We can all confidently say that the Coronavirus Pandemic has changed a lot of the ways we do things. In some ways, for the better, even for good ‘ole Knoxville’s small businesses. One of the ways that we think a really awesome alternative from working in the office was the chance to be able to work remotely. And now, well over a year since the beginning of the pandemic, we are still seeing people choosing to work from home rather than going back to the office. And you know, we’re not upset about it. In this digital age that is everchanging, we have the resources and IT support to essentially work anywhere we want! But how does that affect workflow? Time management? Manager to employee interaction? Team morale? Are these factors something we should be worrying about? Is this an opportunity to continue to embrace change and move forward or do we need to go back to how things were?

In a recent study by Global Workplace Analytics, they reported that if we really want to focus on the financial aspect of working from home, on average, if an employee worked half the amount of workdays a year from home, they would save their employer about $11,000 a year! Not to mention how much the employee would save, anywhere from $600 to $6,000 a year depending on their commute, the cost of food purchases throughout the week, and parking!

If we aren’t in the office does that mean we are interacting less with coworkers and upper management? While that may seem like a negative thought, studies show that it actually increases productivity. At-home employees are communicating less often with managers, but when they do, they end up being more intentional. Instead of constantly checking in or even swinging by their office to talk in person, remote workers tend to consolidate their correspondence so that there isn’t a constant back and forth. Have you ever thought that actually being in the office is more distracting than being at home? If you add all the times were you’re chit-chatting at the water cooler, sitting in unproductive meetings, and don’t forget to add up all those snack breaks you take to get out of that cubicle (which fun fact, working in a cubicle is in the top 10 major productivity killers), you have yourself a whole concoction of distractions and inefficiency.

But if we are working from home will all our data and information be safe? The great thing about technology these days is that you can be secure no matter where you go. IT remote support, security software, cloud-based programs, and collaboration tools help to encourage this streamlined approach to working remotely. Employees working from home should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network), two-factor authentication, and we can’t stress this enough, backup, backup, back up your files onto a cloud-based network! There are a ton of other precautions and measures one can take in ensuring that everything is secure when working at home. And if you need any tips, there’s a local Knoxville IT business that we know of that can help (shameless plug: that’s us, Computer Systems Plus).

If we haven’t figured out if we like working from home or working in the office I think sooner or later we will all figure out what we like best if we are given the option. Some of us really love working from the comfort of our own homes. As well as others who may find being in the office way more productive and better for their mental health. Whether it’s working in the office or working from home I think there are definitely tips and tricks to save money, increase productivity, and stay secure in any workspace.