How Working from Home Makes People Happier
The desire to work remotely is understandable. Commuting the length of your hallway and enjoying breaks with your pooch is massively appealing. And so is the ability to proactively manage your health and work in an accommodating environment.
Whatever your reasons are for considering a move to remote work, we’re about to add another one—and it’s possibly the most essential reason to desire remote work when you step back and look at the big picture.
It turns out that employees are happier working outside of the traditional 9-to-5 office setting. That’s a pretty bold statement, but if you look through the list below, you’ll understand why.
7 Ways Remote Work Makes Employees Happier
Remote work can mean a few different things. For some, remote means a hybrid schedule that allows a few days at home each week. For others, it means fully remote and rarely (if ever) having to go into an office.
Regardless of the amount of remote flexibility you’re considering—partially remote or fully remote—the benefits still ring true. So, if you’re considering ways to bring more joy into your professional life, remote work has a lot to offer.
1. Remote Work Saves Employees Money
Remote work helps professionals cut (or even eliminate) transportation costs, such as gas, car maintenance, and public transportation. Cutting those costs alone equals significant annual savings.
And while it’s true that certain aspects of working from home can increase an employee’s expenses (think more power usage when you’re home all day or the need for higher-speed internet), many employers are helping to offset the costs of high-speed internet and home office expenses.
Moreover, working remotely ultimately reduces the costs associated with dressing for an office or traditional work environment (including dry cleaning) and doing away with the cost of eating out for lunch or heading to the coffee shop.
So, how do all of these savings add up? Overall, remote employees report saving an average of $5,000 annually.
2. Remote Work Decreases Work-Related Stress
For decades, we’ve lived in a culture glamorizing the image of the overworked professional. There was a foundational belief that working long hours and forgoing vacations were the best way to achieve career success. But all of that extra work has come with skyrocketing levels of stress.
That work-related stress often leads to physical and mental fatigue, burnout, and depression. According to research by UMass Lowell, job stress has cost U.S. companies over $300 billion a year. And employees are paying with their well-being.
In contrast, remote work is a powerful stress reducer that benefits both employees and an organization’s bottom line. In fact, in a worldwide study by Cisco of over 28,000 employees, remote employees reported reducing their stress levels by a stunning 50%.
And a different survey from Future Forum backs up those findings. Of the nearly 11,000 employees assessed in the survey, those with flexible work arrangements reported having less than a third of the stress and anxiety of their in-office counterparts.
3. Remote Work Supports Better Work-Life Integration
One of the significant motivators for working remotely, whether in a fully remote or hybrid role, is the ability to balance personal commitments. Traditional work schedules require employees to fit their caregiving, personal interests, and other relationships around an inflexible schedule. For many, this layers anxiety across their entire life as they try to squeeze themselves into routines that don’t meet their needs.
And that’s not simply an opinion, it’s the reality that employees are communicating. Fully remote employees cite a higher level of satisfaction with their work-life balance than those who work in the office full-time.
4. Remote Work Offers Opportunities for Better Health
Being able to control your work environment by setting your preferred temperature, getting natural light, or even working outside or taking outdoor breaks makes it easier to prioritize your health when working from home. It also reduces (or eliminates) the need to be in a germ-filled office or public place.
Remote work can also significantly reduce sedentary time, which is linked to multiple health concerns. Instead, employees can take a more holistic approach to their health and well-being when working remotely. They can step away from their desk for homemade lunches and midday meditation sessions. And increased movement comes with boosts in dopamine and other chemicals that contribute to feelings of joy.
5. Remote Work Increases Focus and Productivity
Many office-centric companies worry about employee productivity when there’s no one to look over their employees’ shoulders. But rather than decrease productivity, remote work has been shown to improve it. That’s good news if your goal is an improvement in your overall happiness, as there’s a correlation between productivity and happiness.
It’s also worth noting that productivity increases the longer a person stays in a remote role as well. Why is that? Because the ability to block out home distractions and train your attention span is a learned skill that takes practice. But research shows that productivity increases the longer an employee works outside of the office.
6. Remote Work Expands Work Options
A job that doesn’t require a specific geographic location can be incredibly appealing.
For military spouses, having a job they can pack up and take with them can mean the difference between a lucrative career and unemployment. Similarly, digital nomads dream of fulfilling work they can do from anywhere with an internet connection. Other professionals have older parents they travel to visit and assist routinely, and remote work makes that much more feasible. And for many, it’s simply a matter of geography. Living in rural areas can be incredibly limiting.
But remote work provides more equitable opportunities for employment because applicants aren’t limited to companies that happen to be hiring in their immediate area or within commuting distance. Having more employment options increases the odds of job satisfaction, and the more satisfied you are with your job, the more likely it is that you’ll be happy at work.
7. Remote Work Improves Equity
For many demographics, remote work has been the great equalizer. Whether it’s those living with a disability that makes traditional employment challenging or impossible or retirees who need to supplement their social security income without navigating daily commutes, marginalized communities worldwide are able to find employment through remote work.
Enjoy the Happiness Boost Remote Work Offers
Overall, the benefits of remote work are vast. And all of those put together ease employee stress, allowing you to be a happier, more productive employee.
Ready to embrace the perks of remote work and find your way to professional joy again? Remote.co lists hundreds of remote jobs. Get started on your search today!
By Kimberli Lowe-MacAuley | Categories: Work Remotely