7 reasons to work from home
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were forced to make the transition to letting their employees work partially or entirely from home.
Before the pandemic, only 7% of U.S. workers reported having a flexible workplace. That number grew to more than 50% during the pandemic.
With so many people working from home for the first time, many workers and employers have discovered many benefits to working from home or employing a remote workforce.
Let’s take a look at what it means to work from home, the top reasons for why you should do it, and where you can find a work-from-home job.
What is considered working from home?
Put simply, working from home means doing your job from your home instead of going to the office. You can accomplish the same tasks in many roles by using your computer at home instead of working on a computer in a large office.
Some people differentiate between the concepts of working from home and remote work. The distinction is that people who work from home may not work from home every single day. When they do, they generally work in their own home.
A remote worker, by contrast, never visits the office and works solely from somewhere else. That can include their own home or other locations like a shared office.
To learn more about work-from-home jobs, check out our Remote Work Resource Center.
The top 7 reasons to work from home
If you’re considering whether your next job should be in the office or one you can do from the comfort of your own home, here are some of the top reasons to work from home.
1. Have a better work-life balance
One of the top benefits of working from home is an improved work-life balance. People who spend large amounts of their time commuting and at work often feel like they don’t have as much time to spend with their family or focus on their hobbies.
As many as 73% of workers reported having a better work-life balance when working from home. Many reported having more time to spend with a partner, children, or pets. It also provided an opportunity to accomplish small tasks around the house, such as preparing meals or starting loads of laundry, freeing up more time.
2. Save time and money on commuting
In 2019, the United States Census Bureau estimated that the average worker had a one-way commute of 27.6 minutes. That means spending an average of just over 55 minutes per day commuting.
Over a week, that amounts to 4.5 hours. That means that the average worker spent 234 hours, or almost ten days, going to and from work for a year.
Working from home cuts your commute time to nothing, saving you huge amounts of time every day. If you work eight hours a day, you can count it as getting the equivalent of an 11% raise in terms of time saved.
On top of the time savings, you’ll also be able to save a huge amount of money. Depending on where they live, Americans spend between $2,000 and $5,000 per year on transportation.
Cutting out your commute means spending less money on gas and maintenance for your car. If you’re part of a two-car family, it may also mean you can get rid of a car and save money that way.
3. Design your work environment
When you work in an office, the odds are that you don’t get much say in what your work environment is like. Your manager will assign you to an office or a cubicle, and you’ll have to work from there.
Most employers will also provide you with a set of standard equipment with few customization options.
When you work from home, you have much more freedom to design your work environment. While your employer may provide some equipment like a computer and monitors, you can choose your own desk, chair, and other equipment.
You also have the freedom to play music or decorate your home office as you please.
4. Increase your productivity
One of the major surprises for many people when working from home became the norm during the pandemic was that remote workers often became more productive rather than less.
People who work from home spend less time in meetings and more time working directly with customers and other partners. It also led to workers showing more initiative with their schedules and finding work tasks less tiresome and more enjoyable.
Overall, workers rated 78% of their work as essential compared to 57% before the pandemic.
People who work from home instead of the office are better able to accomplish essential tasks. They spend less time managing others, sitting through unimportant meetings, or doing less useful tasks. There also tend to be fewer distractions when working from home than there are in an office.
5. Have location independence
One major perk of working from home, especially if you’re in a 100% remote role or one that only requires visiting the office rarely, is location independence. You have the choice to move to where you’d like to live instead of living where your job is.
Depending on your industry, you may feel like you have to live in specific areas. Tech workers are often drawn to large cities and areas like Silicon Valley due to the number of companies in those areas. Many people move to cities because that’s where the employers are.
With a work-from-home job, you can work for a company in Seattle while living in Miami or live in a rural town while working for a business in the big city. You simply have more freedom to choose where you want to live based on factors beyond whether you can find employment.
6. Stay healthy
Working from home brings a host of health benefits.
One benefit of working from home is that you spend less time commuting to and from the office. This gives remote workers more time to exercise and cook healthy meals, leading to less eating unhealthy takeout food at the office. It also provides more time for good quality sleep.
Staying at home instead of working in the office also has psychological benefits. Remote workers can spend more time with pets and family, don’t deal with the stress of commuting, and spend less time working with coworkers they dislike.
Research has shown that many people also still benefit from the social aspect of work, even when remote, through video calls and instant messaging.
7. Remember that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing
Working from home doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation. You can get the best of both worlds by aiming for a hybrid work model: one that involves some working from home and some working from an office.
Hybrid work models are highly flexible. You and your employer can customize them based on your job and your personal desires. You might work from home once per week or spend just one day in the office each week to have meetings.
As many as 73% of workers say a hybrid model is the right fit for them. Whether you prefer more in-office time or more work-from-home time, you can choose a schedule that works for you.
How to talk to your boss about working from home
Many employers are hesitant to allow their employees to work from home. This can come from fears that less oversight will lead to less productive workers or a feeling that some work tasks can’t be accomplished outside the office.
If your employer is hesitant about letting you work from home, you may be able to help the situation by discussing the benefits of working from home.
For example, you could discuss how people who work from home tend to spend more time on productive work and less on chatting with coworkers. You can also discuss how the business could reduce office costs by reducing its overall space needs.
With a hesitant employer, a hybrid schedule might be the best place to start as it will let you show your employer that working from home works.
Drawbacks of working from home
Before you jump into a work-from-home job, keep in mind that it isn’t a perfect fit for everyone.
Many remote workers feel a lack of community when working from home, especially if some of their team works primarily from the office. It can be hard to connect with coworkers if they’re all together and you’re remote.
Some remote employees also struggle with motivation. This can make it more difficult to accomplish your job tasks.
Depending on your employer’s policies, you might also have to shell out some cash to set up a home office. You’ll need furniture and equipment like a desk and computer monitors.
Finally, many people who work from home struggle to separate their work from their daily life. If your home is your office, you never really leave your job, which can make it hard to separate the two.
Finding a work-from-home job
If you’re looking for a new job that will let you work from home, there are a few things you need to consider.
First, make sure you’re looking in an industry where working from home is possible. For example, food service or truck driving simply don’t work for working from home.
Next, make sure any employer you apply to is open to letting employees work from home.
If you’re not in an industry where working from home is an option, that’s no problem. There are plenty of work-from-home jobs for beginners that can let you get started with working from home or try out a new industry.
Use Jobcase to find your next job
With more and more of the workforce doing some or all of their work without going into the office, you might be wondering whether your next job should be a work-from-home job.
There are lots of reasons to find a role that lets you work from your house instead of the office, so consider if the perks are right for you.
If you’re looking to find a new work-from-home job, Jobcase is here to find the right company for you to work with.
Check out our job board to find your next work-from-home job.
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