Remote working may have been slow to catch on, but it’s the future. It’s not just about the convenience enjoyed by employees, or the lower overhead and other perks for employers – it’s also key to helping the climate crisis and reducing urban sprawl.
If you’ve ever wondered about working from home and you’ve been hesitant to do so, that’s understandable. It’s a challenge for some. Being successful in the working-from-home life comes down to creating a good work environment and reducing distractions when it’s time to work. You do need to find discipline, but it’s remarkable what needing to pay the bills can do to expedite discipline. If you have a family, working from a room with a door is advisable. If you don’t, then ensure you’ve got a space to focus in.
Workspace design is one thing where you’ll figure out what works best for you through trial and error, and there are a ton of resources online for different ways to organize your set-up.
But for those who figure that out, and who practice discipline, there are many benefits to working from home.
Life balance is a big one. Think about work commutes. How much time do you spend getting to and from work? How much does that travel cost? If you’re stuck on public transportation daily, you understand how much weather can impact your commute. You also understand how much other travelers can affect your mood and day. Missed buses, crowded trains – who needs it? What’s that lost time keeping you from achieving elsewhere in your life?
For remote working, though, there’s no need to worry about snow days, heavy rain, forgetting your wallet at home, mismatched socks, or panicking over misplaced keys while filling your travel mug with coffee and knowing your ride’s about to arrive.
You can forget about overspending on lunches, ponying up five bucks for a coffee every time you need some caffeine, and you can eat better at home. Imagine how much more focused you’ll be to push through your day’s work with a luscious Bolognese sauce simmering on the stove throughout your day.
Consider how much less pollution would be generated if everyone who worked in offices didn’t commute anymore. How much less parking would cities need? How could it redefine the way we live in cities, the way urban centers are used?
Even better, what if you don’t even like city living? What if you love small-town life or living near nature? That’s the beauty of remote working. You can do it anywhere with an internet connection. If you’re into travel, you can winter and work in Vietnam, or anywhere else. You’re free to choose where and how to live according to your budget and your desires.
The only sticky wickets with travel or “working anywhere” are having a reliable online connection and client confidentiality. If working on sensitive materials, you may need a private workspace while traveling, or at least a privacy screen to prevent others from being nosy. Internet speed may be dodgy abroad, but wise planning can include having portable devices to make things more reliable.
That raises another upside to remote work, especially from home. With a dedicated workspace and the need for tech and household utilities, there are often tax write-offs that can produce an excellent tax return. You’ll need to discuss that with an accountant who knows your regional guidelines.
In the end, the isolation and lack of community while working from home can be problematic for some. But the trade-offs and perks make that a challenge worth overcoming. If you’ve struggled with the overload of heading to an office, juggling fixed hours, trying to get chores done while working fulltime, then maybe it’s time you work from home.