At the beginning of the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, Unified Software made the switch to working from home. As a technology company, we’re fortunate that 99% of our work can be done remotely, so along with many other organisations up and down the country, we’ve remained working from home since.
Working from home – what we’ve discovered
Some of the Unified Software team have reported that they’re more efficient working from home. At work it’s easy to get distracted by various things going on in the office, like someone interrupting you in the middle of a train of thought to ask for a stapler. It can be simpler to concentrate when working from a quiet spare room at home. We’ve also found that we generally have shorter meetings when using video chat, as compared to using meeting rooms at the office.
Easier for childcare
As all working parents know, fitting regular office hours around school pick-ups and drop-offs can be tricky. A combination of remote working and the flexi-time we already had at Unified means that members of our team can take a quick chunk of time to herd the kids into the car for school, before jumping back on the laptop.
No more commuting
The amount of time spent commuting by an average British worker is 58 minutes. That’s almost one hour a day spent just sitting in a car or bus. Working from home means our commutes have drastically shortened to about 30 seconds – walking from the breakfast table to the computer! More time has been opened up in our mornings and evenings for relaxing, cooking, exercising, and family time. We’re saving money too, on petrol and bus tickets. A decreased commute also has health benefits – there’s a lot of evidence that long commutes can cause high blood pressure and low mental wellbeing.
Remote working can be greener
Reduced commuting is great for the environment due to less pollution and less petrol usage, but there are some other ways in which remote working can be planet-friendly. At Unified, we’ve noticed that because we’ve switched to communicating digitally throughout the day, we’re wasting less paper. Back in the olden days of 2019, we were in the slightly ungreen habit of regularly printing out documents to share round meetings, read and annotate. Now, it’s much easier to share things via email, dropbox, or Google hangouts chat, and our paper waste baskets are emptier.
What’s next for us?
Currently, we’re retaining our physical office for storage and servers. Team members are only going in for essential maintenance, and the office is nearly empty so social distancing is easy. (And thankfully the plants are getting watered occasionally too.)
Even though the vaccine is on the horizon, the pandemic is far from over, so we’ll be continuing to enjoy the benefits of working from home well into 2021.