Imagine waking up, rolling out of bed, going downstairs for a quick breakfast and a steaming cup of coffee, and then powering up your computer to start working in the comfort of your own home.
All this without having to drag yourself out of bed, get dressed, apply makeup, pack a lunch, and rush out the door to fight the thick morning traffic.
Yup, that’s what working from home is like. And many people are adopting a work from home lifestyle thanks to advancing technologies, more modern and more flexible workplace cultures.
Work from home jobs have been around for a while, but it was usually limited to executives and those higher up on the organizational chart. But in recent years, many companies have been offering the option to work from as an added benefit to their employees.
Work from home jobs are on the rise
Recent studies conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management found that 69 percent of organizations gave employees the option to work from home at least some of the time in 2019 — this is three times greater than companies who allowed telecommuting 20 years ago.
For me, as a digital marketing professional, children’s book author, and last but not least — mom, I love working from home and the flexibility it provides. I’ve had experiences both working from home and working in offices, and I definitely prefer working from home.
It’s just a lot less stressful because I don’t have to sit in traffic for one to two hours per day, and I get so much more done. I also feel more comfortable and relaxed in my home office. The little workspace that I carved out at home is nothing fancy, but I enjoy being able to make it my own. You can make your cubicle or office space your own at work, but you have a lot more flexibility at home.
And it turns out, I’m not the only one who loves working from home. In fact, 84 percent of remote workers surveyed by Owl Labs agreed that the option to work from home would make them happier.
If those stats aren’t enough, continue reading to see a list of the top five reasons to work from home.
Top 5 reasons to work from home
Work-life balance means the delicate balance between your professional career and your personal goals. For me being able to work from home improves my work-life balance significantly.
I have more flexibility in my schedule and how I spend my day. I can focus on productivity and making sure my work and projects are on track, rather than struggling to get to work in the mornings.
I also feel more relaxed and creative when I work from home. When I have downtime, I can get a few personal things done around the house or pick up my daughter early from daycare so that I can spend more time with her.
When I have to commute to work, honestly, I don’t get to spend as much time with my daughter. In the morning, we quickly get dressed, grab a bite to go, and then rush to daycare and into the office. By the time I pick her up from daycare, it’s after 6 pm. Just enough time to eat dinner, have bathtime, maybe read a bedtime story, and head to bed. By the time I get her to bed, it’s 8 or 9 pm. And the cycle continues.
This can get tiring and hectic. Working from home at least some of the time allows you to achieve a better balance overall.
Let’s face it; at times, work can be very stressful. And not the actual work itself but all the things that come along with being employed. From difficult co-workers, demanding managers, office gossip, toxic work cultures to lack of growth opportunities, and general frustrations.
Working from home doesn’t eliminate all these problems, but it certainly reduces a lot of the stress that comes with office life. You have more control over your time, in the sense that you aren’t physically tied to a desk. Your productivity isn’t measured by your presence at work, but by the actual results, you produce.
Avoiding the long commute
I don’t know about you, but I hate being stuck in traffic and long commutes. Each day Americans spend almost an hour commuting to work. That’s “225 hours, or well over nine full calendar days, commuting in 2018” alone.
Research suggests these long commute times are bad for you, your family, and the country as a whole.
According to Washington Post journalist and researcher, Christopher Ingraham, “people with longer commutes tend to be less physically active, with higher rates of obesity and high blood pressure as a result.” Plus, “longer commutes are also associated with higher rates of divorce,” shared Ingraham.
A former colleague of mine drives 41.3 miles from her home in West Palm Beach to her job in Fort Lauderdale one way. In total, she drives 82.6 miles to and from work for close to two hours each day.
That’s a lot of driving. Imagine what you could do with that extra time in your day? You could get a head start on your work, be more productive, and find more time to work on your personal or physical goals.
To mitigate these risks, many people are quickly adopting a work from home lifestyle to cut down on the long commute times and to get back more time in their day.
Want to know how much your daily commute is costing you?
Check out this commuter cost calculator to see how your commute adds up.calculate it
Working from home gives you more flexibility to plan your day and to get more done. Because you don’t have to contend with long commutes to and from work. You also get more time back in your day.
I have found that I am also a lot more productive because I focus on staying on track with all my projects and deliverables. I’m conscious that not all employers offer work from home opportunities, so I don’t take the opportunity to work from home lightly. As a result, I make a determined effort to do quality work, and my employers recognize that.
The key to being productive while working from home is pretending that you are still going into the office. This means you go to bed early, wake up early and start your day just like you would in a regular job. Getting into and keeping a routine keeps you organized and helps you to stay on track when working from home.
“Depending on the state, Americans spend between $2,000 to as high as $5000 on transportation costs to and from work per year,” according to Business Insider journalist, Marissa Perino. This includes highway tolls, gas, car maintenance, and mileage. These costs increase significantly depending on how close you live to your job.
In Florida, transportation spending totaled over $2,200 annually.
A friend of my fiance has to drive 63.6 miles from his home in Palm Beach to his job in Miami. Depending on traffic, that’s more than one hour one way just to get to work. That’s a lot of money spent on driving, miles, tolls, and gas.
When I worked from home, I saved close to $500 each month. I didn’t have to buy as much gas for my car, pay highway tolls to and from work, and I also didn’t have to worry about buying lunch each day.
Working from home helps you to cut down some of those transportation expenses.
Weighing the benefits of working from home
Working from home is not for everyone; some people prefer to go into the office each day. They love interacting with co-workers and colleagues, and some people find they are more productive in the office. Either way, it’s still nice to have the option to work from home now and then.
If you’re interested in finding work from home opportunities, check out this article on how to find remote work opportunities.