Last summer I was able to make the move to work at home. As the saying goes, “Once you go work at home, you never go back!”
If you’ve been hesitant to work at home and have been wanting to know the perks and drawbacks of working at home, then let me calm your fears with EIGHT REASONS you’ll love working from home and ONE REASON you may not.
And as I do with all things I write, these reasons will be wrapped around personal stories and pop-culture references. But I’ve also added statistics from the Internet that support my feelings.
Let’s start with the …
ONE REASON You May Not Like Working at Home.
Any Lost fans out there? We’ve been rewatching the series with my 15-year-old son. It’s a great rewatch. Oh, you’re wondering what Lost has to do with working at home aren’t you?!
Do you remember the hatch? Do you remember Desmond Hume? Do you remember that computer and entering numbers? Okay, when it’s cold and overcast outside and my home office feels dark and gloomy, I often feel like Desmond punching the numbers into a computer in my little hatch (see below video).
Grab my hot cocoa, sit down at my desk and start inputting. 4-8-15-16-23-42.
That’s the only drawback of working at home. Having that interaction all the time. Feeding off other people’s energy. Being able to talk and laugh out loud without thinking you’re going crazy.
How do you contrast that? If you’re an extrovert like myself it can be difficult, so being involved in projects, making sure I speak up at huddles, reaching out to peers just to check in with them, all of this helps counter my stuck-in-a-hatch feeling I may get during the winter months.
Now to the EIGHT Reasons You WILL Like Working at Home.
“Sixty-five percent of survey respondents said they are more productive in their home office than in the work place.”
Since moving to work at home I have not fallen below Meet Expectations in any category. Correct that, have not had to worry about meeting expectations in any of my offline metrics. Despite the freedom to up and grab a snack when needed I’m still more productive than I’ve ever been.
Ask the people that sat around me the last five years and they’d probably say they are more productive as well.
Chalk that up to that extrovert thing.
“Nearly 80-percent of respondents described their typical stress level during the workweek as either ‘not stressed’ or only ‘moderately stressed.’”
No commute to fret about. No watching your supervisors whisper and then run off to a conference room, peaking your curiosity and beats per minute. No commute to fret about. Did I mention that already? It’s worth noting, especially if you’re like Peter in Office Space (see video below, and note that’s actually Texas I-635 traffic).
“Full-time commuters also save time by not commuting every day, as the average full-time telecommuter gains back the equivalent of 11 work days every year.
Eleven work days to spend with your family. That’s a lot of time. In the summer I’m off work at 4:15 and at 4:25 we’re at the pool. When you stop commuting you realize how much stress it adds to your life.
“80-percent of telecommuters report a higher morale.”
SEE: Less Stress
Personally, my morale has increased a ton since moving from work at home. Less office drama and gossip to get sucked into.
And there’s all the perks of listening to your own music out loud. Being able to open the blinds and have the natural light come through as I wear my casual gear at work. Being able to walk around the block on break. Being able to walk into the kitchen for lunch, say hello to our bunny (TMI?!), and not be in a hurry. These types of things make you look forward to walking into
the hatch work every day.
“50-percent of remote employees said working from home reduced their sick days and 56-percent said it reduced their absences.”
You wake up in a panic! Check the time and it’s 7:20 a.m. You start work at 7:30! You sprint into the hatch turn on the computer and arrive at work a minute before your scheduled time. Yes, this is a true story. Yes, what little hair remains was a mess and my glasses were on (30-year contact wearer), but I was at work, and on-time.
I was never one to have bad attendance, but now that I’m at work at home I can battle that cough in the comfort of my own hatch. In times like above, where I would’ve been extremely late and would have to take an occurrence, I don’t have to. I don’t foresee myself having to use any sick days or take an occurrence for anything other than an emergency. Which leads to …
Thanks to the extended commute in the Plano area (and because we decided to move away from the big city), I had to use an hour of FTO here and there so I can get to my kids’ after school events, meetings, and appointments. I spent two full FTO days last year escaping form work early so I can get to these types of events. Since working from home, gone are those days.
“Full-time telecommuters save over $4,000 each year.”
That’s right, switch to work at home and you can save money without even switching to that lizard insurance! Less money spent on gas. No more trips to the café downstairs for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon Frappuccino. Heck, I’m fortunate enough that my wife works for the school district, about 10 minutes away, so we were able to cut the cost of a second vehicle.
“Eighty-percent of U.S. workers say they would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible working. More than three-fourths of companies cited flexible schedules and remote work as the most effective non-monetary ways to retain employees.”
Please see all the reasons above on why it’s very hard to look elsewhere for work when there’s less stress, better morale, and savings in my paycheck, not to mention the other perks like FTO, paid holidays, an annual bonus, pension, matching 401k and other benefits.
Yes, a downside may be complacency, but it’s hard to beat these perks.
“Existing telecommuters reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking over 600,000 cars off the road for a year.”
If you’re into this eco-friendly thing then there you go!
Do you work at home? What perks or drawbacks have you found working at home? How do you stay engaged with your peers?