By Rachel Puryear
This post is in response to a reader who asked me the following question: What do you like best about working remotely, as opposed to in-person?
So, in this post, I’ll answer that question.
Here are several things I really like about working remotely:
I’m a Wanderer at Heart
With remote work, I can travel and see the world without being restricted to one geographic location.
In this day and age, we’re very lucky to have the option to earn a living while freely roaming around. Most people in the past had to limit travel to a couple weeks a year, or be wealthy enough to afford more time off work than that.
Until recently; most people had to wait until retirement age to live unbound to one location. Sadly, not everyone lives to see retirement age. Meanwhile, many others are not well enough to travel by the time they retire, and/or have too meager a retirement to afford traveling.
Accordingly, delaying traveling until late in life often means ending up never doing so.
Even today, not all workers can feasibly work remotely, or travel while doing so.
So, those of us fortunate enough to be able to enjoy this lifestyle should take full advantage of it.
There used to be a saying, “drive a little, save a lot”.
In the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, as well as in many other metros; it’s becoming more like, “drive a lot, save a little”.
And the traffic jams are insane!
I like the commute from my bedroom to my home office a lot better.
Time With Family, Friends, and Pets
I like having my husband and our kitties as my home office mates, rather than random cubicle mates.
Some people fear loneliness working remotely; but for me, working in an office elsewhere was truly lonely. Being around co-workers I wouldn’t have chosen wasn’t nearly as fulfilling as the time I can now spend with the people I am close to.
Plus, with a daily commute eliminated, it’s much easier to see friends and other loved ones. There’s more time in the day for socializing.
If you have friends nearby who also work remotely, you can co-work with them, if you like. You can get together in person if you’re able, or videoconference and work together.
As a caregiver to my elderly parents, flexibility in hours and location of my work has been critical. There is no way I could do anywhere near what I do if I had to adhere to a rigid schedule every day, and be in an office full time.
Easier to Cook and Exercise
My husband and I like to adhere to a low-carb, keto diet (not strictly, but substantially).
Sticking to it is so much easier when we work from home, because this enables us to cook our own meals much more than we would while working in-person. The ability to set something to cook in the background while I’m working is so much easier than doing all the cooking late in the evening.
In fact, as I write this, I already have dinner slow cooking.
We even exercise more while working at home. The time saved from commuting helps us get more physical activity.
Furthermore; if I’m thinking, or reading, or watching a video; I can get up and move a little while I’m doing that, which I’d be way too self-conscious to do in a traditional office.
Better Focus, Less Overstimulation
I find it much, much easier to focus and get things done at home than in an office with a bunch of other people around.
A big part of that is having ADHD and being prone to sensory overload. Office environments can be incredibly overstimulating, and my home environment is much more within my control.
For some employees, working at home also means being removed from office politics, and having fewer micromanaging supervisors breathing down their necks. Funnily enough, sometimes more work gets done when people are not having to pretend to work.
Fewer people commuting means fewer cars on the road for several hours a day, which is good for the environment.
As each summer gets hotter and hotter, bigger wildfires burn, and extreme weather becomes increasingly common; we should be asking ourselves why working at home should not be the default where feasible, as opposed to a mandatory daily commute.
Even for the people whose jobs must be in person and therefore cannot avoid a commute, fewer total cars on the road means less traffic for them, too.
Judged by My Work
Working from home means that my work is more visible than I am.
As a person of a certain size, I used to be very uncomfortable about working in-person. I dreaded people’s judgments, and worried about bias from management.
For anyone who’s subject to common social prejudices, not having to go into an office can help level the playing field.
There Are Other Good Reasons for Many People
There are even more great reasons for people to prefer working from home. Remote work is a game-changer for diversity, equity, and inclusion – including for parents and caregivers, people with disabilities, people living in rural areas; and women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Are you trying to set up a home office, or do you already use one?
Got a sore butt from sitting for long periods? Check out this awesome cushion that I use while working from home:
I ended up getting two of these, because after I got one, my husband kept wanting to borrow mine. We both have well-endowed rears, and this cushion is up to the task! And worth every penny.
Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to remote work, its advantages, but also to finding ways to make a living that work well for you.
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