How to Work Near Home: Not Quite WFH, Not Quite In Office
As office work continues modernizing and adapting, a new trend is emerging known as "work near home." It's a hybrid between working in an office (but not in the office) and working from home (but not at home) and for many remote employees, it's providing the key benefits from both work environments without the drawbacks.
Working in-office problems
Anyone who has worked in an office setting full time knows for all the benefits of connection, apprenticeship and collaboration, there are also significant drawbacks both in the office and getting to the office.
Working from home problems
While most workers report feeling more satisfied working from home, WFH has its own challenges. A study conducted by The National Bureau of Economic Research found the average working day increased by 48.5 minutes for WFH employees during lockdown, which is about two extra days per month. In addition, many people are ill-equipped to work from home, lacking a proper home office or amenities like ergonomic seating, adequate light, and proper technology. The added stress from having young children around at home, mental health challenges and a lack of space also add to the potential issues with WFH setups.
Solution: work near home
For those searching for a hybrid between returning to in-office work and working from home, working near home presents a viable solution for combining the benefits of working in an office setting while still being remote.
The concept for work near home is literal—work from a location that eliminates the commute and stress of traveling to an urban office and the drawbacks found working from home. In many cases, the work near home solution will be a coworking space, rented meeting room or another type of shared office setting, which offers flexibility in addition to the proper amenities, professional atmosphere and community ideal for office work.
Benefits of work near home arrangements
For anyone who has a commute, the benefits of remote working are clear, but for those who either don't have this challenge or can't view work any other way than at headquarters, here are a few reasons why working near home just works.
● Cuts down on commuting and time spent in transit
● Allows employees to live and work in the suburbs or in rural areas
● Reduces stress and fatigue and improves health
● Creates a better balance between personal and professional life
● Presents a smaller-scale, safe alternative for workers to return to an office setting
● Provides employees with community, reducing isolation and loneliness
● Increases creativity and productivity
● Allows workers to choose spaces that match their working style
● Supports local businesses
Another interesting outcome of allowing employees to work near home is it essentially expands your business footprint as it establishes satellite offices. For companies interested in exploring the flexibility of working near home, LiquidSpace has a helpful article on how to bridge the gap between HQ and WFH.
How to work near home
For most businesses, having a headquarters in an urban setting will continue to be relevant and important. However, the days of being 100% in-office may be behind us. Forbes calls this trend the "networked office," which allows for a combination of the core office, WFH employees and those who work near home.
There are benefits to each of these arrangements and as businesses find the hybrid model that works best for them, they'll discover increased employee satisfaction as well as options for meeting together, meeting virtually, and independent work. Intentional trips to headquarters can be planned around important presentations, strategic training and outcomes-based strategies, which are planned for ahead of time.
Learning how to work near home is as simple as finding a great coworking space. Employees should search for a space that is well-equipped in a convenient location with adequate security, a good atmosphere, available meeting rooms and high-speed wi-fi. After that, it's a matter of plugging in and getting to work.