Remote work and working from home have been steadily on the rise for years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that many companies were suddenly forced to adopt it. Since then, employees everywhere have started getting comfortable working at home, while many businesses have even adopted indefinite or permanent work-from-home options. Employers have learned that their employees don’t need to be in the office to get their work done, and some employees can be even more productive and happier working in their own homes.
There are many benefits to working from home compared to the office. And with the rise of tools like Prezi Video that make connecting online easier, it’s likely that a lot of companies will remain remote after the pandemic subsides. Here are 12 reasons why working from home benefits both employees and employers alike.
Benefits of working from home
1. Less time commuting
One of the first benefits of working from home that people experience is eliminating their commute. The average one-way commute time in the US is 26.1 minutes. By just working from home, the average commuter gets nearly an hour back in their day. That’s an extra hour that they can spend with their family and friends, pursue their hobbies, or work a little extra to put the final touches on a project.
Time spent commuting has also been linked to increased levels of stress and health problems – one study found that people would trade away five minutes of leisure time for one fewer minute in traffic. Add that stress to the negative impact of car exhaust on health and the environment, and it’s easy to see why so many people are happy to give up their daily commute.
Car emissions are a huge part of air pollution, so eliminating commutes and reducing the amount of time spent in the car is one of the best ways for people to reduce their carbon footprint. After just a few weeks of stay-at-home orders, NASA satellites captured a 30% decrease in air pollution over northeastern US due to the number of people who were no longer driving.
2. Greater work-life balance
Working at home means that employees can start and end their days when they want to, as long as they can get their work done and deliver results. This flexibility makes it much easier for people to balance the demands of their jobs with the needs of their personal lives. Coordinating school schedules and pick-up times with kids, making appointments, cooking healthy meals, and getting a workout in are easier to accomplish when you have a flexible work schedule.
Managers and employers shouldn’t gloss over this perk – flexible schedules means that your team can work during the hours when they work best and leave the times when they’re not 100% for less brain-taxing activities. Not everyone on your team is a morning person, so if they can schedule workout classes and appointments in the morning and leave their work for later in the day, you’re going to get better results and happier employees.
3. Healthier employees
In the time of the pandemic, reducing the spread of sickness was more a necessity of working from home than a benefit, but in the long run, it’s important to keep your employees safe from the spread of sickness. Working from home reduces their exposure to illnesses that spread around the office and through their commutes.
Workplace stress is another factor to consider. In a survey released by the American Psychology Association in May 2020, 70% of people reported that work was a significant source of stress in their lives. While much of their stress comes from workloads and time management, you can help ease your employees’ stress levels by letting them stay home from the office. Lack of privacy and excessive noise from close proximity to coworkers raises workers’ stress levels and inhibits their productivity (hello, open workspaces).
4. Increased productivity and better performance
The old assumption is that workers are less productive when they’re not in the office, but working through the pandemic has proved that that’s just not true. A California-based company reported a 47% increase in productivity since its employees started working at home. Email, chat, calls, and customer relationship management activity have all increased.
Furthermore, working from home and flexible hours can help people maintain their workloads when family demands increase. Many women scale back to part-time or opt to leave the workforce after giving birth, which puts their careers on hold. With a flexible schedule and a home office, parents are able to juggle their family and work responsibilities without taking as much time off of work.
5. Greater money savings
According to FlexJobs, the average person can save about $4,000 annually just by working from home. Those savings come from commuting costs (like gas, car maintenance, and public transportation), eating out and getting coffee, and buying new clothes to wear to the office. While your savings will depend on where you live and the lifestyle you lead, it’s safe to say that most people aren’t going to be spending as much at home as they did when they went to the office.
With productivity humming along and offices sitting empty, companies are looking at one major expense that they can do without – office space. A typical employer can save about $11,000 annually for every person who works remotely half the time. The savings are so great that Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman says that once the pandemic dies down, his company will operate with “much less real estate.”
6. Customizable workspace
Being able to set up your own home office just might be the greatest benefit to working from home. Investing in a comfy chair and carving out a space to oneself is a great way to ensure a comfortable, distraction-free environment.
Even for people who don’t have a lot of space at home to claim as their own, the solitude and the time out of the office can help them concentrate. In a New York Times article, a computer programmer notes that she’s able to focus and be more productive now that her work isn’t interrupted by colleagues stopping by to chat or ask for help with a computer glitch.
7. Happiness, job satisfaction, and retention
With all the benefits of working from home, remote workers tend to be happier and stay at their jobs longer. In Owl Labs’ 2019 State of Remote Work Report, remote employees reported being happy with their jobs 22% more than onsite workers, and also responded that they would stay at their current jobs 13% more than onsite workers.
Remote workers also tend to feel more valued and have greater job satisfaction than those who work in the office. So much so, that many would take a pay cut to keep the benefits of working from home.
For some, working from home may have started out as a short term solution, but the benefits are so good that it’s likely the trend will continue once the pandemic dies down. To keep your team connected while you’re physically separated and to create more engaging content for remote presentations, check out Prezi Video. Prezi Video puts your content right alongside you on screen, so you never have to choose between sharing your content and staying connected with your colleagues and customers. Create your first video today or view the Video Gallery for the best Prezi videos curated by our editors.