What are the advantages of remote working for both the employee and the employer?
Technology has changed our lives in so many ways, both big and small. It has changed the way we cook and travel, it has brought us closer to our friends and family, and has revolutionized the way that we shop.
Now it is changing things again, triggered in large part by the global lockdowns as the pandemic spread across the world in 2020. Industries everywhere are experimenting with remote working and developing their telecommuting facilities.
Potential benefits were recognized…
Changes are happening at an astronomic speed. There was an initial reluctance about the idea of working from home. Especially from the perspective of the employer, people were quick to recognize the potential benefits of teleworking. Both companies and employees had no choice but to reassess how to be both efficient and content in their working environments.
So, let’s take a look at what The Benefits of Working From Home are and how to stay productive!
Who Benefits From Remote Working?
This article has been written for the employees. For those of you on the fence about whether or not working from home is the right option for you, I will try and outline the benefits to both your work and home lives.
However, I have also included a few points for those of you who are keen to move across to telecommuting but need some help to convince your superiors. I will also give you some talking points that you can take into your next meeting. Virtual or otherwise, you can use them to convince your boss why they should let you take your laptop home.
Bottom line: Everyone benefits…
The simple answer to the question above is everyone. Whilst some industries benefit more than others, and some individuals who enjoy it more than the rest, there are advantages to some level of remote working for everyone; it’s simply about finding the right set up for you and your company.
Read more: What is Telecommuting?
Top 5 Benefits Of Remote Working
1 Work-Life Balance
This is the obvious one, and one of the benefits of working from home that you will no doubt have heard about many times over. Being able to work from home means having greater control over your hours and breaks, allowing you to create a work-life balance that fits your needs, not just the companies.
For families, this is particularly important. Having two working parents has gone from an anomaly to a common necessity in most households. The 40 hour week was designed with the idea that a housewife would be at home, cooking, cleaning, organizing, and helping the kids with their homework.
Enjoy your family time…
This is no longer the case, and giving one or both parents the benefits of telecommuting can lift a huge weight off of the emotional burden of trying to raise a family whilst still being committed to a full-time career.
Even not having to commute (which shall be discussed in more detail later on) can have a positive impact on work-life balance, as the loss of commuting time can be used to get the kids ready for the day, drop them off at school, or even just to have breakfast all together as a family.
Adapt your schedule to suit you…
Not to say that the benefits are limited to those with children. Remote working often goes hand-in-hand with flexible hours. Meaning those of you who are night owls or early birds can adapt your schedule to best fit your day, as opposed to the other way round.
People who enjoy exercising in the morning before work, perhaps start a little later. Those of you who enjoy a workout at lunchtime may choose to start a little earlier and then take a long break. As long as all of your work is getting done, the flexibility of adapting our routines around what works for us can be hugely empowering.
A point for your employer:
Happy workers with balanced work-life balances are statistically proven to be more productive at work. Their time ‘in-office’ is less distracted and more focused on the matters at hand.
2 You Can Work From Anywhere
Assuming you are going to be working remotely full-time, there is no limit to what this might mean for you. It’s all about finding a place where you can be productive and happy.
For example, there is an engineer who I interviewed for this article, who was informed last year by her Parisian employer that she would be now be working remotely. At first, she was shocked and worried about what the lack of a strict routine might do to her performance at work.
Design the life you want…
For the first month or so, she worked from her small apartment in Paris, disinterested in the work and frustrated at losing the social aspect of her time in the office. Then she realized she could work from anywhere.
As such, she moved out of her apartment and rented a small chalet in the French Alps. Her desk now has a snow-capped mountain view, and she gets to go skiing every lunch break. Her mental health, fitness, and productivity have all improved. She said she was able to develop a routine that works well for her. And everyone around her has benefited from it, including her employers.
The right environment…
Finding the right working environment is crucial when working remotely. You will not have colleagues to distract yourself with, so you have to make sure you are in a spot where it is comfortable to work for long periods. You may choose to settle in a beachside bar, cityscape cafe, or mountain-top ski chalet; the choices are pretty much endless.
A point for your employer:
Adapting to allow for remote working means that the company has access to a much wider pool of candidates for their next hire. If a company is set up to support telecommuting, they can then hire from any of the growing community of people working remotely, no matter where it is based.
3 The Commute
There is likely only a handful of people on this whole planet who enjoy a commute to work. For most of us, the commute is long, dull, and has always felt unnecessary. This is before we get into the amount of time that is lost whilst we wait on the highway, the underground, or the local bus.
The 2019 census reported that the average commute time was just under half an hour, making it an average of an hour round trip. If we assume that most people work five days a week for 50 weeks out of the year, that means the average American was spending just under 250 hours a year on transport. Nearly ten and a half full days spent sitting in traffic.
Saving the planet at the same time!
This is all before we start to mention the huge ecological benefits of reducing the number of people who ferry themselves in and out of work each day. With the technology and systems we have in place, those numbers are beginning to seem more and more unnecessary.
By cutting down the number of daily commuters, we could reduce the strain on our public transport routes, cut down the traffic on our highways, and give employees control over how they spend their mornings. All whilst also saving the planet, what’s not to love.
A point for your employer:
The obvious note is that anyone who is currently being paid travel time can instead use that time to work on actual projects. The loss in company commuters can also have a huge effect on a companies carbon footprint.
4 Shorter Meetings
Obviously, everyone loves a free coffee and a bagel. But at what cost?
Long, unnecessary meetings are a bugbear of anyone who has ever spent time in an American Workplace. Waiting for people to arrive, sorting through the small talk, fussing about with presentation software, and politely refusing to be the first to leave.
All of those things are no longer a problem with online meetings. No one has to travel in order to attend, so fewer people are late. Restricted meeting times and a lack of coffee-making time have cut small talk to a minimum. No one has to plug their laptops into anything; the presenting software is built into the meeting.
Meetings don’t drag on…
And perhaps best of all, most meetings (especially free ones) have a hard cut off to their meeting lengths, so employees have no choice but to stick to the topic. This is before we get into the benefits of attending meetings in your pajama bottoms with a fresh bowl of fruit (or piece of cake) tucked subtly behind your computer screen.
No one is arguing that in-person meetings should be shelved forever. With new projects and complicated problems, sometimes a big lock-in meeting will always be necessary. However, for a lot of small, day-to-day matters, the virtual meeting is not just fine but quite preferable.
A point for your employer:
No one enjoys an unnecessary meeting, and this will include your employer. We have always ‘conferenced’ people into meetings; however, this used to include an expensive set of hardware and twenty minutes of making sure the right number is calling in or out of the right device.
Video conferencing has become so advanced in recent years that the importance of being there in person is falling by the wayside. There is also an efficiency boost as employees, especially managers trying to work with a number of teams simultaneously, will not have to run from meeting to meeting. If anything, this benefit helps the decision-makers more than anyone else.
5 Saving You Money
Even for those of your considering working remotely part-time, there can be huge financial benefits to setting up a home office.
The savings vary from person to person, but on average, an individual can save around $4,000 a year by working from home. We have outlined some of the key savings below to show you how you might also save up those pennies.
Not just paying for fuel…
The big one is transportation cost. A serious consideration for any household, especially as gas prices continue to get more and more expensive for the consumer. The Bureau of Labour Statistics even recorded some Americans with a massive 47-mile daily commute.
That means a lot of refills, a lot of car maintenance, and a lot of highway snack stops. If you start working from home, that number gets cut to $0.
We could go into a lot of detail, but other savings avenues include:
- At-home lunches and coffees can save you from the cost of that daily Starbucks order. Working remote also allows you easy access to leftovers and makes it more likely that you are going to cook yourself a homemade dinner, rather than picking something up on your long commute home.
- Office clothing can have a huge effect on your monthly budget. Both the cost of the clothing itself and the cost of having your fancy two-piece suit dry-cleaned every week. Save yourself the cost, work from home. No one in your kitchen will mind you working in a polo or dressing gown.
- Tax breaks. Fabulous, fabulous tax breaks.
We can’t guarantee anything, and local tax regulations must be considered. Freelancers, the self-employed, and those with home offices may be entitled to home office deductions, healthcare expenses deductions, and pass-through deductions.
A point for your employer
This will be a significant consideration for your employer so remember. Mention the potential savings in overheads and building costs. As well as subsidies for commuters, and continuity of operations. These can be financial motivators for those companies willing to adapt their systems to accommodate telecommuters.
Making The Most Of Your Remote Working!
If you’d like to optimize your time when working from home, take a look at the Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home, or The Ultimate Guide To Remote Work: 900 Tips, Strategies and Insights and The Future of the Office: Work from Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face.
Next, we recommend reading up on the Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere, the Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work Wherever You Are, the Remote Work: Redesign Processes, Practices and Strategies to Engage a Remote Workforce, and How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace: Simple and Effective Tips all available online in 2023.
Make sure to create a space that allows you to be productive with the Beautifully Organized at Work: Bring Order and Joy to Your Work Life, or My Creative Space: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation, and The Practical Guide to Feng Shui: Create Harmony in Your Home, Garden and Office.
Perhaps working from home isn’t for you, but your life does require a more flexible setup. If so, check out Flexible Jobs That Let You Set Your Own Hours for jobs that can help you do just that.
Giving up going into the office isn’t an easy decision. There is an element of teamwork and comradery. This isn’t felt as easily over zoom as it is in a break room.
But every decision in life is about balancing the advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, this advice will put the benefits of working from home into context. And why it might be the right move for you.
Now you can start reaping the Benefits of Home Working!
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