public transport prices also being crazy, it all adds up. According to Confused.com, on average, employees who take the train to work each day make the biggest savings whilst working from home, as the average commute costs a staggering £136 per week. Meanwhile, the average daily cost for a worker commuting by car was £80 per week. That’s a lot of money! Not forgetting also grabbing a meal deal every day at work because you forgot to prepare any lunch. (Guilty😳).
When living under the same roof as your family or close friends, you sometimes can take it for granted that they’re only on the other side of the wall. As working from home became more solidified in our workflow, it made me realise that time spent on lunch breaks and directly after work could be spent spending time with family or friends, whether that be going out to eat or going on a walk - time that wouldn’t be possible when in the office and spending hours in traffic rushing to get back. I now use my full lunch break and take advantage of being surrounded by family and friends, and of course not forgetting, my dog. 🐶
Mornings, ah, not for everyone hey?
My mornings at work look considerably different when working at home compared to going into the office. Working from home allows me to take more time in the morning for myself. Yes, I may be able to snooze my alarm, but it also means I can own my morning routine, enabling me to make a nutritious breakfast, complete some personal errands and do things at my own pace. It also leaves time for things you may aspire to do. For me, I’d like to start exercising before work, something that I would never even consider if I was going into the office. Working from home allows me to actually do this with extra time, although don't hold me to it!
Mental health is super important to us here at Shape with Andy and Jason doing a great job at looking after the whole team. Working from home has been shown to lower stress, improve relationships, and enable more time for physical activity, whether this is during lunch breaks or directly before or after work.
Another benefit I have found for my health, in particular, is that working from your own home means that you can make healthy nutritious meals every single day as opposed to rushing about and getting unhealthy alternatives for lunch or a bad takeaway in the evening if you’ve no time to cook.
It's also worth mentioning, with Covid 🦠 still hanging around, it means we can avoid any nasty viruses meaning less exposure to illness, particularly for those who also travel on public transport. Score!
When working in the comfort of your own home, there’s no surprise that you feel more relaxed. With a familiar setting and your own space, you can set up your home office environment just how you like it. I have everything I need right in front of me and there's no accidentally leaving something at home because you're already there.
And… I get to wear the ugliest, but extremely comfortable, outfits from the comfort of my own home. 😅
Working from home can also bring some positive environmental impacts - with minimal travel, this can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. As more cars are off the road, it has avoided greenhouse gases caused by pollutants from congestion and traffic. Here at Shape, we make sure to do our bit for the environment, and having a sustainable business is super important to us, so going completely online helps us that one step more!
While working from home can sound like an absolute blast. And in my opinion, it is. It also requires a level of discipline and trust when working in a team. Here at Shape, we have successfully adopted this way of working, and it works for us. But, it may not suit everyone, and that’s OK. It’s important to mention that some people need the human interaction every day that office work offers, the increased costs of household bills are rising, the constant snacking from being right beside the fridge, and also taking into account those with children at home.
That's not to say we're strictly working from home, we can come and work from the office whenever we like, so If you fancied coming in to see us in the Studio, we'll be right there!
This way of working works great for us and the pandemic has been a catalyst for our new workflow, as it has been for many people around the world. We will continue to work this way for the foreseeable future.