We are firmly ensconced in the era of remote work, where the boundaries of the traditional office have been miraculously stretched across time zones and living rooms. Once a quirky notion, remote work has boldly stepped into the spotlight as a definitive way we all can work. Because if the 2020 global pandemic has shown us anything, almost any job can be done remotely.
In this article, we’re diving headfirst into the advantages of remote work to share how it can positively impact you.
1. Better Work-life Balance
One of the biggest benefits of remote work is a healthy work-life balance. And that begins with a lack of commute. According to a study by the U.S. Census Bureau, American employees spend about 26 minutes commuting to work each way. That’s over 100 hours per year. You could upskill and take an online career course in that time (and get an even better remote job…).
In addition to saving time on commuting, remote employees also have the flexibility to set their own hours (within reason) and work from anywhere, which ultimately contributes to a more sustainable work-life rhythm. For example, if you’re a morning person, you can wake up early and work before the rest of your family wakes up. Or, if you’ve always wanted to work from the beach in Bali before a lunchtime surf, now you can.
Just remember, if you work remotely from home, set clear boundaries between work and personal time so your work doesn’t infringe on your home life.
2. Reduced Stress Levels
Another of the most noteworthy advantages of remote work is its potential to reduce employee stress levels. As the world continues to adapt to this relatively new way of working, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that working remotely has profound positive impacts on the overall well-being of individuals.
A study by the University of Warwick found that remote workers are 35% less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than their in-office counterparts. This is likely due to the reduced stress levels of remote work. So, why do remote employees have less stress than their in-office colleagues?
Remote work offers flexibility that is often unmatched by the constraints of traditional office space. When you work remotely, you can structure your workday to align with your personal life and preferences. For example, attending to family matters, pursuing hobbies, or taking much-needed breaks.
No Daily Commute
The daily commute has long been associated with heightened stress levels. Remote work eliminates this aspect almost entirely. When you become a remote employee, you regain valuable time and energy that would otherwise be spent in transit. This newfound time can be channeled into activities that promote relaxation, exercise, or spending quality time with loved ones.
3. Better Focus and Concentration
While offices can foster collaboration, they can also be rife with distractions. The constant hum of conversations, ringing phones, and impromptu meetings can disrupt focus and break concentration. Remote work allows you to create a distraction-free zone where you can fully engage with your tasks.
A study by Stanford University found that remote workers are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. This is likely because they have fewer distractions and can work in the most comfortable environment. As a remote worker, you can structure your day for optimal productivity.
If you’re a night owl, you can do your best work at a time that suits you. And because you aren’t constantly getting disrupted, you can get into deep workflow, improving concentration, focus, and output.
4. More Effective Communication
Effective communication in the workplace is the ability to share information and ideas clearly and concisely so that everyone involved understands the message. You may be wondering, OK, but if you’re working remotely, how can you communicate more effectively if you aren’t physically with someone? Well, quite easily, actually:
Asynchronous communication is communication that doesn’t happen in real-time. This can include email, text messages, and instant messaging. Asynchronous communication can be helpful when working remotely because it allows you to communicate at your convenience rather than reply immediately and distract you when you’re in the middle of something.
When you work remotely, you often rely on written communication, such as emails and chat messages. While it seems like a detached way to communicate, it’s beneficial as having your communication documented ensures everyone is on the same page and that critical information doesn’t get lost.
When you work remotely, you have to be more intentional in what you say, as it’s too easy to miscommunicate or misunderstand what’s being said when you’re talking via text or email. This means you must be more precise and concise in your messages and ensure you communicate the right message. Which in turn naturally leads to better communication.
5. Location independence
Work was limited to where you lived in the not-too-distant past. And if you wanted to move, you would either have to relocate to where your company had an office, or you would have to change jobs to something local in your new area. Not anymore. With the advent of technology-driven communication tools and cloud-based project management software, work-related tasks can now be executed seamlessly anywhere worldwide.
If you want to work from a coffee shop in Copenhagen, you do that. You can live wherever you want when you’re not tied to a location for work.
6. Access to a Global Job Market
Historically, if you were a job seeker, you were constrained by geographical limitations, forced to explore employment opportunities within your immediate vicinity, or relocated as necessary. However, the advent of online job platforms, networking websites, and remote work capabilities has shattered these constraints.
The interconnectedness enabling remote working is transforming how we carve out a career. And the world is quite literally your oyster. You can explore positions, projects, and collaborations on a global scale, allowing you to align your skills with the specific demands of markets and industries around the globe.
7. Lower Environmental Impact
If reducing your carbon footprint and adopting more sustainable working practices is essential, working remotely for a remote company is a change you must make.
One of the biggest environmental impacts of work is commuting. When you commute to work, you generate emissions from your car, truck, or bus. When you do a remote job, the commute is a thing of the past, helping you significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
Reduced Paper Consumption
Remote workers don’t have to print as much paper as in-office workers. You instead use electronic documents and communication tools, which saves trees and reduces pollution from paper production.
Reduced Waste Generation
Remote workers can generate less waste than in-office workers. You can recycle and compost faster, and you don’t have to waste as much food and other consumables because you can consume them for snacks or lunch.
8. Increased Autonomy
Working remotely can increase your autonomy if you want more control over your work. That’s because when you work remotely, your manager’s ability to micromanage or constantly look over your shoulder is removed. Autonomy in our work gives us a greater sense of ownership and responsibility, leading to increased productivity, as we’re more likely to be motivated when we feel like we have control over our work.
9. Lower Cost of Living
One of the best benefits of remote working is the cost savings.
Reduced Commuting Costs
You don’t have to commute to and from work when you work from home. This can save you significant money on transportation costs, such as gas, parking, and public transportation fares.
Reduced Housing Costs
You can find a less expensive place to live when you work remotely. You don’t need to live in a city or near a major transportation hub. Living in a smaller space can save money on rent or mortgage payments.
Reduced Clothing Costs
You may not need to buy as many work clothes when you work from home. You can also save money by wearing comfortable clothes that you already own.
Discover the Benefits of Working Remotely.
The benefits of working remotely are innumerable, and the ones discussed above are just a glimpse into the positive outcomes it offers. From improved focus to lowered environmental impact, remote work is reshaping the landscape of modern work, fostering productivity, diversity, and sustainability in previously unimagined ways. Isn’t it time you joined a remote workforce?
Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.