There have been a lot of articles written about remote working so this blog post is not new news. I have been working remotely (and in my case, out of my home) since 2014 after 20+ years working in a “traditional” office, so this post provides my unique perspective.
I often get asked “How do you like it?” with some concerned for my well-being, like working remotely is a bad thing. I can tell you for my situation it’s definitely not. If fact, it’s quite the opposite. Now, working in a “traditional” office would be a challenge and listed below are my five benefits of working remotely.
I am less distracted. Some people might think working remotely is more distracting (tv, refrigerator, pets, child, etc.), but for me it’s not. I am very disciplined and treat each day like I’m going to the office. I get up early, shower, dress for the day (yes, sometime in shorts or sweatpants) and am at my desk between 8-9AM every day. I don’t let home conveniences distract me. And I no longer deal with well intentioned colleagues or subordinates interrupting me on tasks they deem a priority but are not.
Yes, I work more. This can be both a positive and a negative. I no longer commute (in the NYC area, the average commute is approximately 2.5 hours/day) and combined with being less distracted, I work more. And I also have to remind myself to take breaks to recharge. A ConnectSolutions study also found that 77 percent of remote workers get more done in fewer hours thanks to fewer distractions. This is definitely true for me.
I am more productive. This is the ultimate benefit for any company. I am less distracted so not only do I work more, but my work product is better. Also, working from home vs. taking up overhead space in an office, I’m actually saving the company more money.
I have more flexibility in my day. Having the flexibility to do the daily errands (exercise, groceries, doctor appointments, etc.) during the week vs. on weekends is the most important advantage for me. Plus, the ability to see your kids soccer game or recital is priceless. Working in an office doesn’t prevent this but we all know how difficult it can be to leave work early or exercise during lunch. Many companies promote work/life balance but don’t follow through on these promises.
I am healthier: Commuting less and having fewer distractions makes me a much more productive worker. I am less anxious and stressed which we all know is great for our health. I also have a dog and working from home, I get to see my dog all the time. Research studies have found that people who have pets have healthier hearts, are sick less often, get more exercise, and are less depressed.
Coming next is Part 2 of this blog post for the disadvantages of working remotely and traits you need successfully work from home.