You’ll Never Want To Leave The House Again: 6 Irrefutable Reasons For Working From Home
Holly and Curtis have been best friends since early childhood. They grew up in a quiet neighborhood, went to high school together and studied similar subjects in college. They even landed their first jobs at the same large insurance company in downtown Manhattan. Holly worked in cubicle number 7:023 and Curtis a row further down in 7:138.
Their lives followed a remarkably similar path… until Holly’s 31st birthday. On that day she decided to work from home. And from then on, Holly’s and Curtis’ lives couldn’t have been more different.
Every year, at their traditional 4th of July barbecue, Holly likes to remind Curtis of her six irrefutable reasons for working from home.
Reason #1: Be There For The Magic Moments In Your Family
Sure, you can take time off for your son’s first day at school or your daughter’s graduation. You can probably also arrange short term leave if your children are sick. But what about witnessing their first step? Hearing their first word? What about being there when they need your comfort after someone bullied them at school, or when they burst with pride about having won that football match?
These precious moments cannot be scheduled into your 9 to 5 work day. Working from home allows you to be there when they happen.
Reason #2: No Commute = Less Stress
600,000 employees in the U.S. travel 90 minutes and 50 miles to work and 10.8 million employees travel an hour each way (Source: 2013 United States Census Bureau Report).
Imagine you have to spend 10 to 15 hours each week in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic or crammed into a crowded commuter train? If your employer offers flexitime you may be able to avoid peak rush hours, but you still spend a big chunk of your time on the road.
Commuting adds a considerable amount of stress to an already challenging work day. As a result, you become an exhausted, irritable parent to your kids or partner to your spouse. A few years ago researchers at Umea University in Sweden found that “couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce.”
Now imagine that your commute involves walking down one flight of stairs or crossing the hallway from your bedroom to your home office. Commuting time? Couple of minutes top, which includes grabbing a cup of coffee.
Reason #3: Save On Commuting Costs And Lower Your Carbon Footprint
Cutting out the daily commute not only reduces stress levels, it also benefits your bank account and the environment. The average yearly savings by working from home vary between $1,500 and $5,000 in fuel expenses alone. Add to this lower cost for car maintenance and – in some countries and states – reduced car insurance fees for non-commuters, and you end up with a sizeable plus in your household budget!
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we could reduce greenhouse gases by 54 million tons if telecommuting increased by 10 percent to 20 percent of the workforce. That’s the equivalent of taking almost 10 million cars off the road for an entire year.
On a global level, a WWF report estimates that wide adoption of teleworking could save up to 1 billion tons of CO2 emissions, roughly equivalent to the total current CO2 emissions from UK and Italy combined.
Reason #4: Enjoy More Freedom And Flexibility
When we asked our Facebook fans why they love working from home, the top mentioned reasons were more time for family, freedom and being in charge of your work and time.
The flexibility that comes with a work-from-home lifestyle is priceless. You know best when you are most creative and productive. If that happens to be from 11pm to 1am, go for it! Just don’t set up your desk in the bedroom – unless your spouse is a night owl too.
Sure, you have certain boundaries to operate in. For example, you may have to get your kids ready for school, prepare dinner or take your dog for a walk. Depending on what kind of work you do, you may also have certain core hours where you need to be available for your customers or colleagues.
Overall though, you’ll enjoy an exhilarating sense of freedom, like one of our customers summarized…
“I love to work from home because I chose where to work (on the deck or in my office), when to work (morning, noon, or night), how to work (slow and steady or fast and furious), and I get to have a java break when I want.”
Reason #5: Improve Your Health
Remember the 10 to 15 hours per week the average commuter spends on the road? Imagine if you dedicated just 2 of them to working out in the gym, attending a Pilates class, or doing laps in the community pool. If you are not a gym person, you could go for a long morning walk, or take an afternoon break to putter around in your garden.
Reduced stress, more and regular exercise and healthier eating habits lead to overall better health. In fact, studies showed that commuters typically have higher blood pressure, BMIs and waist circumference than non-commuters.
Reason #6: Work Anywhere
For Holly, this is the most precious benefit of all, so she always mentions it last to Curtis. Although we talk about working from “home,” home really can be anywhere. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. Certain tasks, like checking email or managing Social Media accounts, can even be done on a tablet or iphone.
You decide where you want to work from: your kitchen table, porch, favorite coffee shop, local library or even from a mobile home (RV) as you travel across the country. The choice is yours. Welcome to the world of the digital nomads!
For just a moment, imagine you are one of the protagonists in our story. Which one would you rather be, and why? Please let us know in a comment.