Commuting as far as the kitchen table, staying in P.J.s until noon, and playing with kids during work breaks was the reality for 2.9% (3.9 million) U.S. workers in 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, estimates indicate 56% of the workforce is now working remotely, and 25-30% will continue to work at home for at least part of the week over the next two years.1
The Changing Face of the Workplace
One survey showed people are accepting and enjoying the change. Nearly 3 in 4 respondents said the arrangement helped them with work/life balance, with most citing fewer distractions and interruptions, reduced stress from commuting, minimal office politics, and quieter noise levels.2
Companies, too, realize the advantages and report higher retention rates and increased employee satisfaction. As a result, two-thirds of companies say increased productivity for remote workers compared to in-office workers.
Managers think the biggest advantages of remote teams are happier employees (59%), a global talent pool (57%), and more productive employees (52%).
Saving Time and Money
Cost savings are a bonus as well. Workers who telecommute for even part of the week can save an employer more than $11,000 a year. American Express saves up to $15 million a year in real estate costs alone. At Aetna Insurance, 47% of employees work remotely, saving more than $70 million a year in real estate, utility, and housekeeping costs.3
Employees keep more in their pockets as well, saving between $2,500 to $4,000 a year on gas, car maintenance, tolls, clothing, and dry-cleaning bills. Working from home is here to stay, with 90% of remote workers planning to work remotely for the rest of their lives. 4
87% of remote managers believe remote work is the future.
What’s the Downside?
While many employees jump at the chance to work from home, some aren’t as keen. The reality is, finding a space to work isn’t easy for many. Remote workers seek various areas to plug in their laptops, with 78% primarily working from home, 9% working from an office, 7% renting a coworking space, and 5% working in a café or coffee shop.5
A survey shows a staggering 72% of remote workers do not work from a dedicated office space, and 40% of remote workers aren’t even working from a dedicated desk. 6
The Challenges of Working from Home
Friends, family, pets, and neighbors can serve as constant interruptions. Without a dedicated workspace, organization and productivity are often compromised, and working from the bed, couch, or kitchen table can take a toll on the mind and body.
“Statistics Show Remote Workers Are Frustrated, Many Still Unprepared for Working from Home” —Forbes
Another downside of not having a separate workspace is overwork and forgetting to set clear boundaries for breaks. Some succumb to habit-forming distractions, lured by the proximity of the T.V. or refrigerator. Many reports are working more overtime and experiencing stress and mental fatigue from living and working in the same space.
A Healthy Way to Work
In her book, Working from Home, Making the New Normal Work for You, Karen Mangia writes, “When you’re working from home, [work is] always there. Always available. It’s unhealthy if you’re always peering into your work pantry.”
Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you still need a dedicated space where you go to work—and a place where you can leave work behind.
“When work is always on and always available, it’s vital that you create some healthy segmentation,” says Mangia. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you still need a dedicated space where you go to work—and a place where you can leave work behind.
That’s why backyard sheds and offices are becoming more popular. This summer, sales were up 400% over the average 50% increase during warmer months.7 And with more time on their hands, Americans are looking for DIY projects that give them a sense of pride and satisfaction in learning new skills.
Backyard Workroom fills the need for more space with affordable, easy-to-assemble shed kits that eager do-it-yourselfers can install in a few hours. The patent-pending modular DIY shed kits are easy enough for even a novice to tackle by following the step-by-step assembly guide and videos included with the kit. Fully finished interiors include lighting, A.C./heater, outlets, and keyed entry. Homeowners can quickly get the space they need at a price within their budget and have a studio or workroom outside their back door.
1Archer, Sarah. “30+ Work from Home Statistics.” YourBestDigs.com. March 20, 2020
2 Report. “Remote Managers 2020.” Remote-How.
3 Global Workplace Analytics Report. 2020.
4 Westfall, Chris. “Statistics Show Remote Workers are Frustrated, Many Still Unprepared for Working from Home.”
5 Forbes.” Statistics Show many Workers Are Frustrated.” August 25, 2020.
6 Nulab. “Adjusting to Remote Work.” Forbes: 2020.
7 Mangia, Karen. Working from Home, Making the New Normal Work for You, John Wiley & Sons: 2020.
8 Brown, Dalvin. “Americans are buying, building, converting backyard sheds into the home office.” USA Today, September 2020.