If you are considering a remote work career, the chances are high that you have been attracted to the many benefits it offers. The very nature of working remotely allows for a variety of advantages. How many times have you heard of your friend that works from home that can travel the world as a digital nomad or the former colleague that can now develop their schedule?
However, while these are exceptional benefits, what else does remote work have to offer? If you want to make the case to your boss or feel even more confident in your reason to go remote, read on for profound data points and first-hand accounts regarding the benefits of remote work.
If you have wanted to break free from the cubicle or modern "open office," then remote work has a variety of perks. Here are some insightful data points regarding remote work's benefits compared to traditional office life.
Remote Workers are More Productive
Working Remotely Can Improve Performance and Efficiency
Remote Workers are Happier
Working Outside the Office can Help Employees Stay at Companies Longer
The Talent Pool is More Expansive Without Geographic Limitations
Regarding the substantial rise in remote work, not only do employees win, but employers stand to gain a lot from a financial and performance standpoint. So, what are remote workers saying? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Hear from our talented and innovative RemoteHabits interviewees that are enjoying the advantages of working remotely.
Remote work allows you to be in the driver's seat regarding how you prioritize your projects, and how you approach your day. The goal is to optimize your time and figure out the flow that best works for you. Mike, a software engineer, perfectly exemplifies this in his response to what he likes most about remote work:
It forces my employer to judge me on how much I get done rather than how long I'm sitting in a particular chair in a particular office. I like that I'm more productive working remotely than working in an office; it feels like both my employer and I are getting a better deal.
Distractions can be a productivity-killer. From endless emails to co-worker interruptions, a lot can pull you away from your job if you are in an office. Mark, a programmer, discusses his success at avoiding these distractions as a remote worker,
In terms of the work environment, there is a freedom in not having the boss over the shoulder or the always-talking coworker. This simple mastery over nearly every detail of your work environment is not only liberating but thrilling.
In short, remote work allows you to be the "master" of your productivity.
The typical 9-to-5 in-office schedule can feel like a box. What if you work better at night, or prefer to work around nature? Fortunately, remote work gives you the flexibility to decide how, when, and where you work best.
Ayesha, a freelance writer, discussed the impact flexibility has had on herself as well as her family structure.
The best part of working remotely is the flexibility you get. With kids and family, I strongly believe that at least one parent should be working flexible hours. It's not possible for my husband since he's working in advertising, so in our family, it's me.
Also, the world becomes your workspace. Whether you want to work in a coffee shop, network with others in a co-working space, or travel the world, remote work allows you to do this.
As for remote work itself, the freedom and flexibility are the two big things for me. I can work from anywhere that has an internet connection in a setting that helps me focus. – Jacob, a site reliability engineer.
Flexible work is a necessity for many people. The very nature of remote work supports this aspiration.
Again, the 9-to-5 window does not always afford you the time you need to get everything done. Whether employers want to admit it or not, life doesn't stop just because you have work to do.
Children get sick, groceries need to be picked up, and you are going to need the occasional vacation to recharge. Working in a traditional office can make this a challenge. What if you need more time off then you are allotted, or what if you still want to work on an "off day," if you find you have a few moments here and there to do so?
Life isn't always neat, and your work schedule should accommodate that.
Probably the best thing, though, is being able to be there for my family. If my kids forgot something at school, it's not a big deal. Having a dentist appointment doesn't derail my day, as it takes just a half hour. These are things I don't have to tell my manager about since they're so quick. – Scott, UX designer, and front-end developer
The average commute time in the United States is 25.4 minutes according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, while this is the average, many individuals across the country and all over the world are dealing with much longer travels to work.
A long commute can drain you before you step foot into the office. Having to consistently stay alert while navigating traffic can contribute to stress to and from work. Remote work allows you to bypass this problem.
Skipping the commute allows you to have more time for work, and generally brings a less stressful start to the workday. Jacob, listed the commute as one of the main reasons he transitioned to remote work:
In my previous role, I was traveling for the better part of three hours each day (when there weren't any train delays!). After doing the long commute for a few years, I came to a crossroads. I wanted to take the next step in my professional development, but I also decided I wanted to spend less time on the train and more time with my wife.
The benefits of remote work are plentiful. While most remote workers typically mention productivity, flexibility, work-life balances, and commutes, there are additional perks you may not have considered. Here are a few more benefits to working remotely.
Home office customization - A home office can be more comfortable and effective than a traditional office. You can customize your home office by purchasing furniture and equipment that better suits your needs. Some remote work employers may even cover this cost for you.
Be more intentional about communication – You get to decide when you want to communicate with co-workers. You can cut off Slack, email, or text notifications until you are ready. However, you still have the flexibility to be social while working if you choose.
Take advantage of a variety of work options – Whether you are looking for full-time, part-time, freelance, or consulting work, remote work gives you that option. You can even take on more than one. The structure of an in-office job would make this more challenging.
Enjoy a global talent pool – This perk is especially helpful for remote workers who run their own businesses or just need a little additional help. You can hire a virtual assistant or any other professional regardless of where they are in the world. You can genuinely hire the most talented person without the limitations of geography.
A better bottom-line for small businesses - If you are a small business owner, solopreneur, or entrepreneur, there are many advantages to going remote. Not only do you have a global talent pool, but you do not have to pay office rent, and you can enjoy low overhead costs.
Numerous remote employee cost savings – If you work for a distributed company, you also will save a lot of money. Typical costs related to gas, business clothes, lunches, and car maintenance are no longer an issue. You even may be able to write off your home office expenses on your taxes.
If you are a self-motivated person that enjoys the challenge of managing their work schedule, then remote work can afford some excellent benefits and cost savings.
Remote work is not without its disadvantages. As with anything you do, there will always be pros and cons. Knowing what these are ahead of time can help you prepare for how you will deal with them. For example, one of the main problem areas for remote workers we have spoken with is loneliness and isolation. As a result, working remotely requires you to be more intentional about how you socialize and interact with others.
Working remotely can be isolating. I'm an introvert, and even for me, the silence can get to be a bit too much. It helps to have someone else in the space with you: a spouse, significant other or another co-worker. – Scott, UX designer, and front-end developer
There is also the issue of having the discipline to know when to "clock-out" for the day.
Easily, the biggest trap that's easy to fall into is working past traditional hours. You've never left the office, right? – Mark, programmer
With strategy and some pre-planning, you can overcome these—and other hurdles—to take advantage of the benefits of remote work.
Working remotely is rapidly on the rise, and this trend is unlikely to stop in the future. As more and more individuals realize the benefits of remote work, the talent pool is going to expand.
As a result, competition for remote jobs will continue to rise in the next few years. From 2003 to 2015, Americans that worked remotely rose from 19 percent to 23 percent. While this may not seem significant, these numbers represent millions of people.
Remote work will become even more attractive as commutes become longer, and individuals seek more work flexibility. Because of the benefits it affords, remote work is gradually going to become the future of work.
If you would like tips on how to join that future from real-life remote workers or are seeking a location-independent job, we invite you to check out the interviews and resources RemoteHabits has to offer.
Keep your remote working skills sharp—get notified when we post the next remote work interview! RemoteHabits will help you achieve your remote work goals!