In recent years, more and more people are becoming aware of the positive impact remote working can have on individuals, companies, and the world. The benefits of remote working, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, have resulted in a vast increase in people working remotely.
In fact, the remote workforce in the US has risen by a staggering 173% between 2005 and 2018. Moreover, in 2021, a whopping 55% of businesses globally offer remote work in some capacity.
The positive impacts of remote working
So, why are so many people now opting to work from home (or anywhere in the world)? Here are five of the top advantages to working remotely.
1. Increased productivity
Despite what some employers opposed to remote working may think, employees who carry out their work from home are more productive than those who work in the office. According to a survey carried out by CoSo Cloud, 77% of remote employees feel that they are more productive when they work from home compared with at the office.
A key factor thought to contribute to this is that there are fewer distractions at home. When working remotely, there is no office gossip, unimportant meetings, or interruptions from co-workers.
2. No more commuting
According to the 2018 US Census, the average time an American spends commuting one-way to their workplace is 27 minutes. Therefore, many employees switching to virtual working will gain an hour or more of extra time every day!
Commutes are not only time-consuming, but they can also be highly stressful, particularly for those working in big cities like New York and London. No longer commuting to work can dramatically lower your stress levels and have tremendous benefits on your well-being.
3. Reduced carbon footprint
The fewer people who commute to work, the better it is for the environment. With fewer people on the road, traffic jams ease and carbon emissions lower. This can significantly improve the air quality in big cities as the air pollution reduces. A recent study by Breathe London found that during London’s first COVID-19 lockdown, when many employees transitioned to working from home, nitrogen dioxide levels dropped between 20-24% within central London.
4. Better work/life balance
Remote working improves your work/life balance and overall work fulfillment in many ways. No longer having to sit in traffic or squeeze yourself onto a packed train twice a day dramatically impacts the way you see your job. And, you can spend your newfound free time with your loved ones. Moreover, the increased freedom and flexibility that working from home brings makes it easier to juggle all your commitments and responsibilities.
5. Improved mental health
In this day and age, more and more people are experiencing burnout from the demands of their work. However, those at risk of emotional exhaustion are much less likely to reach breaking point working remotely than at the office. The combination of no commute, more time with loved ones, and more relaxed working days will lower your stress and anxiety, resulting in better mental health.
The challenges and concerns with remote working
While there are many great perks to having a location-independent job, this working style is not without its challenges. It’s only natural that employees who want to transition to remote working feel some concerns. Moreover, many people will experience roadblocks as they try to make the change, such as the following.
1. Psychological health concerns
Even though remote working can lower levels of stress, working solo can increase levels of loneliness. Those used to working and chatting with colleagues and those who enjoy the social aspect of office life may find remote working to feel lonely and isolating.
2. Reduced physical activity
There is also the concern that those working from home get less daily movement than those working from the office. With no commute, you can roll out of bed into your chair and begin working straight away. Moreover, by eating lunch at home every day, you are less likely to go out for a walk to get some movement and fresh air, which many office workers do.
Furthermore, after sitting in front of a computer all day with no physical activity, you will likely feel mentally tired and confuse that with physical exhaustion. Because of this, it’s easy to go straight from your desk to the sofa for more sitting and stillness.
3. Not having a proper workspace
Many people do not have the luxury of having an office in their home, and some may struggle to find the space for a home-working setup. It’s not just the lack of available space that is a concern. Things such as not having a comfortable office chair that supports your back can also negatively impact your new working setup.
4. No help with technical problems
All offices have tech gods who can magically fix any computer issue in a matter of minutes. One of the disadvantages of working from home is that you will have to deal with the remote work tools alone. If you come across any issues while on a video call, it’s down to you to address the issue. This could drastically slow you down and prove very frustrating. Those that lack technical knowledge may initially struggle with using the new programs.
5. Blurred boundaries between work and home life
Although most remote workers enjoy a better work-life balance, for some, working from home can blur the line between work and play. Those who tend to overwork may find themselves working evenings and weekends without the structure of an office day.
Moreover, people who lack discipline can struggle to set boundaries between their work tasks and home activities because of the added distractions of children, pets, TV, and more. This is why having a designated working area separate from the other members of your household is very important when working from home.
In addition, employers who worry that their remote working staff will be less productive may delegate more work. Or, they may expect you to work longer hours to compensate for the travel time you no longer have.
How Nomad Habitat can support you
At Nomad Habitat, we strive to support both employers and employees interested in transitioning to remote working.
When a company is implementing capacity for remote working for the first time, both the company and its employees must receive sufficient training for this new working situation.
Get help from Remote Work Gurus
We offer training and support through our community programs that match aspiring remote workers and companies with our remote work experts. Our experts are Gurus in this field. They have courses, programs, and services designed specifically for people who want to become location-independent workers.
Our Remote Work Experts will teach you and your company everything you need to know to become a successful virtual company. Your guru will prepare you for a smooth transition, address your concerns, and help you tackle any challenges or roadblocks you face.
Getting started with your remote work expert is easy; check out our Remote Work Marketplace. Then choose among the services that our trusted gurus offer. These services are a great opportunity to virtually meet and speak with experts in the industry and develop long-lasting mentorships.
Once you seek guidance from a remote work expert, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the tremendous benefits of remote work. As a company, your employees will be happier, healthier, and more productive. Your decision to create remote jobs will help to clean up the environment too.
As an employee, you’ll discover a better work/life balance and feel deeper fulfillment in your job. Moreover, your new working situation will open up a whole world of possibilities. Being a location-independent worker, you can live and work from anywhere.
You can become a digital nomad where you make a living as you travel and explore beautiful places. Once you transition to remote working, the world is truly your oyster!