My last positions involved working in an open concept office environment for a large global company. It seems like large companies today thrown things like fitness centres, subsidized lunches, and day care at employees. It took me a while but thinking on it, in retrospect, it's no secret that these companies sort of want their workers to live at work.
Here is a silly question: Why not save billions of dollars and just let more workers work from home?
Why everyone should work from home
I was restructured out of that company which was the 3rd time experiencing that process. Looking back it was the best thing for me as I learned there are better ways. I’ve been working from home to some degree for about four years now, and for the last 1.5 years “full-time.” Quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier. I honestly don’t want to go back to working in an office ever again.
Here are five reasons you should consider working from home more often if you can manage it:
1. You'll be more productive
Worker satisfaction surveys have shown time and again that remote workers are not just happier, they’re also more productive compared to their office counterparts.
Harvard Business Review recently profiled Ctrip, a Chinese travel website. The company asked half of its workers to work from home for nine months, while the other half worked in the office. The company's conclusion was that its remote workers were not only happier, they were also less likely to quit and were more productive.
How much more productive? Ctrip’s remote workers completed 13.5 percent more calls than office staff -- amounting to nearly an extra workday each week.
2. You can take more breaks
On the flip side, working from home means you won’t have to deal with looming managers monitoring your every move. You can take breaks whenever you want, as long as you get your work done.
Studies have shown that taking regular breaks improves overall productivity and creativity and helps you stay on schedule. Not taking breaks, on the other hand, leads to stress and exhaustion.
Ideally, you should take breaks every 50-to-90 minutes, for 15-to-20 minutes at a time. That means about an hour’s worth of breaks outside of lunch (on the low end of this range). The chances that you did that today in the office? Zero.
On nice days when I have extra time I love to get out to the trails for a quick bike ride or walk.
3. You can wake up later
and set your own schedule
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man happy, healthy, and wise.”
I’m sure most of us have questioned this quote (otherwise coffee wouldn’t be necessary). Who among us wouldn’t want to roll out of bed one hour later than we do right now? Being an early bird or a night owl is sort of like being an introvert or an extrovert. To an extent, you’re just born that way. For example, night owls have been shown to:
Function just as well during the day (because they’ve been forced to adapt their entire lives)
Remain more mentally alert in the late afternoon and evening than early birds
Be more creative in general (they often stay up late to have breakthroughs or work through complex problems)
Score better on general intelligence tests
I’m not saying that there are no advantages to waking up early -- there most certainly are. But if you’re a night owl, try to sleep in a bit more for your own sake. You’ll be more
productive, and happier, too.
I am an early bird but regardless of which you are itis nice to have much more flexibility in a schedule and setting your own timetable.
You don’t need a study to tell you that not wasting time commuting every day is a good thing. But have you ever really thought about the true cost of commuting? Here are some really disheartening stats:
If your commute is 45 minutes long, you waste 16 days each year commuting. If it’s 90 minutes? A whole month gone, just like that.
You probably spend 38 hours a year just stuck in traffic.
Commuting is absolutely awful for your health.
Granted, you can do things while commuting (like listen to a podcast or book or read a paper on the train). But, the sad truth is that by the time you retire, you could have spent over a year of your life just commuting.
Do whatever you can to either shorten your commute or do away with it entirely.
5. Remote work just makes business sense
Many employers are afraid that the more workers they let work from home, the more fractured and decentralized their company will become. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Plenty of successful startups are 100 percent remote, and worth billions.
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