Remote work has many advantages and a few negatives. It is growing (5.3% of all workers now do so remotely. The experience has been incredibly positive for the overwhelming majority of both workers and their employers while fellow commuters surely appreciate the fact that there is less congestion (and wishing they could avoid the twice daily stressful nightmare as well).
It is a clear answer to the ever-increasing traffic problems that set new records for time on the road each year. While some feel that working from home prevents teamwork and socializing, most agree with me that the advantages are well worth it. If you can manage your time, stand a quiet work environment and not need constant interaction with people, then it is incredibly advantageous for all concerned, including society as a whole.
Personally, I find I am far more productive working from home in a very quiet environment (not even music). I get enough interaction using phone and video meetings using Teams and other collaboration apps. I can avoid interruptions from office mates who want to chat or some kind of office drama distraction. I can still chat a bit about the game last night if I want to via chat or joining a sports channel in Slack.
I do not have to worry about my image if I choose to close my eyes to recharge for 10-15 minutes. I can still have very productive meetings using apps like Teams which tracks task assignments and simultaneous document changes we can all view live. Working from my home office allows me to be very productive whereas the office environment is distracting, always effecting my ability to focus on my work.
I can go to lunch or have something delivered from multiple local restaurants (Chinese and Panera are my favs). Even with lunch delivery costs, I am saving money over what I spend in money and stress when commuting. Rather then arriving at work stressed and already worn down a bit, I walk into my home office fresh and ready to rock.
The DC commute is often noted as the worst nightmare of all America’s work drives. Driving to the buss takes 45 minutes (30 miles). The bus/metro require at least another hour to go 36 miles. So after more than 2 hours going 76 miles, I am stressed, usually thinking dark thoughts about traffic and my fellow commuters and arrive at my office grouchy and grumbling. Who needs this?
Remote work saves not only the worker time & money, but also the employer with lower facility costs (leases, real estate, etc.), energy (heating/cooling), but also results in higher worker satisfaction. Granted, some work absolutely cannot be done remotely and some workers are unable to discipline themselves to focus on work except when watched. But that still leaves a majority of work that can be done remotely.
Here are some articles on remote work:
Your Company Should Let You Work From Anywhere – Loved this opinion piece, “breaking down the boldest bets in business“.
>You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Your Career to Work Remotely – Six remote leaders tell you how they grew their careers, remotely.
For more information about Remote work and some great sharing of stories, try out Remotive on Slack.com. We greet each other each morning as you watch people around the world start work in their time zone.