Let me tell you about one the best employees benefits I have ever had: the option to work from home. I am (thankfully) one of the eight million individuals that get to work from the comfort of my home (and in pajamas, if I so choose). This benefit has been a true life changer for me and for my family.
Before I was able to secure a work from home position, I was another commuter traveling from my suburban home into the stifling traffic of the big city. I absolutely hated it. When I finally decided to leave that position and look for a new one, I knew that the biggest requirement of my job search was the ability to stay close to home.
I'm a parent first and foremost. And anyone that knows how hard it is to juggle work and home life knows that finding something that makes sense for both is a total game changer.
That's why remote work benefits have been one of the most sought after job descriptions since the advancement of telecommuting technology. It just makes sense. Why should an individual clock in and out of a corporate office when they can sit behind a desk at home? Beyond skipping my commute, I've found several added benefits to this way of working in my life.
1. I can work where I choose, and tailor my environment to my responsibilities.
The work environment you surround yourself with is very crucial to your performance. For me, being alone and left to my projects helps me stay focused. Before, when I was in an office setting, I would often find myself off-task as people came in and out of the office, crossing paths with my desk. Now, the only time I cross paths with a person is when I choose to go to a cafe or coffee shop. The flexibility of being alone or being around people can help you find the environment you need for each unique day on the job. If you need inspiration or a creative mindset, you can go to an indie coffee shop that plays your favorite tunes. But if you need to crunch numbers or crank out a report, you can sit at home in silence.
2. I save a lot of money — and my employer does, too.
One of the best parts about working from home is that you save money. Instead of commuting to an office space and shoveling out money for gas or a train ticket, you get the luxury of seeing your bank account stay steady without the cost of travel. In addition, working from home means minimal work attire, so you can forget about having to dress up (or having to spend money updating your wardrobe). It also means more time at home to cook lunches, make coffees, and snack on foods in your fridge instead of dolling out dough on work lunches or afternoon lattes.
The best part of all this? Your employer also saves money as they cut down the cost of operating an office. If you're lucky, those savings trickle down to your salary or annual bonuses. Fingers crossed.
3. I'm more productive because I have more time, and I am able to align my day to my priorities.
Nothing increased my productivity more than being home alone in my office. Although its an adjustment, not having to make idle conversations and being able to solely focus on my projects has helped me thrive in my new role. Plus, you have more time to work at your own pace. I like to wake up early and have a slow start, so I can have time with my son before he goes to his sitter. Spending time in the morning with him is therapeutic to me, and makes me feel like I am not losing any time on my diverse responsibilities. This extra hour or two that I'm not commuting truly makes me feel like I am maximizing my day, and that positive mentality has increased my productivity.
Working from home may not be for everyone. But for me, it was the best thing that has ever happened to my career. Benefits like remote working that will increase your productivity and happiness should influence your career. Finding a position with benefits that speak to you will positively impact everyone involved.
Marissa Ackerman is a WFHM educating the masses on the importance of diversity and inclusion as a business developer for a diversity learning organization, a published writer supporting STEM education, and prides herself for being a life-long learner.