The pandemic has changed everything we knew about working in the office and working from home. Work freedom through remote work was slowly catching on before 2020, but now the numbers are off the charts.
Consider a few recent statistics about working remotely:
- 41% of Americans were working remotely at the close of 2020
- 27% of the American workforce will remain full-time remote workers in 2021
- Over 36 million Americans will work solely from home by 2025
Are you an employer wondering if you should allow your employees to work from home, at least part-time? Are you an employee who hasn’t yet taken advantage of flexible remote work options?
The benefits of working from home may surprise you. In this post, we’ll consider seven work from home benefits you may not have considered before.
Keep reading to learn more about this new type of work freedom!
1You’ll Be Able to Focus Better
If you think you’ll get less done from a home office or co-working space, think again. A recent study from Stanford University found that the productivity levels of remote workers improved by 13%.
Is this really the case? Well, think about how many interruptions and distractions you deal with on a daily basis at the office.
A co-worker calls you or emails you with a question, then follows up with another one a few minutes later. You’re just finding your groove when you have to stop what you’re doing for (another) pointless team meeting. Then you grab a drink from the break room and get pulled into a half-hour conversation about the latest office gossip.
Before you know it, the workday is over — and you’ve barely gotten anything done.
Now imagine a quiet, private workspace in the comfort of your own home. There’s no idle office chat or annoying coworkers popping over to your desk to ask questions. You can temporarily mute notifications and messages so you can focus on getting your work done.
2No Commute Stress
How long is your daily commute to the office? The national average is around 26 minutes, which amounts to over 250 hours a year!
Others commute much farther for work, such as those who drive or take a train into big cities like New York or Washington DC. In fact, 3% of American workers are “extreme commuters” that travel over 90 minutes each way to their jobs. That’s a whopping 780 hours every year!
Imagine what you could do with all that extra time if you had no daily commute. The farthest you’d have to travel is from your bedroom to your home office, maybe swinging by the kitchen for a cup of coffee along the way.
Not only will you get more rest and feel more relaxed, but your physical and mental health will improve too. Long commutes raise your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, as well as increase feelings of anxiety and depression.
3Freedom to Choose Your Work Location
All you really need is a quiet place and a computer to work from home. But for many remote workers, the idea of “home” has taken on a whole new meaning.
There’s a lot to be said for location independence. For example, you can still enjoy a great salary and a fulfilling career even if you live in a small town or remote locale. If you live in the city, you’re free to work in your favorite coffee shop, library, or co-working center.
When travel opens up again, you could potentially become a digital nomad. These adventurous folks wander from city to city or around the world to experience life in different locales. As long as they have their computer and a stable internet connection, they can literally work from anywhere!
Remote jobs also offer work freedom for military spouses or family members of contract workers. Rather than having to “start over” with a new job in every new location, they can simply take their work with them to the next assignment.
4Improved Work-Life Balance
73% of job seekers say that work-life balance is their #1 priority when considering a new position. Flexible work options and a good working schedule are close behind at 68% and 66%.
Working remotely offers you the chance to find that delicate balance between your secular life and your personal life. Rather than wasting time commuting every day, you can sleep in longer (or wake up earlier to get some exercise). Rather than arriving home too exhausted to spend time with your family, you’ll step out of your office and everyone will already be together.
This kind of work freedom also allows you to structure your workday around the rest of your life — not the other way around. If you need to take your kids to school and pick them up afterward, you can slot those times off in your workday. If you want to sign up for a 10 am fitness class or walk your dog every day at 2 pm, you can arrange your schedule to suit your preferences.
Early birds can start and finish their workday early so they have more free time in the evenings. Night owls can relax or get errands done during the day and focus on work in the evenings when they’re mentally more alert.
No matter your circumstances or preferences, working remotely offers work freedom you never could have imagined.
5You’ll Save (A Lot of) Money
Depending on your location, you probably spend between $2,000 and $5,000 a year on transportation. The average American also spends close to $3,500 a year consuming food and drinks away from home.
Now imagine if your commute doesn’t involve putting more miles on your car or paying for public transportation. You might still pick up a coffee or have some food delivered occasionally, but you’re unlikely to eat out every day when you work from home.
What would you do with an extra $5,000-$8,000 you’re not spending on transportation and dining out?
Employers also have a lot to gain by allowing their employees to work from home. One estimate states that an employer will save as much as $11,000 a year for every employee who works remotely!
Let’s not forget the potential tax breaks that come with remote work too. You may qualify for a home office deduction, depreciation of work equipment, and other common write-offs during tax season.
6Meetings Will Be Shorter & More Effective
Ah, the dreaded office meetings. No amount of free donuts and coffee can make up for the fact that you had to wake up extra early and listen to your boss drone on about who-knows-what.
We’re not saying you’ll never have to sit through another team meeting, but it will have a whole different aura when everyone calls in remotely. All it takes is a few clicks to join workers from any location in a virtual setting to discuss business needs.
Virtual meetings tend to much shorter and to-the-point than meeting face-to-face. Programs like Zoom or Skype make it easy to upload and share documents with the entire team. You can also ask questions or leave comments via the chat feature without the need to interrupt the speaker.
7You Can Prioritize Your Health & Well-Being
We already touched on the health benefits of a shorter commute (or no commute at all). But think of the other ways working remotely could benefit your physical, mental, and emotional health.
For starters, you can take advantage of the times of day when you naturally feel more energetic. Want to wake up and start your day with a run around the neighborhood? Go for it — your work will be waiting for you when you get home.
On the other hand, there may be times when you need to get more sleep or devote more time to your family. Perhaps you want to pursue a fitness program, a course of study, or another hobby, but it didn’t fit into the traditional “9 to 5” mold. Over time, this can lead to burnout, increased stress levels, and decreased job satisfaction.
The benefits of working from home mean you won’t have to sacrifice your mental health. You won’t have to try to fit the most important aspects of your life around your work schedule.
Instead, you can prioritize the things that matter most to you — your family, your health, your pets, and your hobbies.
Work From Home Benefits: Work Freedom
So, what do you think? Are you ready to experience true work freedom and start loving your job again?
As we discussed above, the benefits of working from home are endless. From more flexible working hours to the ability to spend more time with your family, you may never want to return to the office again.
If your company offers the option of working remotely, why not try it, at least part-time? Remote work truly is the wave of the future, so now is the perfect time to get on board!
Now that you know the best work from home benefits, what’s next? Our site is full of more great tips and advice, so stick around and keep browsing our blog.