During the Conronavirus pandemic lockdowns, companies reluctantly pushed millions of employees into working from home. What they did not realize is that even workers who previously said they could never work from home are starting to enjoy the benefits of remote work.
Many employees don’t want to go back to the office.
Working from home is a true blessing. There are so many real and tangible benefits to working from home; let’s explore them.
1. No Commuting & Time Saved Every Day
No commuting is one of my favorite benefits of working from home. Removing the commute from your life has many knock-on effects, which will be covered in the following sections.
My local office is approximately a 45-minute drive away. By skipping the commute, I save 90 minutes per day. The average person has roughly 30 days of vacation and public holidays per year. So, removing the weekends and vacations from the year, we have 230 working days or commute days per year. Let’s guess that your career will span 35 years because, of course, you plan to retire early.
This equates to 90 minutes X 230 days X 35 years = 12,075 hours of commuting.
This means you could save 503 days of your life, 72 weeks or 1.3 years.
Removing a typical commute could save you 1.3 years of your life
2. Environmental Benefit: Lower Carbon Footprint
Not only do you save over a year of your life while not commuting, but you also can have a good conscience about the environment if you drive 30 miles per day to work that equates to 241,500 miles in your career.
According to Carbonfootprint.com, in the scenario above, if your commute were 30 miles per day (48 kilometers), you would increase the world’s CO2 emissions by 55.5 metric tons. So you would save 55.5 metrics tons of CO2 over your career.
You may save 55.5 tons of CO2 emissions over your career.
If you still commute, you will need to plant five trees and have them working full time for 40 years to absorb that amount of CO2.
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3. Decreased Commuting Costs
Not only saving time and the environment, but you will actually save money too. It costs you 60.8 cents per mile on average, according to the AAA in a 2017 report. This means that traveling 30 miles per day, 230 days per year over 35 years, will save you $164,200. Yes, you read it correctly. I double-checked the math on it; it’s true.
You will save $264,220 dollars over your career by not commuting
4. Decreased Chance Of A Motor Accident
According to the Federal Highway Commission, the average number of miles per car accident for the average US driver is 165,000. In our example of 30 miles per day, you would cover 241,500 miles.
This means you would avoid one car accident in your lifetime. Also, 1 in 77 car accidents is fatal, so that means it is undeniably better to telecommute than really commute.
5. Health Benefits & Decreased Stress
Working from home also decreases stress in two ways. Firstly, you do not have the stress of commuting to work in the morning. Secondly, you do not encounter the high levels of stress involved in personality clashes or workplace politics.
If you need to take a break or have a power nap to refresh your mind, you can because you have more flexibility. No prying eyes are watching your every move and judging you like in the office. That is stress relief in itself.
6. Decreased Clothing Costs
I know it seems bizarre, but if you work in a professional environment or office with a formal attire dress code, you will also save on business clothing. As a male, I know that I have to have at least four suits for the office and update them every year, plus at least ten shirts at $50 each. With these costs, you could save $1300 per year. For women, the saving is similar, as I conducted a study of my wife’s wardrobe and surmised that her looking good for work is a pricey business.
7. Improved Flexibility
One of the great benefits of working from home is that you can also do everything outside the house at off-peak Times:
- Visiting the doctor at 11 am is 15 minutes of waiting – at 5 pm, 90 minutes.
- Go Food Shopping at 9 am no queue 20 minutes – at 6 pm long queues 1 hour.
Literally, all appointments during the week are so efficient during working hours you can save months of wasted time, which you can make up earlier or later in the day.
8. Increased Work Presence
If you work in a geographically spread team across different time zones, your work presence can actually increase even though you are not in the office. But how is this possible?
When you work remotely to the office, you have more flexibility to schedule your time according to business needs. For example, my team was spread from Australia to Costa Rica and everywhere in between. My teammates in the Philippines, for example, would start to work much later in the day to be able to work with me in Europe and our colleagues in the USA. If they had strictly abided by local office hours, I would have only had a few hours to work with them during my working day.
Additionally, my team in the USA would routinely start work at 6 am to catch a bigger time window with Europe and some time with Asia. They were more present across the globe than if they were in the office.
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9. Improved Ability To Manage Children & School
We have all been there, you are in a meeting at work, and you get the call from the school, your child is sick, and you need to pick them up. Easy when you work from home, because you are close to school, challenging
when you work in the city and your commute is one hour. Add to this the fact that when they are sick at home, you can check in on them regularly and still deliver your working goals.
Also, it is much easier when it comes to your child’s extra-curricular activities. For example, I need to drive my daughter to the gymnastics club twice per week and her saxophone lesson once per week. I also take my son to his golf lessons weekly. It is all manageable when you have flexible work from the home regime.
10. More Family & Freinds Time
If you have a family, then one of the great benefits of teleworking is that you are closer to your children. I am there to make my two little ones breakfast in the morning, and when they get home, I have lunch ready for them. So, we eat two meals per day together, at least. When my wife arrives home, we have dinner together. Due to the flexibility I have, I can then work in the evenings to make up the time lost, making food and play with my kids.
11. Time Saved Preparing For Work
You know the routine, wake up, brush your teeth, shower, shave, do your hair, select your clothes, get dressed, grab a coffee, leave early to avoid the main rush hour. All of these activities take time. When you are a telecommuter, that time is radically reduced. You can even reduce your prep time to “wake up, brush teeth, grab a coffee.” That means unshowered, unshaven, and working in your pajamas, but each to their own.
I have read on other websites advice like, “for psychological reasons, prepare yourself every day like you are going into the office.” But that is crazy; I will not splash on aftershave and wear a suit to work from home. At least for me getting into work mode is as simple as firing up the laptop, logging in, and attending my first meeting.
When I was one of the global leaders at Hewlett Packard, I often had to present remotely at our virtual “all-employee meeting” in the US time zone. That meant being ready at 5 am to present. Here was my routine, get up at 4:30 am, brush teeth, throw shorts and a t-shirt on, grab a cup of tea and a cup of coffee, log in on by 4:45 am, present at 5:05 am. Happy days and no suit required.
12. Healthier Eating At Home
Another hidden benefit of working from home is that you do not need to eat the pig swill from the work canteen. I am English, but I live and work in Germany. What I do know is that if you like schnitzel, sausage, bread, and potatoes, you are well looked after here in the land of sauerkraut.
I have eaten in work cafeterias in New York, Texas, Cupertino, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Singapore, Malaysia, India (that was an experience), and in London, and they are all the same. Only one place had great food: the canteen in Lyon France that featured red wine and Boeuf Bourguignon…hmmm.
13. Lower Eating Costs
If you add up the cost of eating sub-standard food at work every lunchtime, you will see that the costs are beneficially higher than eating light and healthy at home. My average cost of canteen food was approximately $7 per day.
If you want a decent quality coffee, you are also in luck, but your wallet is out of luck, two coffees at $4 each—a potential daily cost of $13 or $260 per month.
At home, I can throw together a salad and have a coffee for less than $2 per day or $40 per month.
14. A More Flexible Approach To Exercise
If you telecommute, you need to exercise. But the joy of it is that whenever you have a gap in your agenda, you can jump into your shorts and go for a run for 30 minutes. Do 45 minutes of jogging, and you will hit 10,000 steps.
If you need to clear your head go for a walk, take your next meeting on skype on your phone with a Bluetooth headset whilst walking in the sunshine. It is all possible: technology is your friend.
15. Fewer Distractions
If you need a lot of what I call “think time” in your work, then working from home can be a huge win.
For example, let’s say you need to plan out the foundation for a huge project you have been tasked with. That takes a lot of thinking time to do it right. You need to get in the zone, and when you are in the deep think zone, you are at your peak levels of thought and abstraction. Every time you get distracted in the office, it drags you back into the real world, you lose your train of thought, and it takes time to get productive again.
Working remotely, you can simply turn off instant messaging and your email, and you are free to explore the depths of your mind.
16. Taking A Lunchtime Shower
I already discussed the time savings in preparing for work, so now try this trick. Instead of showing in the morning, shower in the afternoon. We all know that feeling. After lunch, you are settling down to get some work done, and your digestive system starts kicking in, you start to feel sleepy. Take a shower in the afternoon, and you are bright and breezy again like you just started a new day.
Take a shower in the afternoon and you are bright and breezy again like you just started a new day.