Remote work is a big deal, especially right now. The term has recently exploded to the point that virtual work is the new normal for many companies worldwide. Yet remote working isn’t something that can be picked up overnight: it takes an active effort from employers and employees alike. Luckily there are plenty of remote job boards out there to help you search for opportunities and find your first remote gig! Thankfully, job hunting for a remote position doesn’t have to be hard.
Transitioning to remote work comes with a lot of benefits. You might have become a convert once you found out you can work from home, or the idea never appealed to you—either way, remote work is having a positive impact on businesses, employees and our planet when its done right. Here are some of the best benefits of remote work that may open your eyes even more to remote work’s impact on employers, employees, the economy and the planet.
1.) Work-Life Balance
The first reason remote work is so appealing to so many people is that it offers potential for a better work-life balance. If you live close to family or are planning to start a family, keeping your job at a local company for five increasingly long days per week can make it impossible to maintain a social life and be the kind of parent you want to be. Even if this situation doesn’t apply to you, it can still be difficult to log off at the end of an eight-hour working day and switch off from work. Working remotely means that these boundaries are much more flexible, allowing you the freedom and time to spend with your loved ones without letting work creep in too much.
2.) Traffic Related Stress
When it comes to commuting, I’m sure most of you can think of someone close to you who has a lengthy one-way commute. There are many different reasons why someone might have a long daily commute: better job opportunities; trying to provide for their family; and for some, challenging financial situations and tight budgets conspire to keep them tied to the daily grind. When it comes to saving money and improving your quality of life, eliminating the need to commute — either cutting down the number of days or hours — is an excellent place to start.
3.) Work Anywhere
In today’s economy, many people have turned to working from home as a side job or full-time job. Working from home is awesome for a lot of reasons: no commute, no melding the line between work and home life, and even a reduced cost of living. You don’t need an extravagant work space, which can further reduce cost. And with the right setup, you can make your small workspace more productive than an office environment.
There are some major perks to being able to work from home. You can instantly go upstairs and check on the kids if they’re sick or make sure there aren’t any animals stuck in the basement. If your significant other is out of town on business, don’t worry about waking them up before you head to the gym – because you don’t have to! If your boss disapproves of your choice of shoes, doesn’t realize the memo is actually out of date, or that it wasn’t you anyway (we all know the office gossip has it wrong), you can avoid a confrontation entirely by staying at home without having to call in sick.
4.) Money Saving
Half of the workforce is working from home. That’s pretty much every job available. People who are working from home half time can save around $4,000 per year. Gas, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a professional wardrobe and lunches bought out can all be reduced or eliminated from your spending entirely. These savings add up and put more money back into your pocket. And the savings aren’t just for employees! As more and more companies allow employees to continue working from home post-pandemic—like Twitter, Square, Shopify and Facebook to name just a few—they’ll also see significant long-term cost savings.
5.) Saving the Environment
Not only do employees work at home on average three days a week, but they also drive less by staying out of the office as well. The reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) is equivalent to taking more than 600,000 cars off the road for an entire year, while $980 million worth of oil would be conserved annually through remote working practices. By making environmentally sound choices—like using less paper and monitoring their air conditioning, heating, and lighting—remote workers have the same potential impact on air quality as planting an entire forest of 91 million trees.
6.) Working Productively
Working from home can be the most liberating thing ever, especially if you’re lucky enough to have an employer who is on board with your new lifestyle. Daydreaming instead of cleaning up spilled cereal? Movies in pajamas? Yes please. However, this professional freedom also comes with a series of responsibilities that are very much in line with the real deal: As empowering as it may feel to work from home, when done wrong, remote work can be just as disempowering as any office environment. Remote work should not be considered a privilege but a tool to help improve both our businesses and personal performance. And it’s only effective when it isn’t all fun and games.
7.) Happier Life
Remote work has a high impact on employee retention. Employees are sticking with their employer when they have remote work options. There are several reasons for this. Remote workers tend to be happier and more loyal employees because working from home has been shown to lower stress, provide more time for hobbies and interests, and improve personal relationships, among other things. In addition to personal health and well-being, coworker and manager relationships can be more positive without the distractions and politics that come along with an in-office job.