Many companies are now giving employees the option to either work from home or in the office. Depending on your industry and preferred work environment, working from home could make you a more effective and efficient employee. In this article, we explain what working from home is and explore 20 benefits of working remotely.
Related: Ultimate Guide To Work-Life Balance
What is working from home?
Working from home, often called telecommuting or working remotely, refers to when an individual can complete their job out of the office and in an environment of their choosing. Through the development of technology, this option is becoming available to many professionals in a variety of companies and industries.
Related: What Is Remote Work?
20 benefits of working from home
There are countless advantages for employees who can work remotely.
Less time spent commuting
Some people's daily commute takes hours out of their day. When you work from home, it removes the need to struggle through crowds and traffic to get to the office, giving you more time in the day to do the things you need and want to do.
Related: What Is Telecommuting?
Increased productivity and performance
Working from home often results in a higher level of productivity because there are fewer distractions. Additionally, you spend less time getting to work, giving you the ability to work for longer each day.
Improved work-life balance
One of the primary benefits of working from home is the freedom to do the things that make you happy. Whether that means being able to spend more time with the ones you love, attending a yoga class or taking your dog on a walk, you can create a work schedule that fits your life and priorities instead of the other way around.
Ability to stay connected
Even though working remotely means that you are out of the office, you can remain connected with co-workers through applications and video conferences.
Custom work environment
When you work from home, you can choose the exact environment that fosters personal productivity. Your desk, chair, noise level, view and even your location are all adaptable so you can create an environment that works with your life.
Healthier choices and lifestyle
When you work from home, you have more control over the food you eat. For example, instead of buying a bag of chips from the vending machine for an afternoon snack, you could eat the fruits or vegetables in your fridge.
In addition to a healthier diet, working from home allows you to take a break to exercise or stretch, activities that are less acceptable in a traditional office setting. In fact, some remote workers leave the house to go on a run or attend an exercise class in the middle of the day. Overall, working from home allows you the freedom and flexibility to create a healthier life.
Less time spent in meetings
Video and audio conference calls allow workers to connect easily, regardless of location. Members of these meetings can easily share documents and comments through messaging or by turning their audio function on. Ultimately, these types of meetings are often shorter than in-person meetings because:
- There are fewer interruptions
- It minimizes idle chatter
- Everything needed is easily accessible
More environmentally friendly
With the need for a daily commute eliminated, that means that you are using less gas and therefore decreasing your carbon footprint. Additionally, the energy needed to run an office's air conditioning and lighting is exponentially more than the energy it takes for your house.
Work from anywhere
Working remotely usually means that you can also work from anywhere. Whether it's the coffee shop down the street or one on the other side of the globe, you will still have access to your work. This flexibility will allow you to travel or even move without affecting your employment.
Less need for sick days
Working in an office while sick can be difficult, but it's much more manageable if you can work from home. If your company doesn't distinguish between paid time off (vacation vs. sick days), this will ultimately result in you having more time for a vacation.
Decreased likelihood of spreading sickness
Another major benefit of working from home is the fact that getting sick will be far less common. In addition to avoiding the flu or cold that is getting passed around the office, you can prevent spreading your own germs when you get ill.
More time spent actually working
Though working from home comes with its own set of distractions and challenges, it usually improves productivity and performance because there is more time spent working instead of:
- Talking to co-workers
- Being distracted by a nearby colleague talking loudly
When you work from home, you can save money in a lot of different ways, because it eliminates the need to:
- Buy lunch
- Purchase professional clothing
- Buy coffee
- Pay for commuting to and from work (with gas or a bus pass)
Working remotely usually means that you can develop a routine that works best for you. For example, you can eat lunch whenever you feel like it, take a break at any point or call a family member in the middle of the day. Additionally, if you are more of a morning or night person, you can work during a time in which you are more focused and alert.
Related: 11 Online Jobs for Work Flexibility
Because you can choose or create an environment that works for you, your focus and productivity will improve. Without the distractions of daily office life, you will be able to accomplish more in less time.
Avoid office politics
Without having to work near your colleagues, it eliminates some of the elements that lead to a hostile or negative work environment. This is because there is usually less gossip and office politics among remote workers.
When you work from home, you can develop skills that are unnecessary in an office. For example, aside from self-motivation and regulation, you may find that your writing skills improve because you have to do most of your work via email or chat.
Wear comfortable clothes
Most remote workers will agree that being able to wear comfortable clothing is a definite advantage of working from home. Whether you wear pajamas all day or put on exercise clothes to keep you active as you work, your outfit will be much more comfortable than the business casual clothing that you often need in an office.
Ability to do chores while working
You can also improve your work-life balance by eliminating the need to spend free time doing certain tasks. If you're telecommuting, you could, for example, take a break to water the plants or do a load of laundry in the middle of your workday.
Option to take midday breaks
While working from home, you have the ability to take breaks whenever you need them. Whether you take 30 minutes to go for a walk, meditate or take a power nap, you can return to work re-energized and more productive.