The true WFH meaning
The term WFH is everywhere but what does it actually mean? More and more people are asking this question as the work from home trend balloons.
The acronym WFH first appeared on Usenet newsgroups and gained its popularity in 2006 when Twitter was launched. It's a shortened form of "working from home."
Contrary to popular belief, working remotely doesn't just mean sitting in your pajamas all day long, flicking the keyboard keys. Best work from home practices can actually encompass a range of activities, including telecommuting, meeting via videoconference services, freelancing, and running a business from home.
It's a trend that's continuing to gain traction these days. According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people working remotely grew 216% between 2005 and 2019. With advances in technology and ever-changing workplace policies, more and more employees can do at least some of their work from the comfort of their homes.
What does WFH mean for business?
If we look at the recent statistics, they demonstrate a mostly positive impact of WFH on the business sphere. For example, according to Stanford, companies that allow employees to work from home increase their profits by an average of $2,000 per remote worker. Moreover, businesses may save up to $37 billion by transferring meetings from real conference rooms to the virtual ones provided by apps for home video conferencing.
Let's look at some other benefits of working from home for employers and their teams.
What are the perks of WFH?
From increased productivity to decreased overhead costs, here are ten reasons why working from home is awesome:
1) Higher productivity
When you're not wasting time getting dressed, commuting, or eating lunch out, you have more time to actually get work done. The same concerns your team. They have more time for family, exercise, and household chores, which results in better life quality and improved work-life balance.
2) More flexibility
Doing business remotely gives you the freedom to set your own hours to work and relax. Moreover, you're free to go anywhere, whether to a coffee shop, park, library, or any other location you find convenient for working on your projects. You can also take breaks whenever you want, which is a good way to get some fresh air and stretch your legs.
3) No expenses on office rent
In countries like France, where the cost of living is high, not having to spend money on office rent can be a chief benefit of telecommuting. What's more, it's also a major saving for small business owners, concerned about every penny spent from the budget.
4) Zero commuting
When you work from home, the only way you have to go every day is from bed to bed, or from bed to desk and back. Pretty convenient, isn't it? A few seconds and you're at your home office.
5) No more rush-hour traffic
With a remote job, it's easy to forget what it's like to ride a crowded subway or bus with someone pressing you against the railing on one side and someone stepping on your new shoes on the other. What about the super-slow people who feel like they don't have to go to work? Well, even if you usually get to the office in your car, it's easy to forget about the ten-point traffic and enjoy the quiet of working in a cozy home environment.
6) More time with loved ones
When you don't have to go to the office in the morning, you can take a long walk with your doggy, get the kids ready for a new school day, sneak off with your significant other for a cup of coffee at the bakery around the corner, or just take some time for yourself.
7) Better for the environment
Did you know that the popularity of telecommuting has led to positive changes around the world - less air pollution, less deforestation, and improved water quality? And it's all because people are commuting less to work. According to FlexJobs, about 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are prevented, and oil savings reach $980 million since 3.9 million employees work remotely at least half the time. This is the equivalent of planting an entire forest of 91 million trees.
8) Reduced absenteeism
A study recently published in Study Finds discovered that working from home can lead to a significant reduction in sick days. The research showed that remote workers were less likely to take time off due to minor diseases, believing they would be looked down upon by their employers. Moreover, when working remotely, the chance to catch a disease lowers thanks to avoiding contact with sick people.
9) Other money savings
Working from home, you can save not only on lunch at the cafe, but on many other things: gasoline, parking, car maintenance, transportation costs, and uniforms for the office. According to the latest research, an average American can save from $2,000 to $5,000 each year only on transportation.
10) Happier workers
Owl Labs found out that full-time remote workers claimed to be 22% happier than their colleagues who never worked from home. Moreover, 43% of respondents were also more prepared to stay at work longer than 40 hours per week.
What challenges do remote workers face when WFH?
At first glance, working from home may seem like a dream come true. No more rush-hour traffic, no more awkward office small talk, and best of all, you can finally wear your pajamas to work! In reality, however, a remote job comes with its own set of challenges. From struggling to stay focused to dealing with distractions from family and pets, there are several potential pitfalls to avoid.
1) Willpower required
If you are motivated enough and not a lazy person, then this shouldn't be a problem. But sometimes you really have to finish watching a couple of episodes of Netflix instead of working on this boring project...
2) Hard to keep to a routine
In the office, you usually follow a certain routine: a meeting at 9, then the task assignment, lunch at 12, and so on. At home, however, it can be difficult to create a semblance of a daily routine because there are too many distractions. Also, many workers tend to multitask, mixing household and work duties.
3) Missed meetings/calls
Oops, you went to the store around the corner for a while, and when you came back, you found out that in the meantime you missed an important call or meeting with a client. Or a colleague wrote to you on Slack, and you didn't notice and missed the deadline. With remote work, such failures happen.
Even though office conversations are annoying at times, you may miss them at home. After all, we're human and we need communication. Besides, Mike's stories about his hamster don't seem so boring anymore.
Sometimes you need an answer to an important question here and now. And your colleague, as if by chance, is not online and is not picking up the phone. But with the right tools, it's not really an issue.
How can conferencing and messaging tools help to stay productive?
Business professionals are constantly on the go, especially when working remotely. And with WFH work and the challenges it entails, it's important to have the right tools to stay connected with your team, keep the same high level of productivity, and successfully get rid of any home distractions.
Conference calling apps like Whoosh can help you connect with co-workers and clients in a variety of ways. You can join video conferences, share your screen, save important data on cloud storage, and just hold audio meetings for quick syncs with your team.
How else can Whoosh help?
Arrange Full-HD presentations and webinars
Whoosh is a powerful videoconferencing platform for creating and delivering high-quality presentations and webinars and hosting traditional video meetings. It provides speakers with a range of professional tools, including Full-HD streaming, background noise cancellation, and audio stream splitting for dividing participants into groups. In addition, Whoosh offers several screen sharing modes, instant messaging in a chat, and virtual whiteboarding to help presenters engage with their audience.
Schedule meetings according to different locations and work hours
Whoosh offers users a cloud-based virtual workplace with a smart AI assistant capable of scheduling online events, taking into account the difference in work hours and time zones of your teammates, clients, and partners. With the app, you can finally take back control of your time by delegating the meeting scheduling to your personal assistant.
Offer a comfortable virtual place to hold a video meeting with partners
If you've ever experienced video call fatigue, Whoosh can be a perfect cure for it. With its fantastic touch-up tools, AR filters, photorealistic avatars, and immersive 3D backgrounds, it'll take just a second to get ready for a video call. Nobody will ever notice your not-really-perfect background, eye bags, or messy hair.
Record important virtual events for future reference
Whoosh allows you to capture video meetings, sales pitches, and any other virtual event in short and shareable videos - Mementos. They're not just simple recordings, but AI-powered meeting recaps with all their highlights. Plus, with Mementos you get transcripts, thus, you'll never miss a word.
Bonus: WFH days
What days to choose for WFH? There is no one definitive answer to this question, as the best variants for it may vary depending on your work schedule and preferences. However, one day is considered the most suitable for in-house work. It's Wednesday. Why not Monday or Friday? Let's see!
According to Doximity, this weekday splits the week into two parts. The first two days you're in the office, then, on Wednesday, you work hard at home, and then, again, the final two days in the office.
Thus, you can wisely plan your workweek. All important meetings, task assignments, and discussions of any organizational needs should be carried out at the beginning of the week. On Wednesday, at home, you can perform tasks that require maximum dedication and concentration. And then finish the week in the office, where together with your team complete the remaining tasks, discuss all the issues and sail into the weekend with peace of mind.
Why not Monday and Friday? That way there will be less temptation to prolong the weekend for another day.
The traditional office environment is no longer the only way to work. With the advent of technology, many people are now working from home or WFH. Whether you like it or not, this trend is here to stay, so you might as well make the most of it.
If you're looking to expand your business, build a strong company culture, or advance your career, consider working from home. It could be the change you need to reach your business goals and satisfy your employees' requirements.