Lengthy commutes and lonely cubicles are only a couple reasons you might dread heading to work each morning. But what if you could get to the office without driving a single foot? Or could upgrade your cubicle to a multi-room space, complete with kitchen and personal bathroom?
There is a way, and many employed Americans are already putting it to use: working from home. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans works from home in at least some capacity, from just one day a week to full-time. Whether incorporating remote work only part-time or making the leap to every day, working from home offers a slew of benefits that might convince you to kick up your heels (and slippers) and try on working from home for size.
It will save you time and money.
With work commutes ranging anywhere from ten minutes to two hours, you could be paying upwards of $100 a month ($1200 a year) on gas – and that’s just for driving to work. A quick way to cut this cost is working from home. Not only is it better for the environment, but also it will save you headaches about how much you’re paying at the pump. And commuting isn’t just costing you money, either. You could be spending up to 15 days a year simply sitting in traffic, which zaps your energy and takes away significant amounts of time you could spend working.
It benefits everyone.
Working from home does wonders for the environment. Not only does it cut down on oil consumption, but it also reduces the amount of toxic gases released into the air and runoff pollution into our water sources. According to the Telework Research Network, if all employed Americans able to work from home (about 50%) did so for only half the time, it would prevent 54 million tons of greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere – that’s like taking the entire workforce of New York off the road for a year.
And working from home isn’t just good for the earth. Employees at home tend to be more productive, which is certainly better for managers and companies on a whole. Moreover, employees who work from home tend to still work while sick or recovering from maternity leave or surgery, says Forbes. The increased flexibility in time management also allows employees to schedule personal appointments without having to miss a full day of work.
It’ll make you happier.
This is the most important factor in your work experience. No amount of money or company acclaim can make up for a routinely miserable work day. Working from home will give you the flexibility to use your time as you’d like without displacing you from your own life or family. In turn, this flexibility will empower you and make you feel like you’re more in charge of your own work experience…and empowered employees are happy employees!
And, being able to work in the comfort of your own home reduces the stress of noisy coworkers or a micromanaging boss. You’ll be more productive because you’ll feel more inclined to prove your productivity as your own manager. You’ll get more done, and not only will your boss be happy about it, you will too.
How to make it happen? Try asking your supervisor about working from home once a week, just to start. From there you can gauge if it’s a viable and efficient working style for you. If so, consider transitioning into working from home full-time – it could make you an overall happier and better employee.