As you all know the Corona virus (COVID-19) has landed in Europe. As precautionary measure the company that I work for, located in suburban Zurich, applied home office rules last week. And I have to say, it was perhaps the most productive week in terms of task completion that I had since months.
My day looked as follows: I woke up, got myself ready with comfortable clothing, grabbed a cup of coffee and a yogurt and by 7:30 am I was already in front of the computer screen. I had a good 45 minutes to check my emails before I started communication with my colleagues, or I started a new task. This inbox scan gave me the feeling of being on top of things before the hectic day started.
Home Office Policy: Employee Benefits
Working from home enabled me to start my working days earlier, and additionally I was being CO2 neutral as I didn’t have to drive to work or take the bus. I also got to complete more tasks from start to end as I was confronted with fewer interruptions and distractions by the normal flow of human traffic that normally walks past my desk. Helping me to remain focused for a longer periods of time.
But what really supported a highest task completion rate was the decrease in the number of virtual meetings I attended. Being at home, and not having always perfect internet connection made me more selective in deciding which meetings I could attend. Mainly, I wanted to avoid the annoying interruptions to the rest of the conference call participants derived from having to dial in more than once after the internet connection was reestablished.
There were also monetary savings involved: my meals were prepared from my weekly grocery shopping which meant less perishable food got thrown away while saving money else used at the company’s cafeteria or at a nearby restaurant. My son also ate at home that week, which meant no costs for his midday lunch at the neighbors. Savings were also made in transportation costs as there was a no gasoline consumption.
My personal levels of energy also benefited, as energy is a depletable resource, I could clearly see the gains of not losing energy while driving and of not having too many interpersonal interactions during the day, as such interactions normally demand higher energy levels from our side. Being at home, allowed a slower erosion of my energy levels and I remained feeling somewhat energized until the end of the day.
As I mentioned, commuting was decreased to zero kilometers, I was early all week in the kitchen ready to prepare dinner for me and my family. Consequently, I had the chance to cook more elaborate dinners mainly reserved for the weekends while having more quality time with my son.
I must acknowledge that my levels of empathy increased for all the people worldwide affected by the Coronavirus. I couldn’t feel more grateful that my company was taking the necessary precautions to protect me, my family and my colleagues by installing the home office policy. Finally, my motivation increased as well, as I could clearly see both the monetary and the qualitative benefits translated into my life.
Home Office Policy: Employer Benefits
Even if I can’t statistically confirm this situation and I base this post entirely on my personal empirical evidence, I believe that my employer also benefited from the home office policy.
I am extrapolating my conclusions by stating that my colleagues also increased their productivity for the similar reasons that I previously explained. As a result, the company had more employees completing more tasks at the same time, in the same location by implementing the home office policy.
The company saved money from the reduction of utilities consumption and from the free goodies we get in the form of coffee and tea. Generously, the lunch in the cafeteria is subsidized, so my employer could save on these costs as well. Finally, there were no printouts, so savings were made on printing costs while being friendly with the environment.
So even if the fear of this new strain of virus is going around, I can confirm that there are positive outcomes derived by the measurements taken due to the disease. And somehow along the week, I developed a comforting feeling every time I sat at my home desk!
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