Friday 18th May is National Work from Home Day, an initiative organised by Work Wise UK to promote modern “smarter” working practices such as agile, flexible, remote and mobile working, as well as working from home.

As technology has advanced, “smarter” working is no longer just for the lucky few or back-bedroom entrepreneurs. The question is now not could you, but should you?

The Pros

Productivity It’s really all about being able to get your head down and get on with work without the enviable distractions of the office.

Better Work-life Balance People are happier when they perceive they have a better work life balance and they also stay longer in jobs that offer a more flexible approach. A huge number of jobs within the creative industries don’t require standard 9-5 day – it’s about doing your hours not when you do your hours.

Health Benefits Home workers have been shown to take less time off work. Whether they share less bugs or can still manage to get to computer with the cold that may have stopped them going to the office, either way it’s got to be good.

Less time commuting also means more time and money to spend on yourself – use the money to join a gum, spend the time walking the dog, simply feel less stressed with no commute.

Wider Job Pool If you can work from anywhere you no longer have to limit yourself to looking for jobs that are a sensible commute away. It totally changes how we go about looking for a new position.

Technology Thanks to the cloud and shared almost everything from anywhere (so long as you have an internet connection), working outside the office is almost just as easy as working from it.

The Cons

Distractions For some of us, productive working away from the office is just never going to happen. The lure of Netflix, the cat, shopping and pottering around the house is just too strong.

Isolation It can be very lonely remote working, and people are social by nature.  Settling in to a new workplace can take considerably longer if you’re not often there and miss out on the day-today office chat.

Lack of Creative Collaboration Some of the best ideas come out of brainstorming and collaboration. Whilst this can be planned in, it’s often spontaneous, with those around you or quick feedback from the nearest pair of fresh eyes. With no one around to ask, challenges or creative questions could take longer to resolve.

IT Issues Yes, the technology to remote, mobile and home-based work exists – this doesn’t necessarily mean you have it.

It also means when you have an issue you can’t just call the IT guy or gal to pop by your desk and fix it.

Smarter working I weighed up the pro’s and con’s a long time ago and for me, as a flexible, home worker the answer must be yes to “smarter” working.

I’m also lucky enough to work for an employer who embraces the benefits of “smarter” working.  The pros for employers far outweigh the cons. Better staff productivity, motivation and retention. The need for smaller office spaces and wider recruitment opportunities to name a few.

Still thinking about trying “smarter” working or implementing “smarter” working in your business? Friday 18th May could be just the incentive you’ve been looking for.

Mainframe

We know that some of the UK’s most talented digital & creative businesses call Derby and Derbyshire home. Mainframe is a community of those people, sharing their talent, knowledge and inspiration. 

Based at QUAD and funded via the European Regional Development Fund and Art’s Council England; we host free monthly meetup’s covering topics from the inspirational, to business growth to the downright futuristic and forward thinking. 

Mainframe is part of the Big House, a collaboration providing sector specific support; making it easier for digital & creative businesses to understand and access the free help available in our region. 

mainframederby.co.uk