Make Working from Home Work for You
Advances in technology have brought a radical change in where we toil, as millions of Americans opt to work from home offices.
“Telecommuting,” as remote office work is called, brings amazing rewards to those who work at home— and to their employers.
PRODUCTIVITY INCREASE: A Stanford University study concluded home-based employees averaged 12% more output than office-bound workers. Some large corporations reported even greater productivity increases.
DECREASED OFFICE COSTS: The more employees working from home offices, the smaller the corporate office space required. Companies benefit from lower overhead, real estate expenses, taxes, and operational costs.
HAPPIER WORKERS: Most employees find working in home offices reduces stress significantly. In surveys, home workers say they do not miss the office politics and distracting non-work-related chats with other employees. Nor do they miss long, traffic-crowded commutes to “the office.”
LESS TURNOVER: Happy employees not only produce better, but they stay with the company much longer than traditional office-based workers.
GREEN IMPACTS: Working from a home office affects the environment, too. Less commuting saves millions of dollars of gasoline annually— and helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Who is Working from Home?
Many non-profit organizations and revenue-driven companies now allow some employees to work remotely. Recent estimates show over 3.2 million Americans in these establishments now work primarily from home.
In addition, almost half-a million people working for federal, state, and local governments now telecommute.
Many employees still chiefly confined to traditional offices now spend some hours each week working from home.
Creating a Home Office that Works
There are two major hurdles to home office efficiency: distractions and disorder.
To minimize distractions and maximize efficiency, divide the home office from the rest of the household. To work effectively, a home office needs to feel business-like when entering it. The successful home-based worker needs to mentally separate home life and work life to be productive.
Finding adequate space in a relatively quiet area of the home is crucial to productivity.
It may take some time for the family to adjust to not interrupting workers during “office” hours. Keeping specific office hours helps both the worker and the family adapt more quickly to the new arrangement.
Many people find an office in a building separate from the home works best for privacy. This is especially important if co-workers or clients will be stopping by the home office. (There are also often tax advantages to having a home office dedicated strictly to business.)
Disorganization in a home office kills productivity.
An office crowded into a corner of the bedroom provides little room for supplies, storage, workspace, adequate lighting, file storage, reference materials, and peripherals like fax machines, printers, landlines, or scanners. Here again, if the budget permits, a detached structure devoted solely to business may work full-time home-based workers.
If an isolated office is warranted, design the space to include abundant natural lighting, sufficient storage space, and plenty of electrical outlets.
A detached home office increases property value. When selling a home, a well-appointed detached office attracts buyers quickly.
Home Offices Built with Steel
Consider using a pre-engineered steel building as a detached office.
Metal building exteriors can be finished to match or complement the home. Quality insulation packages cut heating and cooling costs in half— and drastically reduce outside noise. Installing house-type insulated windows and doors provides even greater energy savings. Add skylights to enhancing natural lighting.
If the owner’s needs change, the clear span construction of steel detached home offices makes remodeling much easier. The home office of today may become a man cave, home gym, mother-in-law suite, guest room, or hobby hut as lifestyles evolve over time.
Discuss a prefabricated metal detached home office with one of RHINO’s steel building specialists today. The RHINO number is 940.383.9566.