This blog is a part of a series on the pros and cons of remote working, highlighting the benefits. Subscribe to stay tuned for the difficulties of #WFH life. Make sure to check out Part 2 with the Cons here.
Most of us have fantasized about skipping the commute and working remotely at some point—while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, sandwiched into a crowded subway, or running after a bus. For many knowledge workers, the pandemic has turned that fantasy into a daily reality for the last few months and foreseeable future. If you’re still debating whether to start or continue working remotely, there are a lot of great reasons to make the switch permanent.
Save More, Earn More
A mere six cities host a third of the Fortune 500 companies in the US. Even if you’re not interested in working for a huge corporation, many of the most desirable jobs for knowledge workers are based in a handful of large cities. This concentration of people comes with higher living costs, from housing prices to basic amenities like food and healthcare. Remote work gives you the flexibility to work in smaller cities or rural areas with lower living costs, so you have more control over your spending. The corollary is that you can also draw a larger salary or offer more competitive pricing for your services than folks tied to working in an expensive metropolitan area.
Be Happier and Less Stressed
Some commutes are better than others. Take Zach Schwitzky, who kayaks to work in Manhattan from Hoboken nearly year-round. But for most people, remote work affords an opportunity to forgo a journey that adds up to nearly five hours a week in lost time. Commuting expenses, especially by car, can cost up to $2,600 per year and contribute to health problems and increased stress levels. Instead, remote workers can use that time to exercise, spend time with family, or other habits that promote well-being.
Create Your Own Schedule
Remote jobs are, in themselves, diverse. Some companies still require that remote workers stick to a strict schedule for real-time communication. But many companies, like Basecamp, an all-remote company, are opting for an asynchronous approach. “...you don’t have to do everything in real-time anymore,” says Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp. “You can give people more time back during the day—long stretches of uninterrupted time where they can do more creative work.” Besides improving productivity, flexible remote schedules let you create a routine that gives you a better quality of life. As long as you’re able to get your work done, yes, take a midday nap to recharge, squeeze in a workout before lunch, or pick up kids after school.
Set Up Your Ideal Working Environment
Doing your best remote work also means setting up your ideal workspace. While we suggest a room with a door that can close, a window, and lots of plants, if your ideal workspace is a gray cubicle adorned with Transformers figurines, go for it! Creating your ideal working environment doesn’t have to be complicated. For nomadic copywriter Katherine Conaway, coffee shops and a laptop work just fine. “[Cafes] let me work in different locations, make it convenient to get coffee and food while I work, and give me a sense of human interaction even though I work remotely and by myself.” Experiment to find what works for you. If you’re having trouble adjusting from office life, jam out to these ambient office sounds to help with the transition.
More Job Options
In some ways, going remote limits your prospective job options to knowledge work with companies that support telecommuting. But with over 4.7 million remote workers in the US (and likely far more than that, post-pandemic), remote-friendly job opportunities are more widespread than ever. An Upwork study predicts that 78% of teams will have at least one remote worker by 2028. In many ways, going remote is an improvement in job security, as workers can change jobs without having to choose between going through a stressful relocation or restrict themselves to offerings within a reasonable commute of their homes.
Be More Focused and Productive
If you’ve always worked in an office, transitioning to working from home might come with some initial hiccups. Take a casual coffee break, for example. You step out of your home office and notice some laundry that needs folding in the hallway. You arrive in the kitchen and decide the counters need to be wiped down. Before you know it, your 5-minute coffee break has turned into a 45-minute chore session and your mug is full of cold caffeine. In any case, domestic distractions are a passing phase. Once you’ve taken control of notifications and Zen’d out your office space to be a sanctuary of focus, you’ll discover for yourself why seasoned remote workers with dedicated office space have been proven to be more productive and focused than their office-bound peers.
Save time and money, improve focus, reduce stress, and create an ideal work-life balance—what’s not to love about going remote?
If you do decide that full-time WFH life is for you, make sure to review our other remote working resources:
- How to Market Yourself Online - Key tips to finding a remote role, digitally.
- Work From Home Hacks to Keep You Sane - Set up your space and work day with these tips.
- How to Make Remote Working Foolproof - Steps to stay connected no matter where you work.
- Cultivating Culture with a Remote Team - Ways to develop rapport with your colleagues.
- Creative Motivation in Isolation - Stay creative when you can't brainstorm together.
Wondering how to find one of these roles? Start by marketing yourself online. Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or just want to give it a try, reach out—Artisan specializes in connecting talent with remote-friendly work opportunities.