When I first started working from home, I was a bit apprehensive about if it was right for me or not. I knew nothing of the benefits of remote working. At the time, I was commuting 1 hour each way to the office. I didn’t have a ton of time for extra things beyond work. So, when the opportunity came up to take a mostly remote position, I was definitely interested. I took the job and never looked back.
Before you choose to look for a work from home yourself, you need to do your research.
When you are weighing your options, you do need to consider the drawbacks of remote working. However, you do need to think about how remote work can benefit you.
7 Benefits of Remote Working
1. No Commute
One of the biggest advantages of telecommuting is the reduced commute time. The US Census Bureau reports that the average worker in 2019 spent 27.6 minutes every day on a one-way commute. If you do not live close to your job, this number can be even higher. A long commute takes time away from your family, friends, and just doing what you want to do. It can take up a substantial portion of your day.
Additionally, if you are commuting, you are wasting your valuable money on things like gas and public transportation fees just to even get to work. You may even be paying parking fees every day if you are in a more urban area.
Personally, for me, this was one of the biggest benefits of remote working. I saved 2 hours each day round-trip and $8 per day in parking fees just by switching to a remote job.
2. You Can Wear What You Want
A big advantage of working from home is you can wear whatever you want to work within reason.
If you have a video meeting, you may have to worry about being partially presentable. However, most of the time, you can wear more comfortable clothes than you would traditionally wear in the office. If you wanted to, you could even start your day in your pajamas and wait until you have a meeting to get dressed.
Additionally, even a partially remote schedule can save you money drastically when it comes to buying clothes if your company has a business or business casual dress code.
3. It is Great for Parents
It may be hard to provide full-time childcare and work simultaneously at home. Although you may not save on daycare, there are a lot of benefits for families.
If your kids are older or are spending the day at home, you can spend your lunchtime with them. You also may have the flexibility to be home when they leave for school or get home from school which reduces the amount of hassle you have to deal with as a parent.
You also may have the flexibility to provide childcare if you absolutely need to. For example, if your child were to get sick during the day, you may be able to leave and take care of them. Then come back and finish out your workday if your boss is understanding. This can be a big relief because you can be there for your kids if you need to be.
Finally, you can also convert the time you lost doing a commute before to family time.
4. It Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Telecommuting also has the potential to improve your work-life balance depending on how good you are at enforcing the boundary between the two. If you put in good mechanisms in place to enforce work-life balance, you may find yourself with more free time.
As a remote worker, you do not have to worry about dressing up for the office, commuting, or having to go out for lunch when you don’t feel like it.
It is true that when you work from home, you do have to work. However, a lot of telecommuting jobs do still give you more flexibility. For example, you can throw in some laundry when you have a few minutes. You can relax or run errands on your lunch break as you see fit.
If you have kids, it may be easier for you to get them to and from school and work around their activities.
5. You Can Find a Job Anywhere in the World
When you are looking for a fully remote job, you are far less restricted by geography as far as which companies you can apply to in comparison to a traditional worker. Some remote positions have geographical locations where an applicant may live, especially if they must periodically go into the office. However, it still expands your options. This can be great if you live in a rural area where not there is not much opportunity or if you live in an area that doesn’t offer much in your industry.
You could apply for a company that is even based across the country as a remote worker that you would never want to apply for if the job required you to relocate.
Additionally, as a remote worker, you will likely have more opportunities to travel yourself as you can be based in a different location even on days when you are working.
6. You Might Be More Productive
For some people, working from home will make them more productive.
Remote workers often have a quieter, more focused environment in their home office. This is an advantage because there is far less of a chance that you will be interrupted by office chatter. This will allow you to do your work more quickly as you will not have to change your train of thought as often as you would have to in the office.
This could be advantageous as it could help you advance in your career.
7. You Will Likely Have More Freedom and Flexibility
As a remote worker, you will usually have more freedom.
When you are not working in the office, managers often have to trust that you will do your job. If you like to work independently, a remote position might be perfect for you.
Additionally, you will probably also have more flexibility. You may still have certain hours where you are expected to be available. In general though, you will have more flexibility to schedule your day how you want since you are not bound to the office. This can make things like scheduling doctors’ appointments or childcare much easier.
Some employers may even let you completely set your own hours. This can be perfect if you are an early bird or a night owl since it will ultimately give you the freedom to work when you feel your best and most productive.
The Bottom Line on the Benefits of Remote Working
Although there can be drawbacks to working from home, there are numerous benefits of remote working that can make you a happier and healthier worker. However, the bottom line is only you can decide if working from home is right for you.
In the end, for me personally, it was the right choice for me, but you need to weigh the pros and cons for you personally before making your decision.