Out of the Box: The Perks of Working From Home
News As more and more workers opt to build their careers from home, it’s never been clearer that work is an activity—not a place.
These days, ‘face time’ no longer requires physical interaction. Instead, the term is rapidly becoming synonymous with instant video communication, thanks to Apple’s nearly ubiquitous FaceTime app. Fact is, connectivity and collaboration don’t depend on physical presence.
Telecommuting is not just for moms, and it’s not just for people looking to make some extra money on the side. Not only is it possible to build a long-term career away from the office, it’s preferable for the vast majority of workers: as research firm Global Workplace Analytics (GWA) reports, 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. workforce would like to work from home at least part of the time. Here are just a few reasons why remote work is so compelling.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the office can be one of the worst places to get work done. The constant stream of interruptions and distractions eats up multiple hours of each day, at a cost to the U.S. economy of $588 billion in lost productivity per year, according to Basex Research.
"As many as 78 percent of workers who call in sick do so due to stress or personal issues, and their unscheduled absences cost U.S. employers $300 billion per year..."
Remote workers are in a better position to find the peace and quiet they need to focus on thought-intensive tasks, and a recent survey from ConnectSolutions found that 77 percent of remote workers report greater productivity working off site. A Stanford University study backs them up, citing a 13 percent productivity increase for home workers over their in-office counterparts.
It might be tempting to poke fun at people working from home for supposedly spending the day in their pajamas. But not having a dress code can translate to as much as $1,500 saved on clothing and dry cleaning per year. Add in the additional thousands saved from home-cooked meals, no commute and home office tax deductions, and the financial incentives for working from home are no laughing matter.
As many as 78 percent of workers who call in sick do so due to stress or personal issues, and their unscheduled absences cost U.S. employers $300 billion per year, says GWA. Meanwhile, a PGi survey of telecommuters found that 82 percent report reduced stress levels and 80 percent have higher morale, making it no surprise that 69 percent also report fewer absences.
The autonomy that comes from working from home leads to greater job satisfaction, and the time saved from not commuting allows for more opportunity to exercise, sleep longer, volunteer and socialize, leading to a better overall work-life balance.
Working from home is a business strategy for both employers and employees, and clearly a trend that’s here to stay.