Work From Home

Here's how to stay productive — and connected — when you work from home

Working from home can bring a sense of freedom, but it can also feel lonely. Try these tips to maintain better relationships with your colleagues and managers. Remote workers are more likely to quit because of loneliness and low engagement. One study found that a third of employees globally work remotely always or very often, and two-thirds of them aren’t engaged.

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Even before the coronavirus, the number of remote workers has been on the rise, with some 70 percent of the workforce operating out of the office at least one day a week. An adaptable work arrangement that enables one to work from home or a co-working space isn’t just a perk; for many it’s a demand: in a new survey, FlexJobs found that 30 percent of respondents left a job because it didn’t offer such flexibility, while 80 percent said they’d be more loyal to their employer were they given more flexibility, including the option to work from home.

It’s been more than four years since I left the land of cubicles and keycards and embarked on fulltime freelance self-employment. I don’t miss most aspects of office life, yet sometimes, I find myself nostalgic for the notion of gung-ho solidarity and team spirit that working in a shared space with colleagues can provide. It’s not uncommon for me to look up from my computer, see that it’s 5pm, and rather than feel that old little stir of excitement that the workday is almost over, experience a bolt of dread in realizing that it’s been 8 hours since I talked to another human being in real life.

In his recent book Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation”, Dan Schawbel highlights the rise of remote work as a potentially harmful trend in the modern workplace. Among his key conclusions (largely based on interviews with numerous managers at major companies such as American Express and Intuit) — is that the more we work apart, the less we work together, and this can hinder both our productivity and our sense of community.

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