In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced most companies to send their employees home and work remotely. As the world returns to a “new normal” and businesses start to reopen, many employees intend to continue working that way.
Changing habits were a little stressful at first, dealing with technology and managing to merge work with the family in the same environment. Today people are aware of the benefits of the practice. It is possible to be productive and focused even without being in an office, sometimes even more.
If you are looking for a telecommuting job or considering the possibility of suggesting a home office routine to your employers, take a look at this list of key benefits for working remotely.
1. More Flexibility
The best part about remote jobs is that you can have more scheduling flexibility without needing to live close to work to arrive early or meet traditional business hours. For example, you can give yourself or your family some time during the day and then schedule an appointment as work hours later on at night.
Flexible schedules allow someone telecommuting to choose exactly when they want to work as long as they meet their deadlines. This means that those who work best at night can do their jobs at dawn, something that would be impossible following traditional office hours. Flexibility also extends to breaks. It’s possible to do things you could never do at the office, like watching a series episode, playing with the kids, or just taking a nap on the couch.
2. No Commute
A recent study found that traffic delays dropped nearly 50 percent in major US cities in 2020 due to work from home. Without having to drive to work, Americans spent an average of 26 hours in traffic jams last year, 73 hours less than the year before.
In addition to saving time and money on fuel, not having to drive to work has a very positive effect on your physical and mental health. There is less stress and anxiety due to time lost in traffic, less risk of accidents with fewer cars in circulation, and lower incidence of respiratory problems due to the decrease in air pollution.
The time saved on commuting to and from the office also allows you to focus on your well-being. You can exercise, read a book, spend more time with the family, or simply rest.
3. More Job Opportunities
Several companies realized the advantages of a home office and offered more remote job opportunities than ever before. A 2021 LinkedIn’s Economic Graph study found that the percentage of job openings on the website offering the work from home option soared 457 percent.
This allows you to have a much greater variety of work opportunities and get a good job without moving to another city and leaving your dream location. Remotely, you can even work for an international company from the comfort of your own home. Depending on your time availability and mood, it’s even possible to manage two jobs or freelance at the same time as your official job.
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4. Customize Your Working Space
There aren’t many options for customizing your workspace in a traditional company. However, at home, you can customize the place you use to do remote work as you want, choosing furniture that suits your needs (orthopedic tables and chairs, a larger monitor), and even decorating your home office.
If your job requires a lot of focus and attention, you can put relaxing elements in the environment; or, if you prefer, listen to your favorite music while you work. If you can work remotely using just a notebook, you can even do it from the poolside. These practices can increase creative flow and productivity.
5. Higher Productivity
A study carried out in 2014, before COVID-19 made home offices a necessity, examined remote workers at a Chinese company and found that they could be up to 13 percent more efficient than their colleagues working in the office.
Working from home can offer fewer distractions than in an office setting and fewer interruptions. Not being surrounded by colleagues talking on the phone or in noisy meetings can also be more comfortable, even with children at home. More free time and fewer distractions result in greater productivity and better performance.
The Best of Both Worlds
Traditional office work can create a false illusion of productivity; people who arrive early and leave later aren’t necessarily working and producing more. At home, however, you make the rules and schedules. As long as you keep up your production—that is, you do your job—it doesn’t matter if you do it late at night or while you’re lying on the couch in your pajamas.
Popularized thanks to the impositions caused by COVID-19, remote work gave employers and employees greater flexibility to continue maintaining their professional relationships while prioritizing the health and well-being of everyone. Allowing a better balance between work, family, and private life, a home office has many benefits and is here to stay.