In a surprising twist, there are some encouraging stats amidst all the coronavirus news. With thousands of people now transitioned to a temporary work-from-home model, there have been general concerns about being able to separate work and personal time, keeping kids occupied while trying to stay productive, and even having the mental bandwidth to handle work stresses with the stress of - what else? - the novel coronavirus's impact. COVID-19 continues to ravage communities, towns, states, and countries, and working from home means separating yourself from the coworkers you're used to interacting with in addition to family and loved ones.
But among the folks working from home, there are quite a few who have had a surprisingly positive experience. According to two separate studies, anywhere from 54% to 60% of respondents who reported that they were working from home said that they were actually more productive than when they worked in an office.
Taking into account the reduction of coworker distractions ,morning traffic jams and public transportation delays, and an overall number of meetings, employees are finding the time to get work done, despite other distractions like children, partners, pets, and more.
That's not all: 24% of respondents also indicated that, once the economy reopens, they would consider working from home more often or working from home permanently. That's not an insignificant number, and one that can change the work landscape for many years to come. And while the reason why we must work from home right now is unfortunate, it's taught us an important lesson in self-monitoring and health.
While these reports seem like welcome news, productivity comes at a price. The seclusion from the workplace means that workers are lonelier than ever.
Working from home: extra time for play or for work?
If you're now working from home full time, you may have found that you have some extra time in the day, simply because you're commuting from your bedroom to your home office or another room in your home. For some, that's as much as 2 extra hours! But how are workers spending this time? According to one survey, the majority are using it to spend time with friends and family.
- Spending time with family: 47%
- Relaxing: 44%
- Sleeping: 36%
- Spending time on hobbies or entertainment: 33%
- Working more: 28%
The line separating work and personal time is more blurry now, but it's important to keep that distinction - your mental health can suffer from spending too much time in from of the computer, putting in overtime. For help on how to safeguard your mental health while working from home, check out our guide (opens in new tab) . And if you think that your space could be a little more work-friendly, we have a guide for how to spruce up your home office (opens in new tab). And finally for parents who are also babysitting while working from home, here's a handy guide on ways to keep children occupied indoors (opens in new tab). If you're finding it hard to work from home, physical activity can help break up the day - we suggest the best exercise bikes (opens in new tab) for a fun way to stay active without sacrificing too much floor space.