When most people think about working from home, they probably imagine rolling out of bed, pouring themselves a cup of coffee, and spending the first half of the day working leisurely in their pajamas. Maybe they picture themselves squeezing in a midday workout, meeting a friend for lunch, or having time to cook a healthy dinner for their family, too.
Doesn’t that all sound great? The only problem is, if you’re reading this article, you probably don’t need any convincing about how wonderful a remote job could be – you’re already pretty confident that you’d love working from home. It’s your employer that needs some convincing.
Flexible schedules and remote opportunities are undeniably on the rise, but there are still plenty of nervous employers who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge. Some companies may worry that their staff will take advantage of their newfound freedom or that innovation may suffer if the team isn’t in the same workspace all day long. Whatever your employer’s objections may be, we have five compelling reasons that might just convince them to give some serious consideration to letting you work from home.
#1 You’ll Use Less Sick Days
Working from home can decrease stress by as much as 25%, and as many as 73% of remote employees find it easier to eat healthy when they’re not in the office. Reduced stress, a healthier diet and less exposure to other people’s germs (no more suffering through a packed subway ride to work or getting stuck sitting next to a sniffling co-worker at the morning meeting) should help you to stay healthy, which will, in turn, decrease the amount of unexpected sick days you’ll have to take. And on the rare occasion that you do get sick, you can always work from bed for a day.
#2 It’ll Save Your Company Money
Your company has to pay rent on your workspace, keep your electricity running, pick up the tab for your office supplies, and may even choose to provide you with some tasty snacks (or an unlimited supply of coffee!) and all of those expenses add up quickly. Allowing employees to work from home will not only cut down on fixed costs like rent but variable costs like food and electricity. It’s estimated that when an employee works remotely, the company saves a whopping $2,000 every month!
#3 Productivity Will Increase
Working in an office can be distracting. On any given day, your concentration is likely to be interrupted by meetings, birthday celebrations, overly loud conversations, and impromptu visits from co-workers – and that can seriously affect your productivity. Working from home can virtually eliminate all of those disruptions and allow you to concentrate in an environment where you’re truly comfortable. You’ll also be able to start work earlier (no commute!) and may be able to work for longer periods of time. All of this is great news for your employer – one study found that working from home increased employee productivity by 13%!
#4 And So Will Retention
This one is a no-brainer – happy employees don’t quit their jobs. If you love what you do and have the option to work from home, you probably won’t have a compelling reason to explore other opportunities. Working remotely also allows you to grow with your employer through every phase of life – it’ll give you the option of working crazy hours when you’re feeling particularly driven, provide you with a new level of flexibility when you’re trying to juggle your kids’ busy schedules, and enable you to work more comfortably as you get older and crazy commutes become increasingly less manageable.
In return, your company won’t have to spend countless hours recruiting and training replacements every few years. And that kind of turnover can get expensive; losing an employee can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $250,000 depending on the person’s role within the organization.
#5 It’s Good for the Environment (and Traffic!)
If you happen to work for an environmentally conscious company or have a boss who loathes commute traffic, this argument should grab their attention. Aside from having one less car on the road during rush hour, ditching your daily commute can reduce your household emissions by at least 6% and save nearly a pound of pollution for every mile not driven.
Convincing your employer to allow you to work from home can be a hard sell, depending on the company culture and precedent (or lack thereof), but there are tons of compelling reasons that might just sway the odds into your favor. What employer doesn’t want happy, healthy, loyal, productive, and environmentally-conscious employees who will not just earn but save them money? It’s a total win-win for everyone.
Jaclyn Westlake is a career advice columnist, creator of the Job Hopper's Job Search Strategy Guide and founder of The Job Hop. With more than ten years of experience in the recruiting and human resources space, she is passionate about empowering job seekers to achieve their career goals. She's also particularly fond of coffee, every dog in the world, and the city of San Francisco.
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