Everyone loves the creature comforts of home. There's nothing like working from your own personal office or your favorite sofa. There are many conveniences to remote work, but the benefits of working remotely from home go beyond personal comfort. Working at home improves job satisfaction, physical and mental well-being, and increases productivity.
Maybe working outside the office sounds like the ideal work environment for you, but you don’t know where to start.
If that's the case, we've got you covered.
What Is Remote Work?
Remote work, or working from home, refers to any job that is performed outside of a traditional central office space. Working remotely allows you to move your job out of the office and into the comforts of your own home.
Originally, working from home was the norm for most business owners. Business interactions commonly occurred in cafes, taverns, and at home rather than in a designated office space. It wasn’t until businesses began to expand that they moved toward an office-style workspace. In the early 1700s, the first office-style building was built by the East India Company. Considering this history, one might deduce that work was always meant to be conducted from comfortable spaces.
But how can you make this dream a reality?
How to find work at home jobs
Working from home opportunities are abundant, but it can be difficult to find legitimate ones. One way to narrow down the options is to start with yourself – consider what kinds of work you’re passionate about and begin your search in these fields. Be willing to be flexible; search for what you’re passionate about, but don’t pass up a good job opportunity if it doesn’t fit exactly.
If you have specialty knowledge in a specific niche, consider starting your own blog. It can be a difficult or slow start, but using a resource like this one by Millo (which includes a downloadable checklist and walk-through tutorial) can simplify the process.
For a more in-depth look into finding the perfect work from home position, check out The Ultimate Working at Home Guide.
Why Work from Home?
You know you’d like to work from home, and you might even have a few reasons why in mind. But the benefits of working from home are extensive; if you needed any more convincing, read on.
Eliminate rush hour
Rush hour is not just the commute to get to your office. Rush hour lasts from the moment you wake up until you finally reach your desk. The average morning consists of waking up and getting yourself ready, and for some it involves getting kids up and ready, too: packing backpacks, eating breakfast and feeding little ones, making sure carpools are in order, and timing your departure around traffic. It’s chaos, and working from home could eliminate some of it entirely.
The time an average American spends on their morning commute is about 5 hours in a week, and this number has only been increasing. In fact, those who have a longer commute are at a higher risk of psychological and physical problems. Problems such as back pain and headaches begin to present themselves, which cause more stress in turn. Working from home eliminates these extra stressors and can result in a better you.
Avoid office burnout
When burnout sets in, there’s not much we can do about it. We lose motivation and begin to experience a lack of physical and emotional energy. It’s easy to discount these signs or attribute them to something else, but the more you ignore burnout the worse it will become.
23% of Americans experience regular burnout; it’s easy to fall into that percentile when we’re not correctly addressing our burnout. Take a break from the office stress and demands by working from home. A change of environment will give you a chance to refocus and regain energy.
Improve your mental and physical well-being
Working from home allows you the flexibility of making your own schedule. This means it’s a lot simpler to plan your workouts and exercise activities and avoid sitting disease. You no longer have to squeeze into a crowded gym right after work or wake up early to fit in a short workout.
Having a scheduled workout plan will improve your mental state as well as your physical health and will help you be more focused and efficient with your time. Instead of an early or late workout, try a midday run. Your productivity and positivity will benefit from the re-energization.
How to Work Remotely from Home
We now know the benefits of working remotely, but there are drawbacks as well. The distractions of home can be hard to ignore. Kids need help, chores need doing, and it’s far easier to veg out and forego responsibility on our couch at home than it is in an office.
So how do you do it? How do you work from home effectively and without distractions? Here are some working at home tips.
Create a specific workspace
Designate a space just for your work. It doesn’t need to be anything official; it doesn’t even have to include a desk. Just make a space in your home that gets you into the working mindset and allows you to prioritize your professional work over household work. An office is ideal, but even tidying up your bedroom and making it serene and calming so you can work from your bed is enough. The key here is eliminating distractions, both visual and other.
It’s important to take the time to personalize your office too. There is nothing more motivating than by having a creative space decorated totally by you. Read more about improving performance through office décor.
Set expectations with children
Working at home remotely might sound great, but what about the kids? When kids are around, it’s hard to fully focus. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Taking steps to occupy at-home kids and set designated breaks to check on them can reduce the headache and frustration of split focus. The following resources are full of helpful information on how to master working from home with kids in the house:
- The New York Times: How to Work from Home with Children
- 7 Tips from Real Moms on Working from Home with Kids (and Staying Sane)
- How to Work from Home when you have Kids
- How to Work Effectively from Home with Kids
Manage your time
Oftentimes the greatest robber of productivity is poor time management. It might seem counterintuitive, but to maximize your time, you’ll have to burn time planning. We’ve gathered a collection of excellent time-saving resources to help you make the most of your professional time at work, including one of our own.
- How to Priorities at the Office
- The Secret to Managing Your Time Working from Home
- 5 Ways to take Control of your Time when you Work at Home
- How to Stick to a Schedule when You work from Home
Working remotely is a practice that’s been steadily increasing with no signs of slowing down. As of 2018, 43% of Americans claimed to spend at least some time working remotely.
Perks of Working from Home
We’ve detailed the mental and physical benefits to working from home, as well as the productivity benefits. But what about just… perks? These ‘icing on the cake’ extras might just be the push you need to commit to a remote-work lifestyle.
Make your own schedule
Not everyone’s most productive time is 8:00 a.m. In fact, the type of work you do determines what time of day you will be most productive. If you’re able to work at your most optimal time of day, then your productivity will skyrocket. Maybe you do your best work in the afternoon or late into the night. Working at home allows you to potentially make your own schedule and be the most productive.
Not only will your productivity increase, but you’ll also be able to more easily schedule other daily tasks. Whether it’s shopping for groceries or waiting on the plumber, having the flexibility to complete your errands around work sessions is a key convenience that comes with working from home.
Maximize time with your kids
The average parent spends about 1.5 hours a day with their children under the age of 18, which translates to roughly 10 hours a week. It’s easy for working parents to become busy at the expense of quality time with children, but by working at home you have the opportunity to spend more time with your kids.
By cutting out commuting time and having more flexible working hours, you don’t have to wait until 5 o’clock to spend quality time with kids. Instead of relying on homework, supper, and bedtime routines to see your children, you can spend time with them right after school and finish up your work at a more convenient hour, like after they’ve gone to bed or early in the morning.
Save gas money
The average American spends about $2,600 a year on gas for their commute. Instead of pouring money into your gas tank every month, you can put that money toward something else. Grow your savings; plan an extra special vacation; buy a new household accessory; or pay for an extra day of childcare each week. Make the most of your work from home savings.
Enjoy dressing how you want
When you work at home, you’re the boss of what you wear. You don’t have to worry about having clothes picked out the night before. There is no business casual, or business dress. Wear sweatpants and slippers if you want. Don’t worry about doing your hair or makeup. If you like getting dressed up for the day, go for it! But you can always choose comfort over publicly acceptable attire.
Studies have shown that remote workers are much more productive and engaged, and therefore much happier, than those who work in a traditional office.
There has been a steady increase of the recent years in people working remotely from home, and there are more jobs than ever that are able to be done remotely. While it is not always feasible to work from home every day or in every job, having the opportunity to work from home periodically is a flexibility more companies – both big and small – are embracing. And you can, too.
For more informative articles about office supplies, subscribe to our email newsletter!
Never fear, you won't begin receiving daily sales emails that belong in a spam folder. Instead, we promise a fun weekly roundup of our latest blog posts and great finds from across the web. And if you lose interest, it's always easy to unsubscribe with a single click.