Whether you’re experiencing remote work for the first time in an effort to practice social distancing or you’ve been working remotely for years, there are many advantages to working from home.
In this post, we’re looking at eight of the top benefits of working from home and how they can help you be more efficient.
8 benefits of working remotely
- Save time on the commute
- Be environmentally friendly
- Get more sleep
- Relax the dress code
- Reduce stress levels
- Save money
- Have more control over your work environment
- Be more tech savvy
Save time on the commute
Be environmentally friendly
Get more sleep
Relax the dress code
Reduce stress levels
Have more control over your work environment
Be more tech savvy
When you’re working from home, your commute is from your bedroom to your computer. You don’t have to factor in the (unpaid) time required to drive or take the train to the office. There’s no traffic to deal with and no inclement weather to consider.
Some of the time you don’t spend commuting you can use instead practicing a healthy morning exercise routine. Research shows that people who exercise on a workday have a more positive outlook and more energy than those who don’t. Just 10 minutes of exercise in the morning gives you an endorphin boost that can improve your productivity for the rest of the day.
The U.S.’s total greenhouse emissions from transportation equated to roughly 1,786 million metric tons in 2014, much of it from simply driving to and from work. Working from home reduces carbon emissions.
Living a greener lifestyle may not be what motivates you to work from home, but reducing your carbon footprint is a considerable benefit of working from home.
Our workaholic culture views sleeping as wasted time. But how productive is it to crash your car? Tens of thousands of car accidents each year are caused by people dozing at the wheel.
Working from home is probably the simplest way to resolve the conflict between getting sufficient sleep and being productive (or at least feeling like you are). People typically make the time for a long commute by waking up early. Working from home gives you back that time to sleep.
Not getting enough sleep is a slippery slope toward career burnout and poor performance. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.
Business casual on top with PJs or sweatpants, anyone? A big advantage of working from home is that you really only need to be presentable from the waist up, and then only for video calls.
Unfettered by the office dress code, you’re free to wear more comfortable clothes. You can spend more time focusing on your work and less time on how itchy your wool sweater is, how tight your dress pants feel after a big client lunch, or how your feet hurt from your new shoes.
In your own home, you can create a relaxing workspace with houseplants and family photos. You may not have a couch in your office, but nearly everyone has a couch at home, so spend time working from your couch if you feel like it. The boss won’t know.
Need a break from composing that memo? You can get up to stretch, take your dog for a long walk, or throw in a load of laundry.
The constant struggle for work-life balance isn’t nearly such a struggle when you have no commute and have much more discretion in how to use your time, all of which lowers stress levels. You can go to the grocery store at an off-peak time when it’s less crowded and be home for a family dinner every night, without worrying that you aren’t putting in enough hours.
Remote workers save an average of $4,000 each year simply by not commuting to their jobs or buying lunches and coffee; plus they spend less on clothes thanks to the more relaxed WFH dress code.
Independent contractors and the self-employed can take advantage of many tax breaks. Ask your accountant to help you deduct expenses for your home office and other business-related things.
You might even be able to write off a portion of your rent or mortgage if you have a designated office space.
When you work from home, you control your workspace and face fewer potential distractions. In the office, it’s easy for someone to drop by your desk for small talk. At home, coworkers can’t do this. You can set your schedule to take advantage of your most productive times and endure fewer distractions.
For example, set up a home office where you can separate yourself from outside distractions like kids playing or the sounds of the TV. One way to keep yourself from getting distracted is to use the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes of work, then give yourself a five-minute break.
Remote work requires you to become familiar with a variety of tech tools and software. For example, connecting with coworkers means that you’ll need to use Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or other conferencing and chat software.
This means that you’ll become more tech-savvy and capable of troubleshooting small issues as they arise.
Working remotely can put you in the right mindset, but you’ll still need to put in the effort to be productive. Show up every day with a positive attitude, work hard, and enjoy the benefits of working from the comfort of your own home.