How to Make Working from Home Work

56% of managers say it’s likely that their company would allow the workforce to work remotely after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. However, Nicolas Bloom, believes working from home under current conditions is a productivity disaster.

4 productivity disaster-makers:

  1. Childcare.
  2. Space for a home office.
  3. Privacy.
  4. Choice. Right now, many are forced to work from home when they would prefer working from the office.

Bloom mentions 1,000 employees who were given the choice to work from home. 500 opted in. Six months later, 250 wanted to come back to the office.

However, BLUESCAPE’S survey indicates 38% of employees are happier working from home.


Top 4 challenges of working from home according to managers:

  1. Adapting my leadership skills to lead remote teams. 47%
  2. Putting into place processes that help employees be productive while working remotely. 43%
  3. Experiencing social isolation. 41%
  4. Having general anxiety about the impact of Coronavirus on my life. 32%

Top 4 challenges of working from home according to employees:

  1. Experiencing social isolation. 57%
  2. Having general anxiety about the impact of Coronavirus on my life. 50%
  3. Having the right technology to be productive. 40%
  4. Other. 37%

Skills for working from home:


4 tips that make working from home work:

You can’t chase shiny objects and be effective or efficient when you work from home.

#1. Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

I keep my office on the dark side with the windows covered and the lights dim. My problem is I fall in love with shiny objects.

#2. Know and leverage your attention span.

My attention span changes throughout the day. It’s longer in the morning and late afternoon and short after lunch.

Do hard work when you’re at your best.

#3. Establish small goals:

Deadlines, timers, and alarms create beginnings and endings. Ambiguity hampers focus.

#4. Take frequent short breaks.

What’s your take on the future of working from home?

What tips might you offer for successfully working from home?

Bonus material:

What if Working from Home goes on … Forever (NYTimes)

Hybrid Remote Work Offers the Worst of Both Worlds (Wired)

The Productivity Pitfalls of Working from Home in the Age of COVID-19 (Stanford)

The Long Unhappy History of Working from Home (NYTimes)