Remote working may be more productive than travelling to the office for most people, according to experts.

With the spread of Covid-19 thousands of regional employees have been forced to work from home for the first time in their careers and many have found the experience beneficial.

According to global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky, nearly a third (31 per cent) of workers said they were spending more of their time actually working than they did before.

“People who work from home report finishing more daily tasks and feeling better about their accomplishments,” regional Bahrain-based AI expert and president of Artificial Intelligence Society Dr Jassim Haji told the GDN.

“Not only are people working from home more productive, but they also spend less of their day on work-related tasks.

“One of the biggest benefits that they gain through working remotely is that they no longer have to commute to work, additionally, it helps the environment by decreasing the number of people taking cars, trains or buses to and from the office.

“People who work from the office spend around 5.5 hours a day on their digital devices, anything between 1.1 to 4.6 hours in meetings and on average 54 minutes commuting.”

Dr Haji said that he could also speak from personal experience having worked from home during a time he was associated with American multinational corporations between 1998 and 2008.

He added that text messages, phone calls and social media were all forms of distractions too and were perhaps the biggest challenges to the new home working experience.

There are steps, however, that people can take to stay focused such as silencing phones and working in an office-like space.

Other suggestions to increase effectiveness whilst remote working were to take short breaks, move around during working hours and grab a healthy snack.

“Set work hours and maintain the same schedule you did when you went into the office,” he urged.

“Following a routine can help you feel more structured and efficient, and even help keep your attention focused.

“Write down what you wish to accomplish each day so you are not jumping from assignment to assignment. Also, now that you and your team are working remotely, communication is critical. It helps to set daily or weekly meetings where you and your team discuss and prioritise projects, including deadlines, so you can stay on track.

“If you are an employer, consider using video conferencing to get your employees together at least once a week, so they still feel like they’re part of the team.”

However, it’s all about balance, as too much contact ‘might hinder performance’, he warned.

The GDN reported last week that an urgent proposal to allow remote working to continue permanently was forwarded to the Cabinet.

It is being spearheaded by five MPs, led by Parliament’s public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman Hamad Al Kooheji, who believes a physical presence in the office may no longer be necessary.

Mr Al Kooheji said the success of remote working during the Covid-19 crisis had shown it to be a healthy, more effective option.

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