I am not telling you, the health crisis we are facing has brought thousands of people around the world to work from home.

Telework is on the rise! You spend a lot of time in the professional space you created at home, but have you thought about improving it to make it more comfortable, or to increase your productivity?

Telework: a fundamental trend in most professional circles

Telework is part of an effort to improve the organisation of work and relies on communication tools. This is work done outside the employer's premises on a regular and voluntary basis.

  • In France, as of December 2020, 31% of employees were teleworked for at least one day a week.
  • The annual telework barometer 2021 shows mixed opinions on telecommuting, but the majority of teleworkers remain satisfied. From a score of 8/10 in November 2019, satisfaction fell to 6.9/10 in April 2020 and returned to 7.2/10 in December 2020.
  • 56% of managers point to the difficulty of managing teams remotely.
  • The "services" and "bank/insurance" sectors had the largest share of the workforce in telework (62%). 23% of employees in the health sector, 19% in the trade sector and 17% of the industry were in telework.
  • The Nordic countries are the champions of telecommuting, while some countries in the south and east are more timid.

After much research, here are the important points on which I have focused. The pros and cons of telecommuting in general.

The main benefits of telecommuting 

  • -A reduction in overhead and professional expenses for teleworkers (less travel, meals at home...)
  • The elimination of transport times, which leads to an improvement in productivity.
  • A gain in autonomy and responsibility, because the teleworker organizes his own schedule.
  • A better balance between work and private life (household and parental tasks, home sports, etc.).
  • A reduction in absenteeism and delays that is particularly noticeable in large cities (more prone to traffic jams and other traffic difficulties). So, for the employee, a reduction in the stress associated with commuting to work.

The main drawbacks of telecommuting

  • Concentration and productivity can be reduced if the employee is not in an environment suitable for work.
  • Social relationships are restricted within the company, and internal communication problems may arise.
  • Team cohesion is more difficult to stimulate and maintain.
  • As a result, some employees do not enjoy telework because they are unsure of their role as effectively as they did in the workplace.

To get the benefits of this new lifestyle, here are some tips and tricks!

1) Work at home remains work

It is important to keep a steady pace. Wake up at the usual time and prepare as if you were going to go to work!

During the hours you dedicate to your professional activity, focus fully on what you do and do not be distracted by those around you. If you have a young child but no possibility of keeping it, it will necessarily be more complicated! In this case, divide the responsibilities to any role with the other parent. This will allow everyone to work efficiently while the other takes care of the toddler! Be fair in this distribution otherwise tensions will arise!

2) Take advantage of the time you don't spend on transportation!

As we have seen, a major advantage of telecommuting is the time savings associated with the elimination of the commute. To live telework well, it is very important to optimize this time by giving you moments dedicated to your well-being! Do a sport, for example. Walking, running, cycling... It doesn't matter as long as it frees your mind.

If sport is not your forte, take some time to relax, meditate,and refocus on yourself. A little introspection doesn't hurt before starting a day in front of the computer!

Every morning, you have a little more time available before you start work! Take advantage of this moment of respite to prepare a good breakfast "healthy" in order to start this day well!

3) A healthy space dedicated to work

A clean, neat and uncluttered space is a basic principle of telecommuting. This will allow you to see more clearly and to better understand this busy day that awaits you.

It is important to eliminate all bulky objects that unnecessarily take up space in your workspace and paralyze your professional development. Make sure you are properly equipped (PCs, phones, headphones, chargers, documents, supplies...) so you don't get overwhelmed by the mess.

To perfect this healthy space dedicated to work, a pleasant olfactory atmosphere is a real plus! Some essential oils or specially formulated mood fragrances help with concentration and reduce stress, thus optimizing your working time.

One nugget I highly recommend is the famous salt crystal lamp that purifies the air by spreading negative ions! This soft orange-tinted lamp also has the ability to limit electromagnetic radiation from our common devices (such as smartphones or televisions).

4) Effective planning

Don't be fooled: telecommuting will certainly require a little more organization and determination than usual. At home, no one will push you to work. And the temptation of TV, social networks, Netflix, or to do a bit of storage will be great and recurring! The separation between private and professional life is therefore essential for telework to be effective.

Consider preparing "to do list" to properly set the schedules for your day. Prioritize based on the importance and time of each task. It's also interesting to create videoconferencing meetings with your colleagues, and to write a daily end-of-day report to see your progress and measure your teleworker progress.

5) Avoid isolation and communicate with the outside world

Don't isolate yourself, on the contrary! Make this telework period fun and rewarding by exchanging more with your colleagues! It is important that the team stays together and that everyone moves towards the same goal. Promote phone and video calls as often as possible rather than emails to maintain more direct contact with your colleagues.

During the break, take time for yourself and to do as you please. Call your loved ones, go out and get some fresh air with a neighbour or your pet. During the lunch break, prepare a good meal accompanied by a hot drink to regain your strength...

If you can't stand loneliness and human contact is essential, we advise you to learn about the co-working spaces around you.

Reduce your stress, sharpen your productivity, develop your creativity, channel your concentration... It's all up to you, and you're perfectly capable of it!

Health crisis, telecommuting: let's be optimistic!

To conclude this article, I would like to share a note of optimism about telework and the current health crisis that has democratized its practice.

Telework did not wait for the Covid to exist. It is inscribed in manners and practiced for many years already. While it asks us to adapt the way we work, it offers interesting opportunities to reduce stress and better balance private and professional life.

On the pandemic that has been undermining us for many months, I will also deliver a message of hope. Let's not forget that this phase is temporary and that, soon, the good days will return! Once this event is behind us, we will feel even stronger than before, and look to the future with serenity.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.