Until recently, people considered working from home to be a bad career move—one made only by women who were trying to juggle the rigors of working full time while caring for young children or men who just “couldn’t hack it” in the office place. These select few were considered loners or eccentric by a workforce that couldn’t fathom how anyone could be successful working outside of a traditional corporate environment.
However, the rise of the Internet, including cloud-based storage and rapid-response software programs, has given employees (and employers) the tools they need to be successful outside of an office environment. Because of this, the face of those working from home has changed dramatically in recent years. In fact, many companies are starting to forgo traditional office workers, choosing instead to employ all of their workers virtually.
This shift towards hiring more at-home workers has a number of benefits for workers and their employers. The following is a list of the most common advantages:
Employees feel less stress.
Employees who have the option of working remotely report less stress and have greater feelings of goodwill towards their employer. In addition, empowering people to work in the way that best suits them, as well as the business, can have a positive impact on the company’s productivity and morale.
The shifting topography of the workplace has led to the creation of several new job titles. With so many companies allowing their employees to work from home, new roles, such as Workplace Director, have begun to crop up. These new positions are responsible for managing remote locations, coordinating employees, and overseeing property and facility management.
Remote work saves money.
A reduction in traditional employees saves companies money by eliminating the need for additional office space. As a result, companies spend less on utilities, equipment, and other costs that can affect profitability.
Employees working from home also save money in that they don’t need to purchase or dry clean any professional attire. They also don’t need to purchase lunch because they can fix their own meals in their kitchen. Further, without any commute, they don’t incur any daily transportation costs.
At-home employees have more choices.
Employees who choose to work from home have more flexibility in both the nature and the scope of their work. They can choose the time that best suits their needs, the place in which they are most productive, and the best method of completing their work.
It allows employees to engage in a meaningful way.
New technological tools, like smartphones, give employees the resources to engage with each other in new, meaningful ways. Direct messaging, virtual chat rooms, and social media sites allow employees to communicate quickly and effectively with co-workers and clients around the world.
A change of scenery boosts productivity.
Having the flexibility to change your work location—a benefit of working remotely—can provide employees with a much needed boost in productivity and creativity. Often, a simple change of scenery can help workers wrestling with a complex problem.
Happy employees improve workplaces.
A remote employee can take advantage of relaxation techniques that most office-based workers cannot. Need to destress with a lunch-hour nap? Employees working at home can easily fit a 20-minute power snooze into their day. Taking a brisk walk around the block, doing 15 minutes of yoga, or performing other brain-boosting activities will help employees become happier and more fulfilled by their workday, which affects the company in a positive way.
Remote working is on the rise. Nearly 90% of employers in the United States offer some form of flexible work schedule, including remote working opportunities. This number is expected to increase even more as more companies allow their employees to work remotely in the future. Employees who are hesitant to make the switch to full-time, work-at-home positions may want to consider a hybrid position that allows the employee to come in as needed. One thing is clear: the future of the workplace has drastically changed, and employees have options that were unheard of in the past. Take advantage of the opportunity and try working from home—it may be just the change you need to inspire you this year.