Maybe you’re considering the transition to remote work, but you’re not sure what to expect. Or maybe you’re an employer, and you don’t know whether to return to the office or adopt a more permanent remote work policy.
Either way, this article is for you. Here, we’ll look at the benefits of remote work. We’ll cover the benefits for both employees and employers, as well as who can benefit the most from a transition to working remotely.
With this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you can get out of it, and whether or not remote work is for you.
One of the biggest benefits of remote work is that you can strike a greater work-life balance.
Remote positions generally mean that you have more control over your schedule, with a more task-completion focus rather than a solid eight hours spent in front of your computer.
With this, you can spend more time with family, carry out tasks and chores in between work, incorporate fitness activities, meditate, enjoy hobbies, and so on.
Being able to complete medical personal tasks in the week also frees up time on the weekend for much-needed rest and recuperation, as well as social activities.
Not all companies are the same, though, so be sure to check if this is alright, first. That being said, if your remote work company is still time-focused, you’ll still enjoy a better work-life balance. This is because, with less time traveling to and from the office, you can still reap all of these benefits.
Working from home has a positive impact by reducing the stress levels of employees.
This stems from the flexibility to enjoy personal time and activities outside of work, as well as quality time with your family, which results in a more relaxed mindset.
This is also owed to having personal space without the external chaos of busy office space. We can often experience second-hand stress from being around others who are also stressed, so having personal space cuts this down.
While you may think that not interacting with people physically may lead to a decline in communication, this is not the case at all.
Not seeing co-workers and managers regularly means that you are forced to communicate via email or other virtual workspaces. This means that any communication that takes place is deliberate and meaningful, and you are required to communicate what you need to
straightforwardly and concisely.
Drafting most communication in writing is also a great way to improve your language and written communication skills, which is an increasingly important skillset to have.
While an office space can be a fantastic place to socialize and befriend colleagues, it also often comes with a negative side of it: office politics.
Any place with a large number of people working together every day is bound to see clashes, tension, and strained connections. This means that even if you are not directly involved in any issues, you will likely have to deal with awkward meetings and gossip around the water cooler.
While this is not guaranteed to go away in a remote setting, it is far easier to detach from it. If there are disagreements or clashes, the ability to log off and cool down on your own does wonders to resolve issues easier and create a more harmonious team dynamic.
Almost every aspect of a remote work setting contributes to improved mental health in some way or another.
Having more time with your friends and family, getting in exercise and movement every day, freeing up weekend time, having greater control over your diet, and being able to breathe and meditate in a personal space, plus many more features will result in you feeling far healthier mentally, and probably physically, too.
Use the extra time to take up hobbies, read books, try new recipes, or anything that you feel might spark joy. This will inevitably make you feel a whole lot lighter, and also increase your energy during working hours.
Whether you drive to the office or take the public transport route, the commute to and from work can be exhausting, stressful, and time-consuming.
With some daily commutes averaging more than an hour per day, it can rob you of valuable time that you might rather spend working, or taking as downtime. It can also result in you arriving at work tired or frustrated, which is not the ideal way to start a long day.
Commuting to work can also be extremely costly. This includes the price of fuel for driving every day, especially in traffic, along with the cost of public transport which can add up to an enormous total per month.
Skipping this commute can save you a great deal of money, which you can use on other expenses, or put into savings. If you are no longer required to drive to work every day, you might even find that you can sell or downgrade your car.
If you work from home, the only commute you would have to worry about is from your bed to your desk. This allows you more hours of sleep, which reduces stress and increases productivity.
If you rely on the commute for your steps for the day, you can use the extra time you gain in remote work to get in an equivalent workout in the morning and/or afternoon or take a lunchtime stroll around your neighborhood.
Remote work generally means that you can work from any location, so long as you have a stable internet connection and the necessary equipment to carry out tasks and duties.
This means that you have the flexibility to work from home, at a cafe, from a friend’s or family member’s house, or even in an outdoor setting if you want to soak up some sun.
If you are adventurous, you can even take a ‘workation’. This means that you can travel to another city or country, and stay for a few days without taking time off.
What is even more popular with remote workers is temporarily moving to a place for 2-3 months, renting out accommodation, and working from there. This allows you to carry out all duties as normal and experience your new environment during the evenings and breaks.
Another major upside to this is that you can relocate to a different city. This can be ideal for those whose offices are based in an expensive city, who want lower costs of living without losing the opportunities.
You can also move to a city or state to be closer to friends and family.
If a company works remotely, it is more likely to be more inclusive in its hiring practices.
This means that if you are located in a different city, state, or country, there is a chance that you will be considered for a role that may ordinarily only go to someone who lives within the company’s area of operation.
It also allows you to join a workforce of people from vastly different locations, backgrounds, and cultures. A truly diverse workforce can be rewarding in many ways, including learning a broader scope of information and perspectives, gaining worldly knowledge, and networking with people across the globe.
Having control over your schedule is common when working from home, and allows you to focus on meeting your deliverables, rather than biding time to make up the hours of your day.
Often in an office, employees might stretch out tasks to cover eight hours of a workday.
But, a remote setting means that the focus shifts to getting your work done by a deadline, even if that only takes a few hours in the day to complete. After all, it achieves the same result, just in a shorter time.
This enables you to choose when and how you work best. You may prefer to finish all work as soon as it comes in or have a planning process that means completing the actual task closer to the deadline.
It can also suit those who might prefer to work in the early hours of the morning and schedule meetings in the afternoon or night owls who want meetings in the morning so that they can get into the crux of their work later on.
While you may be able to enjoy the social aspect of an office, there is no denying that it can often be a very distracting place to work.
With the constant drone of ringing phones, chatter between colleagues, noisy computers and fans, and the clicking of keyboards, getting a task done can take twice as long as it should due to all the external disturbances.
With remote work, you can enjoy a quieter space that allows you to think and work productively, with no distractions.
Most offices are already set up and allow you to add minor personal effects like a few pictures and desk accessories.
When working from home, you can go crazy in customizing your office setup.
Personalizing an office space that excites you will increase your productivity and motivate you in your work. You can choose a desk and chair that suits your physical needs and provides optimum comfort, which is key for long working hours.
Adding personal touches like pictures and accessories also brings the space together to make it enjoyable for you.
You might also want to set up a small speaker for music or white noise, and you can have a fan or a heater close by, depending on the season. The bottom line is that you will not have to worry about how your setup might affect others, so you can add anything you want.
When you are a remote worker, you save thousands each year on expenses like transport and fuel, clothing, parking, and food/beverages. Some costs are smaller than others, but they can all add up to a whopping amount.
Remote work can come with its own set of costs, like increased utility bills, higher internet costs, more groceries, and so on. But, this will usually add up to less than what you would spend while based at an office.
That being said, some companies with remote workforces may offer you a stipend to set up your home office and cover the added costs that come from being at home full-time.
Before remote work became such a norm, there was the ever-prevalent question of whether working from home would mean that employees slacked off, and decreased their productivity.
But, we now see that is the total opposite. Productivity levels increase in a remote position.
This is because having flexibility over your schedule, as well as more time at your disposal as a result of no commute, means that it is easier to complete work by the deadline.
What’s more, having your own space to work means less distraction and the ability to create your perfect office setup, which will lead to a more productive workday.
Employees working from home means a mass decline in transport, especially with cars, which has had an enormously positive impact on pollution levels and greenhouse gas emissions.
This is also spurred on by companies downsizing, or giving up office buildings. The reduction in energy and water usage, and even the amount of paper used, has given the climate change mitigation programs a major boost in the process.
With so many organizations going in this direction, there is the potential for major environmental relief on a mass scale, which is a much-needed boost needed in the fight against climate change.
Working from home means that you can have greater control over your meals during the day, as well as more time to work out before or after work, or during breaks.
Skipping the morning commute allows you to start the day with a good, hearty breakfast. You can avoid having to rush out of the office for the most convenient lunch option, and take some time to prepare a nutritious midday meal that you will reap the most benefits.
Finally, the eliminated commute back home also gives you more time to prepare or buy dinner after your workday ends. It is also easier to snack throughout the day when working from home.
With a plethora of home workout options available online, including live virtual classes that you can attend, fitting in exercise time is never easier than when you are remote. You can even get some fresh air with a walk or run around your area, or break up your day with a visit to the gym.
More time at your disposal and greater flexibility mean that you can fit in activities to courses that enable you to gain more knowledge and learn new skills.
You can sign up for a variety of different online courses, or attend part-time in-person classes, depending on your schedule.
Even increasing the number of books you read with your disposable time can be a valuable form of education.
Employees with young children at school or home can find it difficult to juggle work with school pick-up and drop-off, homework, or even just quality time with their kids.
Remote work offers flexibility that allows you to be there for your kids in whichever way they need. If you work remotely, you do not have to stress about being absent from major milestones, and you can be more involved in your child’s day-to-day activities.
If you live in a remote area that is not near major industrious hubs, remote work allows you the opportunities for a greater range of jobs, regardless of the proximity to you.
This avoids a long-distance commute that can be tiring and costly. You have more flexibility, and even if you are required to attend occasional in-person meetings or events, the commute does not have to be done every day.
People who are living with health issues can face difficulties in having to be at the office every day.
Remote work allows these individuals more flexibility for regular treatment, at-home care, doctor’s appointments, and so on. For those with high-risk conditions, not being exposed to a large number of people every day also lessens the chance of viral infections or illness.
People with disabilities might face challenges in the office setup, and remote work offers a favorable solution to this.
Firstly, the commute can be an arduous task, especially if public transport forms part of it. Many offices might not be set up in a highly accessible way, making it an uncomfortable experience for disabled individuals.
Working from home means being able to focus solely on the work that needs to be done, rather than the stresses of getting around spaces that are not laid out to make it easier.
Many forms of anxiety can be triggered in the process of having to commute to and work within an office. Social anxiety is one of the main types.
If you struggle with social anxiety, then being surrounded by many people for several hours in the day can become overstimulating and daunting.
Being able to work from home means that you can separate yourself from that, and you have complete control over who you have physical and social interactions with.
This also eases your anxiety and allows you complete focus on your work, rather than feeling stressed or overwhelmed because of your environment.
Most large organizations tend to be located in a few major cities. These cities will, more often than not, have a much steeper cost of living than others.
With remote work, even if your company is based in a city like New York or San Francisco, you can look at the option of living in another city or state with far lower costs of living.
This allows you to save more money in the long-term, and create a better quality of life. It is also a plus if you locate yourself closer to family and/or friends.
Everybody has a unique home situation, and some may be in the position of caring for a parent, spouse, or any other family member that may be ill or elderly.
With remote work, this can be possible. Being based at home allows you to care for someone while working at the same time. The flexible hours also help to make this happen.
This can also save money if you would ordinarily have to hire someone to do it for you, which is handy in the long run.
The benefits of remote work for employees are many, but there are also proven upsides for employers.
Firstly, the increased levels of productivity and performance in employees translate to a more efficiently run business. Work is done faster and at a higher quality, and it is done more autonomously, which results in somewhat automated operations with reduced need for hand-holding and hands-on management.
Secondly, the company saves a packet on overhead and expenses. Downsizing or eliminating office space cuts hefty rental costs, along with utility bills and other office expenses. Paired with the first benefit, companies are bound to see an increase in profit and turnover.
The next benefit is being more competitive in the job market. Many employees, even those at the highest levels, are actively seeking a job that allows them to work remotely. Offering this will attract top talent to the business, and this can create an astounding team of employees.
Finally, it also ensures high retention levels. Employees are more likely to be satisfied with the benefits and flexibility of a remote job, and will probably not look to leave or seek work elsewhere if they have this setup secured.
Remote work has become somewhat of a new normal, and most employees are looking for these types of positions, putting pressure on employers to ensure that their business model allows for this type of setup.
The benefits that come from remote work are endless. The flexibility of remote work is most notable, as it allows the employee more time and ability to carry out other tasks, enjoy hobbies and leisure activities, spend time with friends and family, and just strike a better work-life balance overall.
While remote work benefits everyone, some could specifically use this type of setup for their own needs. This includes parents, long-distance commuters, people with health issues and disabilities, socially anxious people, those looking to cut living costs, and those who have family care responsibilities.
Employers also stand to gain a lot more from allowing employees to work remotely, which has been proven over time. They will see an increase in productivity, performance, profits and turnover, retention, and competition in the jobseeker’s market.
It’s clear that there are many benefits to working from home, for all parties involved.