By Steven John
Working from home is not for everyone.
I’ve done it myself since 2011, and I’ve encountered plenty of challenges, from the effort required to connect with colleagues, to the lack of support from an HR department, to the struggle of separating your work and home life when they take place in the exact same place.
But on the other hand, when you work from home, you have no commute, you have more power over your time, and you can dress how you like and arrange your workspace however it suits you.
There are other advantages to — data reveal there may be some monetary incentives to start working from home.
Here are seven reasons you should consider working from home, if your work allows it.
Even working from home, you may work regular business hours from home, liaising with colleagues and clients all day long.
But unlike employees who work in an office, you office never has to close. You can catch up on work early in the morning or late in the evening as you always have access to your workplace.
And in fact, working during these off-hours is often highly productive, thanks to the minimal interruptions from emails or calls. Also, unless you have a specialized work station in your home office, you can choose to work from a coffee shop, park bench, or a beachfront resort, as long as you’re getting the work done.
Before I step into my home office each day, I am fully dressed in just-below-business casual clothes (think jeans and a Henley) and a pair of semi-dress shoes. Getting fully dressed gets me into the right headspace to work for the day.
However, you can wear whatever works for you when you work from home, be it a tie, a T-shirt, or a bathrobe, for that matter.
When your workplace is your home, you don’t have to drive, take a train, bike, or even take more than a few steps to get to your desk.
This saves you lots of time (the average American commute is about 26 minutes to and from the office each way), and also means you are minimizing your carbon footprint by not using any sort of mechanized transportation.
By working remotely, you save your company a decent amount of money.
This is most tangible in that they don’t have to provide you a physical space to work, but also in that you are not consuming resources like coffee and snacks, paper and pens, and even water and electricity. (Though ideally, you will be offered an allowance to compensate for the expenses you incur spending your own money on such necessities.)
When you work from home, it’s easier to grab lunch with a friend or partner and not be obliged to stick with coworkers during the day. You can also see more of your kids in the mornings and evenings.
You may still need to stick to the greater schedule of your organization, but your lack of a commute will put time back into your day, and your distance from office social circles (and politics) means more time for other people.
When you are at home, it’s easy to take breaks as needed without the judgmental sidelong glances from coworkers or supervisors.
That means you can stretch as needed, get in a short walk or a bit of quick exercise, and give yourself the mental break to go with the physical one. You will also be able to eat more healthfully, stocking your kitchen with nourishing foods rather than chips and nuts as the only snack options.
According to a recent study, people who primarily work remotely outearn the average in-office worker. And not by a few hundred bucks a year, either, but by a solid 28%.
Ironically, another group that also earns more than employees with a standard commute is made up of super commuters — people who travel more than 90 minutes each way between work and home. Super commuters reportedly earn an average of 21% more than most workers.
Originally published on Business Insider.
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