You probably saw this title and had an immediate reaction of ABSOLUTELY or NO WAY! So I just want to start by saying that there are obviously positives and negatives to everything and working from home is not going to suit everyone or every job. I work from home and I love it but I work for myself. It allows me to drop my son off and pick him up from school and take him to appointments.
Lets talk about working from home
My hope is to get more people talking about the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Maybe there are ways we can help overcome some of the disadvantages. It’s worth trying because it turns out, working from home can be good for you, the environment and if you work for a company it can be good for your employer too.
So, let’s get on to that list, shall we?
1: Environmental impact:
Working from home has a beneficial impact on the environment. If less of us commute, there will be less traffic on the roads twice every single work day. Carbon emissions are obviously a major concern globally just now and we all need to play our part. Working from home is one way that you can easily do this. On top of feeling good about doing something positive for the environment you will find other positive aspects too.
2: No commuting time:
Depending on how far you live from work this could be huge for you. I know many people have to live further and further away from their place of work so that they can live in an affordable area. As a result they have to spend hours each day getting to and from work. If it takes you an hour to get to work each day I’m going to assume it takes an hour to go home again. That’s 2 hours a day, which is 10 hours a week or 460 hours per year assuming you get 30 days holiday. It adds up to 19 entire days wasted each year on commuting! That’s bonkers.
Ok, so this one may be a little controversial! Statistically, productivity is higher for those who work from home. According to Canada Life homeworkers ranked their productivity at 7.7 out of ten, compared with a score of 6.5 given by those in open planned offices. If you are trying to persuade your employer that working from home is a good idea you may want to break out that statistic to help your case.
Increased productivity may not be the case for everyone. I know some people get easily distracted at home by the lure of dirty dishes and laundry (not a particular distraction I suffer from) but you can teach yourself to be more focused at home. It’s something that I have had to improve on and it gets easier particularly if you do something you love.
If you work on your own business, you can find out 3 tips to save time in this old blog post (it’s even got my old branding!)
4: Fewer Sick Days:
This is another reason that working from home is great for employers as well as individuals. From the same Canada Life research it was found that Employees working in an office took on average 3.1 days of sick leave last year (research from 2014) whilst home workers only took 1.8 sick days. Citing reduced stress by working from home as one of the main reasons.
I would add from my own perspective that I would be more likely to still work, even if I was sick if I didn’t have to commute to work.
5: Save Money
There are so many ways that you can save money by working from home. You save money on petrol (or gas if you are in the US). It may also be the case that you also save money on parking, or public transport costs if you take public transport. You can also make your own lunch at home, easily and I’m going to bet that is way cheaper than buying your lunch out somewhere near the office. You may even save money by not having a car at all!
I actually don’t have a car. We have a family car that my husband uses to commute to work but I walk most places during the week and live close enough to my parents that I can borrow a car if I need it for something in particular but I know not everyone is that lucky. This was actually a money saving decision at first but it also has a positive impact on my health and the environment.
My own thoughts on working from home
Working from home is something that I feel particularly strongly about. As a mum, I made a conscious decision to work for myself from home so that I had the flexibility and availability to spend time with my son whilst he is young. As I work from home over time, I have come to notice so many benefits that I hadn’t thought of initially. It has a positive impact on my health, my mindset, my time and the environment.
What are your thoughts on the idea of working from home? Do you do it? Would you love to do it? Have you tried in the past? If you work for an employer, would they consider implementing the idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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