Exploring the Perks of Working from Home (and Tips for a Smooth Transition)

Anna Johansson

April 09, 2019

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Over the last decade and a half, working from home has become relatively commonplace. With the growth of cloud technology, the internet, and remote working software and solutions, employees can establish an office from almost anywhere.

If in the process of moving away from an office role and into a more flexible remote working situation, the following will be a treat.

The Benefits of Working from Home

In 2017, nearly eight million Americans worked from home. That number is expected to double within the next few years. And while we know the appeal for employers, what benefits does it provide the employee? Here are a few powerful perks:

  • Flexibility—In most work-from-home roles, there is far more flexibility in scheduling. While there are certain hours needed to be physically at a desk, there are other times when it's possible to step away and do something else while still technically being on call.
  • Comfort—There's a certain comfort factor that comes from working out of the house. One can wear the clothes they want, decorate the office as they please, and have the dog sit nearby. It's far better than getting dressed up and sitting in a sterile office or boring cubicle.
  • Ability to relocate—When having a remote job where there isn't a need to go into a physical office, the world is suddenly a playground. If a spouse is relocated and there's a need to move, no problem. The job can go to the new area.
  • Saves money—For most people, working from home allows for significant cost savings. Not only is there no commute to work—which can cost a significant amount in gas each year—but one is also more likely to eat meals from home and save on eating out.
  • Greater productivity—This one comes with a caveat. Undisciplined people will find it easy to become distracted by household chores, Netflix, neighbors, or a warm bed. But if there is self-discipline and a secluded office that's free of distractions, there will be a significant uptick in productivity.

Three Tips for a Smooth Transition

If working in an office for any length of time, it's common to grow accustomed to the traditional elements that come with a structured work environment. Transitioning into a more flexible remote working setup will present a number of changes.

Here's how to manage this changeover with ease:

Develop a Routine

It's important to create a routine in order to stay disciplined, organized, and purposeful in the approach to work. If finding a need to get out of the house in order to stay sane, build in regular routines like lunch with the spouse or an early afternoon trip to the gym.

Every moment of every day doesn't need to be repeated like it's Groundhog Day, but do take the time to make parts predictable. It'll make the transition feel more natural.

Maintain a Commute

While the commute to and from work is often one of the biggest pain points for office workers, it will be noticed just how important it was once working from home. Suddenly there is no lead in to work or way of transitioning out of work at the end of the day. Creating buffers will prove helpful.

"The act of physically disconnecting from the workspace is one not to be undervalued," Ashley Gwinn advises new remote workers. "For the last month, I have maintained the practice of transitioning from work to home by walking our dog immediately following me logging off and shutting down my computer. This ritual has saved me from feeling my workday had no end and allowed me to re-enter my home refreshed."

Create Separation

When working from home, work and personal life intersect pretty dramatically. While there will always be spillover from one area to the next, try to create some boundaries and establish separation.

Welcome to the New Age

For better or worse, working from home is the new reality for millions of Americans. Choosing to look at it from the positive side of things will make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Embrace the benefits, overcome the challenges, and learn from this new opportunity.

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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