This is an obituary: the traditional 9 to 5 office job is dead. Long live remote work. Remote work is increasingly popular. According to a LogMeIN survey, only 3% of employees haven’t worked remotely. Some benefits of remote work have been well documented. 70% of employees who are allowed to work away from the office are highly engaged and highly satisfied compared to just 30% who are not given the option. But what are the effects on your work-life balance? Does it improve your work-balance? Can you nip stress and burnouts in the bud? Let’s find out.
Personal lives matter.
First, let me dazzle you with some stats.
Ok, here we go.
According to a FlexJobs’ survey, working parents rank work-life balance (84 percent) ahead of salary (75 percent) when considering whether or not to take a job. Work-life balance was also named the top reason working parents seek flexible work, followed by family, time savings, and commuting stress.
For millennials, the ability to work remotely isn’t just a “nice-to-have,” but for many, it is becoming a career requirement. Studies show that Millennials care more about work-life balance than career advancement.
By 2020, over half of all people will be working remotely. On top of that, 9 in 10 employees say that flexibility to balance work and life issues is essential or very important to their job satisfaction.
Wait, there’s more.
A recent GoToMeeting survey shows working remotely shapes major life decisions. Out of 3,000 respondents, some 60 percent report they’d be more likely to accept a job with a strong remote working culture, while28 percent of respondents say working remotely would be worth a pay cut. Around 41 percent say working remotely is “very important” to the future of business, and 40 percent say their lives would be worse if they couldn’t work from anywhere they want.
It goes on. The same survey evidences that over 40 percent of respondents aged 25-44 feel that working remotely is instrumental to start a family.
Food for thought.
What are the advantages of remote work?
1. Remote work will make you a better family (wo)man
41% of us have had a hard time fulfilling both family and professional responsibilities. This is often due to the time we waste while commuting. We lose 2 days a year in traffic. What if you could spend two days with your loved ones, or doing what you love, instead of spending it in your car? You’d feel a lot better.
The solution to this issue is pretty straightforward. Work remotely. Remote work allows you to work closer to home, to your children’s school or to your parents' house. If you'd have a flexible schedule and work closer to home you could go to a parent-teacher conference during the day, take a yoga class, or be home when the washing machine repair person comes. No more riding bumper to bumper or to hurry to catch the train. The more autonomy you have, the easier you’ll be able to combine your work life and your home life.
2. You’ll be in control of your schedule and work environment.
One reason people like to work for themselves is the control and freedom issue. Who wouldn’t want to choose where and when they’ll work for the day? If you determine your own schedule and work environment, you’ll appeal to your entrepreneurial spirit. You’ll have the freedom to start working when you feel freshest. You won’t get caught slumping over your laptop in the morning if you’re a night person.
3. You’ll get things done
Working away from the office without the boss breathing down your neck can be liberating. You probably get far more work done without the meetings, the phone calls and other distractions of the workplace. You'll get the job done in normal working hours, instead of having to do overtime, leaving them more time for life outside of work.
4. No more FOMO
Remote and flexible working will nip your severe bouts of FOMO in the bud. When you're bombarded with messages to go for a drink, go to the movies or grab dinner, you’ll no longer have to answer “No, I’ll be home late. Traffic sucks”. If you work remotely you’ll be able to pick and choose where you work. Closer to home, closer to your favorite bar or closer to your gym.
5. You’ll be motivated by new surroundings
Take yourself and your work outside of the office. You’ll see things differently. You’ll gain a new perspective. Chances are your current traditional office environments isn’t the most motivating place to be. If you grant yourself the freedom to decide where you want to work, you’ll take back the power to determine your own productivity.
6.You’ll join a new community
Indeed. Pigging-back on the previous points, a workspace allows you to enjoy an interesting, flexible lifestyle. You might work in cool new workspaces but also become part of a community of self-starters, groundbreaking start-ups and even iconic companies. The motivation and creativity of your peers are contagious and will do you good and vice versa. Ain’t no telling what might happen if you end up collaborating.
7. You’ll save money on your commute
Obviously. You’ll pay less gas, your train fare will be cheaper, or you go to work by bike.
In some areas, commutes of more than an hour each way are not uncommon. If you’re allowed to work from home, you save two hours of time, gas, and wear and tear on the road. You’ll be doing other commuters a favor: fewer people driving means it's easier for those people who are commuting.
8. Save money on childcare
If you have young kids, you’ll have to provide external childcare for your kids. That’s easily solvable with remote working. If you and your partner both have flexible schedules Mom can go to the office at 6:00 a.m. while Dad gets the kids ready for school. Mom's 8-hour day is finished by 2:00 p.m. which allows her to pick the kids afterward. Dad starts his workday at 9:30 a.m. The result is two full-time jobs and incomes with no childcare costs.
Whether you’re energized by your nearby co-working space, a local coffee shop or are content in your home office, the ability to move into new and interesting surroundings will make you less likely to feel the effects of burnout. A new workspace isn’t the ultimate cure for burnouts, but it’s a hell of a vaccine.
In the end, it all depends on you and your preferences. If you’re losing a lot of time in traffic or are feeling the walls closing in on you in your regular office, be time for a change. Maybe you don’t have kids or simply prefer committing to your career. That’s totally fine. Just know that remote work can help you solve a lot of your issues.
Why don’t you come and try for yourself? We happen to have a couple of coworking spaces and shared offices in our network. Click here and find out if there’s an inspiring workspace close to you, no matter where you are.