Top 10 Work From Home Benefits & Why They Matter

Remote work is on the rise and for good reason. Uncover the top benefits of working from home and embrace remote work once and for all!
work from home benefits

Top 10 Work From Home Benefits & Why They Matter

Remote working is more popular than ever before. In fact, some estimates predict that 25% of all jobs in America will be completed remotely by the end of 2022, as higher earners switch office cubicles for home office environments. 

But you may not be convinced. Perhaps you, or your boss, still believe that remote workers are less productive than their office-bound counterparts or may feel as though the costs of working remotely outweigh the advantages. 

So, for those who are still a little hesitant, here are a few unexpected benefits of working from home. 

Reduced Car Costs

Cars are money pits. A survey by AAA found that, per year, car owners spend an average of $792 on maintenance fees alone. These fees are almost always unavoidable and often arise when commuting to and from work. As a remote worker, your reliance on cars is greatly reduced as your daily journey can be counted in paces, rather than miles. This will save you hefty car maintenance fees and means your car will last longer. 

Even if the warranty on your car is still active, you can expect to lose value with every journey you take due to the depreciation of the car as an asset. This reduces your car’s trade-in value, which is assessed based on factors like mileage, car condition, current demand, and extra features. As a remote worker, you’ll likely drive less than the average American, meaning your low mileage will be a great selling point. 

Of course, as a remote worker, it’s also possible to ditch the car altogether. This is more feasible for folks who live in cities or suburban areas, where services are close by and deliveries of essential items like groceries can be ordered online. But, even if you live out in the sticks, reduced mileage will bring down your car costs, save you hours every week, and allow you to spend more time at home with your family. 

Parenting Made Easier

If you’re a parent, remote working should be the holy grail of working conditions. Remote work allows you to be present when your child is getting ready for school and ensures that you’ll be there when they get home — meaning no more Matilda-like moments in the kitchen. 

Being present at home will also help you feel connected to your child. This is particularly important for younger children and teens, who might be going through scary or stressful changes in their lives. You can help alleviate their concerns by taking some time out of your workday to talk about stressful events like visiting the dentist and can respond to their stress by offering support and positive reinforcement. 

Of course, working from home while parenting a young child can be challenging — particularly in the summers, when your kids have time off school, but you still need to clock in for work responsibilities. The best solution is to lean on a partner or friend, but leave your office open in case your child needs you. Around holiday periods, you should tell your manager or boss that you may need to step away to help your child. 

Start a Side Hustle

Remote workers across the nation are rejoicing in their renewed work-life balance. But, for some folks, the time saved on commuting leaves them twiddling their thumbs and feeling a little bored. If you have a propensity for boredom when you have free time, then you might want to start a side hustle. 

The best side hustles involve your favorite activities. So, if you love knitting or stitching, then you could set up an Etsy account and start selling your wares online during the time you’d usually be stuck in traffic or on the train. Setting up your own business online is easier than you’d think, and there’s a genuine demand for homemade goods online. 

Starting a side hustle is easy, but keeping it separate from your work life can be challenging. You can ensure that your side hustle remains fun by following the best productivity strategies for remote workers. By keeping a routine, and staying disciplined about the hours you work, you can ensure that tracking orders for your homemade goods do not interfere with your day job. Consider blocking off chunks of your daily calendar for your side hustle, and make sure you don’t stay up too late working on fun projects or risk compromising your sleep schedule. 

Better Sleep

The modern worker’s sleep schedule is completely haywire. Even though sleep plays an integral role in our productivity and overall well-being, many American adults struggle to get enough shut-eye and leave themselves at risk from conditions like diabetes, depression, and dementia. 

As a remote worker, you’re in a much better position to get 8-10 hours of sleep compared to your office-bound counterparts. That’s because you save time on commuting, and don’t have to cram your life into the hours after your shift ends. So, while your office peers are driving or catching the train, you can be cooking dinner or taking an exercise class. Suddenly, the free time you’ve found from remote work allows you to get off to bed at a reasonable hour, rather than some time past midnight. 

As a remote worker, you also have an opportunity to improve your sleep hygiene. This can be as simple as taking a quick break from work to make the bed or clean your sheets. Even small acts like this are not possible for office workers, who may rush off to work without taking the time to keep their bedroom clean and hygienic. You can also spend the money you save by working remotely on things like guided meditations or dimmers which mimic sunsets and slowly emit less light as the night draws in. 

Tax Breaks and Home Improvements

Depending on your employment status, it may be possible to make significant home improvements that are tax-deductible. Of course, you need to check IRS guidelines regularly before making any major purchases, as home-working laws changed in 2018, meaning employees typically cannot claim home office expenses as deductible.

But, if you are self-employed, you may be able to pay for home office improvements and essential utilities/goods as deductible. The IRS makes it clear that you can only claim for these expenses if you use a portion of your home exclusively for running your business, and it is the “principal place of business”. You’ll still need to keep your receipts and have a clear record of transactions, but recouping costs is always worth it. 

If you are not self-employed, you cannot typically claim for home office expenses. That said, you can still ask your employer to contribute to improvements like desks, chairs, and monitors. This is because most employers — who save overhead costs by shutting down physical operations — have a home office fund to reward remote workers and improve their quality of life. So, if you feel like your current office setup is negatively impacting your focus or productivity, consider reaching out to your manager to find a better solution. 

Improved Mental Health

You might think that working remotely will leave you feeling isolated or disconnected from your peers. But, in reality, remote working can significantly improve your mental health. This is because, as a remote worker, you have greater autonomy about how your day looks and can make more mental-health-positive choices throughout the day like taking short breaks, or getting up for a snack or a drink when you need it. 

However, you might still struggle when you don’t see your peers every day. To combat this, you can look into hybrid working models, where you might work 2 days a week in the office, and 3 days from home. This gives you time to ease into the practice of remote work and helps you retain a sense of connection with your colleagues.  

Socializing is Easier

Do you ever wonder how characters in Sitcom shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show make time for dinner guests after a full workday? As an office worker, there’s simply no way to socialize after you’ve finished a full day of work — you still have to eat, wash, catch up with your family, and do your best to get to bed at a reasonable hour. 

However, as a remote worker, you can use the time you’ve saved on commuting to improve your social life and reconnect with people you like being around. You can easily log off a few minutes before friends come over in the evening, or you can sign up to local clubs that run activities that would previously have been unavailable to you due to work commitments. 

Conclusion

Remote working is on the rise — and for good reason. Remote work frees up time that would otherwise be spent behind the wheel or crammed into trains. By switching the cubicle for the home office, you can expect to see improvements in your sleep schedule, mental health, and social life. You may also find that you have time to self-advocate and start your side hustle. If the idea of going fully remote is intimidating, remember that you can always opt for a hybrid work schedule, which allows you to stay connected with your colleagues and gain the incredible freedom that comes with working from home. 

Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

About the Author

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/