If you were asked, “What would you prefer: Working from home or going to an office?”, what would your answer have been, prior to the corona virus outbreak?
According to FlexJobs 2019 Annual Survey, when asked, most people said they would want the advantage of working from home. Remote working remains the flexible work option of choice among professionals, with 76% of respondents preferring to be fully remote if given the choice.
Despite various published statistics, highlighting remote working as being the people’s top pick – there have seemingly still been negative reactions following the recent lockdown and warnings to work from home unless it is essential.
Throughout human evolution, our brains and the way we think have adopted a Negativity Bias (AKA positive-negative asymmetry). Meaning, things of a more negative nature have a greater effect on our psychological state and processes, than neutral or positive things.
Being highly attuned to threats in the environment has allowed humans to survive. Although we are a far cry from our prehistoric ancestors and the chances of any of us running into a cave lion on our way to work, are slim to none, negative events still maintain a greater impact on our brains, than positive ones; affecting our behaviours, decision making and even relationships.
So, what can we do to tone down our negativity bias?
We need to be more aware and overrule negativity with positive reinforcement. Taking steps to combat negativity bias can play a huge role in boosting your mental well-being – let’s all put our positive pants on!
Current health crisis aside, this article has been written to highlight the benefits of working from home and to promote a positive perspective.
There are so many advantages to working from home and I wanted to share a few of these here.
- Comfort zone: from bed to … bed? Hey, I’m not judging, it’s nice. Luckily, I have a Fitbit which reminds me I need to move every hour!
- Save money: on Petrol and Lunch – Lunch can be especially expensive if you work in a city, in London you can rack up £10 a day on a sandwich and a coffee. (Although my shopping bill has increased now I’m home 24/7 – offsetting this saving a little bit).
- Flexible schedule: You can take breaks whenever you like, eat lunch for breakfast, there’s also no rush to hang up on your bestie who desperately needs to tell you that latest gossip update over the phone.
- Cosy clothes: You get to wear your good old faithful joggers, which have been going since the dawn of time, or that favourite jumper you own that actually looks like moths have been at it – But it’s just so snug you can’t bear to throw it away. Caveat… Make sure you don’t have any video calls scheduled.
- The way you like it: Have the radio or your favourite Netflix series on in the background, regulating the noise level that suits you.
- No office distractions: Avoiding the stereotypical “what are you having for lunch” question, noisy roadworks outside your office window or the AC turning on for no apparent reason, making you feel like you’ve been cryogenically frozen.
- Just pick up the phone: You won’t have to struggle to find a meeting room or deal with a particularly talkative colleague. (Granted, children, partners and pets at home can make this tricky for some).
- Zero crowds or traffic: you no longer have to be crammed into a metal tube, with people standing on your feet or wafting their armpits in your face, whilst holding onto the railing. No walking behind unbearably slow people who apparently don’t know what a straight line is, or traffic jams caused for no apparent reason at all, when all you want to do is just get home.
- Knock off some weekend chores: Get on top of your washing pile, ironing, putting that shelf up (which you promised to do last summer) – whatever it is, your evenings are then free to enjoy.
- More time with loved ones: Get some extra cuddles in, walk your dog more, or simply get some quiet time to yourself!
If managed properly, remote working can bring lots of benefits. I love working from home for the flexibility it gives me to respond to friends and other ‘distractions’ as and when they occur.
Working from home is a definite change of pace. It may take some time to get used to. However, you will soon realise this transition can and will have positive impacts on working life moving forwards.