What is WFH?

WFH stands for “work from home,” or “working from home.” It is the new way of working post Covid-19 pandemic, leaving out the traditional office setting

What Does WFH Stand For?

WFH stands for “work from home,” or “working from home.” It is the new way of working post Covid-19 pandemic, leaving out the traditional office setting. It is also referred to as remote work. It allows for more flexibility and helps improve overall employee production.

The average American spends around 45 minutes traveling to work, and the same amount of time traveling back home. That’s one and a half hours wasted where productive work could have occurred. This is mostly due to traveling, and it affects almost 150 million employed Americans, and another 500 million employees in Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia.     

A control experiment by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom took place in China where a large group from an enterprise company was divided in two, where for 9 months, one group got to work from the office while the other group could work from home. Teams were made up of 10 to 15 people who all reported to one manager, and those who worked from home came into the office once a week. 

The results were quite impressive. A massive 13% improvement in performance from people who worked remotely, mainly due to the fact that they were keeping track of time and working their full shifts, as well as the fact that it was easier to concentrate at home; this is due to the fact that the office can be a very noisy place with lots of distractions. The next astonishing fact was that resignation dropped by a whopping 50%. 

A WFH model also benefits the employer greatly. Not only do they save massive amounts on rent of office space if their company is expanding, but they can actually make up to $2000 more profit per employee as work efficiency is increased. Also, because fewer employees are quitting, less time and money is wasted on the recruitment process, which costs approximately $4,000 per new hire and takes nearly a month to find the right candidate. 

WFH also has another major benefit – it benefits the planet with regard to the environment and pollution due to the fact that there is no commuting involved in the WFH model.   

There are many reasons that WFH takes place between an employer and employee or client and freelancer. The main reasons are listed below:

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Reasons for WFH

  • WFH allows for more productive application to the job at hand, as there is no time wasted due to long commutes. 
  • It allows for more flexibility with regard to work hours. Some people find early morning hours a more effective time to work, where others prefer afternoons and evenings.
  • It allows for a better work-life balance, especially where children and family are involved. 
  • It allows for clients and freelancers to connect from all over the world. There are no distance boundaries.
  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, WFH has allowed for safe work meetings and communication among colleagues.

Older Business Owners Don’t Understand New Business WFH Model

With today’s technology, participation in a physical office is not always necessary. With everything connected on the Internet and through the cloud, business and work can take place without the need to be in physical contact with others.

However, there are older business owners who don’t understand the new business WFH model. What is evident, is that it is paving the way to the new future of how work and business will take place. 

In fact, working from the office is a tradition that goes back a few hundred years to the Industrial Revolution. Before this revolution, all people worked from home in agricultural settings.

Most people were farmers and craftsmen, but around 1800 things began to change. Modern workplaces as we know them now were created. Mass work took place in factories and offices, and the modern commute to work and back started to become the norm.

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WFH and COVID-19

WFH became especially evident with the onset of Covid-19. It was the only way businesses could still be productive. Many companies folded, but for those who survived, Zoom took over as the meeting place for colleagues and teams. 

In fact, Zoom became the number one video communication platform for meetings, and the platform spiked from 10 million users in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020

Due to the pandemic and most employees working remotely, a KPMG survey revealed that 68% of CEOs of large companies plan to downsize their office space. 

There are currently many WFH blogs that discuss WFH and COVID-19. Due to Covid-19 and the new WFH model, huge executives such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that 50% of his employees could follow the WFH model within the next 5-10 years (shifting to a flexible WFH policy).

He explained that it creates a “more broad-based economic personality,” as it opens up employment to people of all different backgrounds, communities, and perspectives. According to Forbes, by 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.

WFH Meaning

WFH means “work from home,” or “working from home.” Between the years 2000-2010, employees who worked at least one day of the week at home went up by 35%, above 4 million. The population of workers who occasionally worked remotely went from 9.2 million to a staggering 13.4 million

Another interesting fact is in 2010, more WFH employees (50.5%) had bachelor degrees than on-site employees (29.7%). Around that time, employees who worked remotely and on-site as well earned more money than on-site and full-time WFH employees.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 which required all federal executive agencies to create policies for certain employees who qualified to work remotely.The definition of WFH is also teleworking. The agencies who worked in this way reported:

  1. Better emergency preparedness (59%)
  2. Improved recruitment (35%)
  3. Reduced real estate costs (17%)
  4. Improved employee attitudes (58%)
  5. Reduced energy consumption (13%)

There are many benefits and good reasons to WFH:

  • Around the world, 16% of companies are completely remote. These include Automattic (the company behind WordPress) Zapier, and GitLab
  • 77% of people working remotely admit that they are more productive when at home.
  • Annually, remote workers make around $4000 more than regular office workers.
  • 85% of employees in managerial positions believe that having teams that consist of remote workers will become everyday working life. 
  • 74% of employees admit that with the option of working remotely, they are less likely to quit their jobs.

As you can see, there are many benefits of WFH. One of the main benefits that many don’t take into consideration is healthcare. In fact, a study by Unum showed that 42% of UK working parents cancel health appointments due to work pressures. When working from home, it’s easier to leave home to see the family physician. 

Another benefit is the ability to spend quality time with children. Most parents miss their children’s first steps or first spoken words, all important milestones, due to their work schedules. By working at home, nothing is missed and everything is captured in the present moment.

One of the important steps of WFH is convincing employers to allow WFH. It is important to point out to those in charge that working from home will result in increased productivity. Documented studies can be shared with employers explaining all the benefits.

Travel with a WFH job is a simple process, as it is easy to clear a space from home to make it into a workspace. There is simply no travel involved in this kind of work model. Perhaps one only needs to go into work once a week. 

However, what opens up for WFH workers is the ability to travel with a WFH job anywhere in the world. A beach in Bali can now open as a workspace, as can a Jeep parked in the middle of a Safari in South Africa.

The world becomes a playground of pleasure and productivity. However, with this new means of flexibility comes a concern for security as employees are connecting to their workspaces outside of company premises which is where a secured Cloud VPN comes into play. 

WFH and long commutes to work have become a thing of the past. No more waking up at 5 A.M. every morning to shower and get dressed, prepare meals for the day, and rush in heavy traffic.

Heavy traffic leads to higher chronic stress which can lead to depression and sleep deprivation. High stress can lead to emotional outbursts at work, and sleep deprivation can impact your job performance enormously. These problems evaporate with WFH.

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WFH Guide: How to Work from Home Effectively

Although the flexibility to work from your living room or a cafe in town seems like a good way to relax a bit, you must keep in mind that you are still working, which means that you need discipline, and you need to meet your deadlines. The following tips will help guide you into a smoother transition into a WFH environment:

WFH Best Practices and WFH Guidelines

1. Keep a Routine

As WFH allows for so much free time, maintaining a regular routine is crucial. Upon waking, the same actions need to be taken every day, whether it’s 20 minutes of Yoga to energize the body and a quick healthy breakfast or going outside for a brisk walk. Work must then begin at the same time every day.

Stick to time-tracking apps, such as RescueTime, if you find it hard to follow a disciplined time schedule.

2. Take Time for Breaks

It’s important to take breaks as a priority to avoid the monotony of constant work. 15 minute breaks every 60 minutes, or a short break whenever an important task is finished, is vital for good mental health. Lunch is important, as is eating something filling and nutritious to keep the mind sharp for the rest of the day. 

3. Change Your Environment

A change of environment is needed, and it helps to step outside and take a 15 minute walk to get out of the house or do some quick exercises. It’s not healthy for the mind to stay in the same environment all day and night. The natural sunlight provides you with Vitamin D and helps lift your mood.

4. Keep the Same Workspace

Make sure you work at the same table or desk every day, preferably with an ergonomic-friendly chair as the toll of sitting down all day places great pressure on your spine and lower body. Have your WFH calendar set up with your colleagues for WFH meetings.

Ideally, a laptop works best. Most companies will allow employees to take their laptop from the office to work at home. If you are a freelancer and need a great laptop to work on, the following are highly rated:

Best WFH Laptops 

  • Macbook Pro
  • Macbook Air
  • Dell XPS 13
  • Samsung Galaxy Book S
  • ASUS Zenbook 15

Also, make sure you have the necessary cables to connect to a second and third screen to make work more efficient and easier to be productive. Have the necessary set of headphones with a speaker as well.

Keep the work surface clean at all times, especially when finishing work for the day, so that every day the work environment feels fresh and new.

Best WFH Setup – Introduction

A great WFH setup follows certain guidelines whereby the most efficient work can take place. The following covers workplace arrangement, accessories, and tools that provide the best service, as well as cloud cybersecurity for remote working:

Best way to Arrange Room WFH

Feng Shui expert to many business tycoons and high profile movie directors and celebrities around the world, Marie Diamond suggests decluttering the workspace and arranging the position of the desk into the “power position.” This is where the desk faces the door.

This position opens your business to more opportunities and income streams. The space in front of the desk suggests open communication. It offers more solutions and opens up the possibilities of greater career rewards. 

It is also of great benefit to keep the color gold in the workspace – gold frames, gold paintings, and gold objects, as this attracts and symbolizes wealth.

WFH Accessories

With WFH comes a lot of home office setup. A big problem is back pain WFH issues. Working from home at the same desk all day requires special ergonomic-friendly WFH products which are also highly efficient. 
According to Forbes, some of the best WFH desk chairs are:

Another important component of WFH accessories are headphones that work well so that nothing is missed out, or unheard, in important meetings. These are some of the best headphones on the market:

WFH Tools and WFH Resources

With WFH, the best WFH tools are required.

WSI WFH Speed Test and WFH Tools Test

In order to work effectively, you need an internet connection that works fast enough for all your WFH business needs. You can use Speedtest to check this, as well as the free desktop Speedtest apps on Windows and Mac and other devices. An ideal internet speed is 25 Mbps and above.

WFH Communication & Collaboration

Videoconferencing

A very important part of WFH is the ability to still have meetings with your team using WFH software. Tools such as Zoom make that easy. Other options of video conferencing include Google Meet and Skype, and freelancers have opportunities to talk over video with their clients on platforms such as Upwork

Project/Task Management

Project managers need to keep on top of things with their teams, and this is where project/task management tools step in. Trello is one of the most user-friendly platforms to manage tasks and projects. Other project management platforms include Jira and Asana

Time Tracking

Certain employers want to know how productive their employees are with their working times. That’s where apps such as Toggl, timeBro, and Harvest can be used. If you are a freelancer, platforms such as Upwork offer tools to track time.

Help Desk

If you’re involved in customer support, you need to make sure that you have a good set of headphones and are constantly at your desk or carrying your work phone around in case a customer contacts you. Help desk tools include FreshdeskZoho, and Solarwinds.

CRM

If your line of WFH work from home involves customer relationship management (CRM), you will need tools such as Salesforce, Hubspot, and a project management tool such as Monday.com

WFH Cybersecurity

Corporate VPN

Cybersecurity is the top concern for CEOs according to a KPMG study. As employees follow the WFH model, especially now during the pandemic, new risks to data security of organizations open up.

Due to this, business leaders around the world recognize cybersecurity as the main concern in relation to their growth and operations over a three-year period. The top concerns after that are regulatory, tax, and supply chain issues. 

It’s essential to use a Corporate VPN when working with a network you have no control over. A VPN needs to be part of your WFH infrastructure, and remote WFH calls for it.

You need a secure WFH whether you are working in a co-working space, hotel, library, or local cafe.

There are many phishing attacks that can occur on networks that aren’t secure which can compromise your workforce and cost you a fortune if a data breach occurs. You need to work with fellow cloud collaboration tools where you are WFH secure and can send email securely. You need to feel safe using your WFH hotspot and broadband WFH portal.

When working remotely, you are mainly dealing with information technology WFH – a playground for anyone and everyone to work in. You need secure access to your work which is connected to the cloud. This is where your data needs to be protected, and such tools as a Cloud VPN need to be utilized.

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How to Motivate Employees for WFH

How can work from home improve company culture?

Even though WFH work is remote, company culture still comes up tops when it comes to job satisfaction (56% of employees agree according to a Glassdoor survey). At the moment, only 28% of the WFH workforce are freelancers.

By 2028, 73% of companies will allow their staff to work remotely. 90% of employees agree that remote work improves morale. 

Company culture is truly the heart of any business. It describes the values, goals, and mission of the company. It’s a combined effort that comes down from top-level management to HR and employees. 

It’s important when people are working remotely that HR keeps on top of things, and there are ways to nurture a positive culture:

Share Company Values

Values are of the utmost importance to any organization, as they form the concrete pillars that they stand on. It explains how the business works, and creates a positive work environment. A way to share this with remote workers is to:

  • Include values from the time of employment
  • Create weekly emails to share how values are being integrated
  • Establish recognition among WFH workers who exude company values

Improve Communication

In order for WFH to work among employees and colleagues, communication norms need to be established, such as chat best practices, simple WFH request email etiquette, and response time frames. This will prevent message fatigue, reduce constant interruptions, and make the flow of communication easier. Ways to do this are to:

  • Create a newsletter sharing the goals and achievements of different departments
  • Send out surveys for feedback
  • Make sure all employees have the most efficient communication tools and share how to send a WFH email

Increase Camaraderie & Avoid Isolation

One of the big drawbacks to WFH is the isolation employees feel – especially if they live without family. Over time, work becomes family. These are effective ways of keeping up that “family” spirit:

  • Create virtual motivational spaces that spark joy such as WhatsApp groups or Slack channels
  • Make after hour “virtual” social gatherings
  • Design wellness activities to do together after lunch

Prioritize Face-to-Face Meetings

It’s important to have one-on-one meetings or as a team, to catch up and discuss business, share ideas, and also socialize. It helps create a foundation of trust and makes workers feel part of the “family” team. These meeting should be:

  • Weekly one-on-ones for managers and employees
  • Video meetings to discuss skills and reinforce values
  • Sporadic meetings should any internal, personal, and out-of-the-ordinary happenings occur

Create Company Initiatives

Create virtual events so that everyone in the company can have fun and build up team spirit. Such activities can include:

  • Updating employees with important milestones 
  • Trivia nights
  • Home bingo with prizes

A strong WFH culture needs to be developed to empower employees and establish a strong form of trust between management and employees.

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Highlighting The Benefits of Perimeter 81 for WFH

Secured Remote Workforce: One of the most crucial areas for any organization is securing remote team access, especially in the new WFH model where employees are connecting to public hotspots and Wi-Fi outside of company premises. Perimeter 81 offers the highest level of Wi-Fi security and encryption to protect employees working remotely. 

Manage Team Member Access:  Managing user roles and granting permissions has never been easier. Perimeter 81 allows you to segment your network and allow specialized access to employees, contractors, partners, and other external vendors. 

Dedicated Servers & IP Addresses: Deploy high-speed, private servers and static IP’s within seconds to secure your valuable resources. Create dedicated gateways and servers to establish secured networks when employees are working from home or across multiple geographic locations.   

WFH FAQs

What is WFH?
WFH stands for Work from Home. It is the new norm in the post Covid-19 pandemic where employees have the flexibility to work remotely rather than come into the office physically.
Will WFH Be Permanent?
The short answer is yes. Businesses are seeing the increased value in a WFH model. According to Forbes, 74% of organizations plan to permanently shift employees to remote work after the Covid-19 crisis ends.
How Effective is WFH?
WFH is extremely effective for both companies and employees. Employees are more productive as they save both time and cost on travel and maintain a much healthier work-life balance.
What Are WFH Best Practices?
-Create a dedicated workspace 
-Use a Business VPN
-Set a routine and follow it
-Create a dedicated workspace 
-Set a routine and follow it
-Select the right accessories 
-Schedule breaks 
-Communicate with team members regularly
-Learn new skills 
-Dress smart 
-Go for a walk outside
How Can WFH Improve Company Culture?
-Emphasize company values and mission to keep everyone fully aligned with their goals
-Strengthen team communication and encourage feedback
-Reduce unnecessary meetings 
-Set responsibilities and expectations and install a level of trust among employees that are working remotely

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