More Canadians than ever are working from home according to the latest Statistics Canada report on the subject. The latest data shows nearly two million of us are working remotely at least once a week, and with new technologies and a better understanding of what makes a successful virtual workforce, that number is only going to grow in the future.
While the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “working from home” might be an image of you lounging comfortably in your pyjamas all day while you work on your laptop, there are more benefits to telecommuting than this.
“Being able to work independently is great. You don’t have the organizational boundaries, and you can structure the day according to your pace,” says Dr. Lori LaCivita, Walden University’s Industrial and Organizational Psychology graduate program director. Check out five other advantages working from home has to offer.
- Shorten your commute. Say goodbye to rush hour traffic, jam-packed public transportation and losing a few hours of every day. What you choose to do with those newfound extra hours is up to you — take up a new hobby, finish that never-ending project, catch up on your favourite show, or simply sleep in late.
- Find work/life balance. Whether you have kids, are an in-demand social butterfly or are going to school part-time to upgrade your skills, the increased flexibility that comes with working from home gives you more potential to achieve a better balance between your personal and professional lives.
- Save money. While it’s easy to see the savings from not having to buy gas or public transit passes, working remotely has even more savings to contribute to your monthly budget. You won’t have to spend much on a work wardrobe, and you’ll save on expensive work lunches by eating more meals at home and may be able to cut back on your day care or babysitting expenses.
- Increase your engagement and productivity. Research shows many people prefer to work from home — so much so that employees are increasingly willing to sacrifice perks, including a portion of their salary, to reap the benefits that telecommuting offers. Research shows that people who work remotely are also more productive and more likely to be engaged in their jobs.
- Cut the drama. Forget office politics and that co-worker you can’t stand; working from home means less time wasted on gossip. Just make sure you don’t disconnect from others completely. “Just because you’re working remotely, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate,” says Dr. LaCivita. Collaboration is key to optimal performance.
Find more tips on working from home for employees and managers at www.waldenu.edu/virtualteam.