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How To Stay Happy Working From Home

How To Stay Happy Working From Home

Over the last decade, jobs in Vancouver and other regions have become increasingly online-accessible, and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated that growth. As a result, today:

  • 68% of Canadian employers have adopted a flexible workplace structure enabling at least some employees to work from home.
  • About 40% of all jobs in Vancouver are currently full-time remote positions, up from about 8% in 2016 and just 3% in 2011.

Moreover, even before the pandemic, at least 70% of Canadians worked from home at least one day per week (on par with the rest of the global job market). About half of those positions enabled remote work for at least 2.5 days per workweek.

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Who Benefits From Working From Home?

The growing body of research showing that remote work is often better for both employees and employers has driven the global trend towards home-based work.

For example, 67%-81% of home-based employees have lower stress levels and higher morale — and also demonstrate improved work engagement, attendance, productivity, and performance — than they did while working in-office.

Consequently, employers offering at least half-week workshifting can save as much as $11,000 in overhead and lost productivity per employee.

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The Best Way To Stay Happy While Working From Home? Make It Social & Make It Part-Time

The ugly truth about workshifting is that a home-anchored workspace is not automatically (or guaranteed to be) an improvement, and Canadians often either love or vehemently hate home-based work.

This is especially true for people who transition to remote work suddenly and/or without an option to do otherwise. In these cases, cultivating happiness while working from home can be challenging. That is primarily because:

  1. The isolation of remote work damages their sense of value to and purpose at the company; and
  2. Home workspaces are often distracting and make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

That is why just 5% of remote workers see themselves still working with their current employer in five years; 95% are planning or already beginning their job search. Plus, it explains why:

  • Up to 88% of current full-time remote employees long to go back to work outside the house, even if it is only for part of the workweek.
  • Although 77% of Canadians believe flexible workplace arrangements are the “new normal,” only 64% hope to continue doing some home-based work in the future.

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What To Do When Working From Home Goes Wrong

Sometimes, team-based and/or partially in-person work is not an option or is not sufficient to make people happy doing home-based work for long periods. Nevertheless, job market experts note that people holding remote jobs in Vancouver or elsewhere are not without other options to reach and sustain happiness, even when times are tough.

Expert- & Science-Backed Strategies To Stay Happy Doing Home-Based Work

If none of the following actions can keep you feeling happy while working from home, that is a sign it may be time to start your job search for a position with greater in-office time and opportunities for teamwork.

  1. Establish a daily routine that parallels an in-person workday. This includes setting specific working hours, wearing professional clothing while working, limiting access to at-home distractions during the workday, and taking timed breaks.
  2. Prioritize tasks to cultivate a “flow” mindset (minimize disruptive task switching and more easily become absorbed in the work at hand).
  3. Maintain a high-efficiency home-anchored workspace. The boundaries around dedicated workspaces tend to disintegrate over time, so intentionally maintaining a separate physical and mental space just for work is a continuous project.
  4. Manage clients’ (and coworkers’/managers’) expectations about your working hours and accessibility while at home.
  5. Reach out to coworkers outside of work activities; build a support system and a social connection to the team/company.
  6. Seek out coworking spaces where doing individual work may not feel so isolating (and things at home will not be distracting).


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