Work from home, or remote working is now 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. Especially, as higher earners switch office cubicles for home office environments.
But you may not be convinced. Perhaps you or your boss believe that remote workers are less productive than their office-bound counterparts. Or maybe, you feel as though the costs of working remotely outweigh the advantages.
So, for those who are still a little hesitant, here are 10 benefits behind the work from home culture.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Work From home & 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Improved Physical Health
Yet another one of the benefits of working from home is how it can give one an improved physical health! The time you save can now be invested into healthier lifestyle routines.
Set out some time for a morning yoga session or a nice walk at your neighbourhood park. Get in some Vitamin D while you can!
Alternatively, you could also go for a gym session or a jog in the cool evening breeze too. These are all things you can now fork out extra time for. The benefits of working from home sure can be productive and helpful!
8. Socialising 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.
9. Work From Home & Pick Up New Professional Skills
Wondering what another pro could be? WFH can also give an individual the extra time one needs to pick up new professional skills! By simply avoiding the hassle of commuting, a person gets a lot more free time on hands.
A block of time will be free every morning and evening at this point! These time frames can be utilised to attend online professional courses, training sessions, or workshops. Just an hour a day can add up to a lot of time over months. Thus, helping you reach your career goals faster.
10. Invest Time In Your Personal Hobbies & Interests
The last on the list of benefits of working from home? It’s the ability to invest time in your personal hobbies and interests.
Has adulting led you to forego some of your leisure time activities? Love reading a book but couldn’t seem to find some time for it? Well, as we’ve established, WFH = time saved.
This time saved can be used to do whatever your heart wishes to do! This would be a great booster to your overall emotional wellbeing too. Happy heart, happy mind indeed.
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.
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.