October 25 2019
How Working Remote Can Change Your Life
Your alarm goes off at 6:00 am. You stumble out of bed, take a quick shower, tear apart your closet trying to find something clean to wear. Grab some coffee, throw together some breakfast and lunch, jump in the car and settle in for your hour commute. But wait- you pause mid-pull out the driveway. That was your old morning routine. The one you had before you switched jobs and went full-time remote.
Remote work is taking the world by storm, and so far very few people or companies see a problem with that. There are so many positives to working remotely that it’s hard to understand why more companies aren’t allowing their employees to do so.
Work-life balance is a huge desire that has grown in its importance to workers in the last twenty years. Many want to be both successful in their careers and also present for their families and friends. The idea of flexibility and being able to throw in a load of wash while finishing up a report is satisfying and allows them to spend less time on chores when the workday is finally done.
This work-life balance shows up in also cutting out the time spent commuting. On average, a worker in the US commutes for 35 minutes a day one way. That’s over an hour a day and almost 6 hours a week. So while an average workday is 8 or 8.5 hours, when you tack on the time spent commuting, it’s more like 9 or 10 hours - and you don’t get paid for that extra hour spent in traffic. There are 24 hours in a day, and the ‘perfect’ breakdown should look like this: 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for work, and 8 hours for the individual. But while this breakdown seems easy enough to accomplish, it is often not the reality of a commuting worker. Think about the time you spend during the day preparing to leave for work; taking a shower, getting dressed, preparing items that might be due, or presented that day. It’s more likely that the average worker spends around 11 or 12 hours of their day focusing on work-related items. Which means they are either cutting into their sleep or cutting into their individual time. Working remote changes all that. The new commute is a measly 5 minutes down the hall, fresh coffee in hand. The need to shower or dress in office attire is entirely up to you.
The average remote worker is happier than their office-bound friend. Business Insider reports that the remote worker is 22% happier than those that work in an office, and they will often stay at their jobs longer. Remote workers are also more productive. In a survey, 77% of remote workers claimed they were more productive working from home than in an office. So not only is the worker feeling happier, but the companies they work for are seeing more progress and productivity during the average day.
Working remotely can also save you and your company money. You are cutting down on or almost completely doing away with the cost of your commute, and wear and tear on your vehicle. The need to purchase and keep an updated wardrobe disappears. Eating out for lunch or that quick coffee break cost gets cut in half if you are eating at home and drinking straight from your own coffee pot. (Added bonus: you also tend to eat healthier, making you feel better during the day!) If you are a parent, you can adjust your childcare needs, cutting down on those costs.
In the same way, you save money, you can also save PTO. Need to travel for a wedding on a Friday? Hotspots and accessible WiFi via your train or plane makes it possible to work and get where you need to be without taking that day off. Feeling a little under the weather but still functioning? Save your sick days for when you really need them and sniffle and cough your day away in the luxury of your own home. Instead of using your days for small things, you can save them up for the big trips you really want.
Which brings me to what I believe is the greatest piece of remote work; travel. Not all remote positions allow travel to anywhere, but many support travel within your employment country, and if not, at least your state. Take your job on the road and spend weekends in the places you have always wanted to explore but never had enough time off to do so. I’ve met remote workers who work out of their RV and made their way up the coast. I’ve traveled to New Orleans, North Carolina, New York, Phoenix, and Florida all while working. The possibilities are endless when you don’t have an office you have to show up to each day.
Don’t have a remote job yet, but wishing for one? Alcamine can help! In your search settings, feel free to make Remote Work one of your target settings in your search and Alcamine will only send you Remote jobs that fit what you’re looking for!