Today’s post comes to you via social worker turned stay-at-home dad Sean Morris.
For many years, companies hesitated to offer workers the ability to do their jobs remotely. This stemmed from fears of distractions at home and decreased productivity, along with concerns about accountability and other issues.
But with the recent rise of the freelance economy and increased technology and tools, flexible schedules and working remotely are becoming a lot more common. From on-demand jobs, like Uber driving, to the countless freelancing websites offering unique opportunities, the traditional day at the office is becoming a lot less traditional.
As more professionals have begun working remotely, it’s become obvious that, in most cases, employees are actually more productive when given more control over their work environment and schedules.
Here are four distinct ways that working remotely contributes to better work-life balance, creating a win-win for both sides.
1.) Less Commute Time
Many professionals often travel 30 minutes or more to get to their offices. Working remotely, however, eliminates the need to get on the road an hour or more before you’re due to clock in, meaning you gain an additional hour or two each day to devote to personal obligations or even put in a few hours of overtime.
2.) More Productivity
By eliminating office distractions and co-worker tensions, remote work often contributes to greater productivity. This is a real boon for employers who place greater value on outcomes and results than task-oriented or time-based performance.
For instance, if an employer is more focused on how many hours of overtime someone is clocked in (rather than the revenue they’ve generated for the company), the most productive workers can be overlooked. Many end up becoming unmotivated and dissatisfied, despite their efforts and results.
Working remotely boosts productivity for many workers…and it’s been proven time and time again that remote workers are at least as productive as their in-office counterparts, allowing workers to get more done in less time.
3.) Better Flexibility
While some remote workers are required to clock in the standard 9-to-5 workday, many arrangements offer scheduling flexibility. Those working remotely are better able to fit in a morning workout before getting down to business, leading to better overall health and well-being and, again, greater workplace productivity.
Likewise, with schedule flexibility, you can easily take an afternoon off to watch your child’s baseball game, for instance, and make up those hours later in the evening or on a Saturday morning.
4.) Greater Affordability
Remote work is also a cost-effective solution. Without the daily commute, workers save money on public transportation or gas and vehicle maintenance, while their companies benefit from a reduction in overhead costs without the need to provide a physical office space. Even those who do come to the office occasionally are often able to share spaces with others who also work remotely at times.
These savings provide increased expendable income that can be used for family outings, professional development, and other perks that ultimately contribute to overall happiness and enrichment.
Of course, working remotely isn’t the ideal solution for every professional—and some careers don’t lend themselves to off-site work as readily as others—but if you’re in a career for which remote work is feasible, taking advantage of the ability to telecommute can contribute to work-life balance as well as significant benefits for both employer and worker.
Sean Morris is a former social worker who knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.