Years ago, working from home was a foreign concept. It’s something most employers or employees never dreamed would be possible. There has been in an increase of employers and jobs that are trading offices and chairs for your couch or bed. Water cooler conversations have been swapped out for conversations at your local coffee shop.

There was a time when working from home seemed like a taboo subject. For the most part, it was a concept that most people associated with millennials. But this perception has changed greatly in recent years. First, there’s now a great deal more demand for remote working. Second, it’s become a lifestyle shift for some who enjoy working independently.  Employers will develop a better understanding of how they can benefit from this new phenomenon by answering the following questions:

  • What exactly is working from home?
  • How do you define telecommuting?
  • What does the term ‘remote work’ mean?

Whatever the case may be, finding jobs that allow you to work from home are no longer hard to come by. Like with anything, there are pros and cons to working from home. There are definitely pros and cons for the employee. Additionally, recent studies have shown an increase in the benefits of working from home for the employer as well.

What is Working From Home and Telecommuting? 

What is Working From Home and Telecommuting?

Working from home and telecommuting are often used interchangeably. There is a slight difference between the two, although they are typically used to describe the same idea. Telework is defined as work that is done outside of the traditional office space. However, in some cases, telecommuting means that there may be an office space available that some work is being done out of.

Telecommuting can also mean that someone is “working from home.” The term “working from home” has also transformed over the years. Where one may believe that working from home means that someone is sitting in bed in their pajamas, working from home has evolved from that radical idea. Working from home could mean “remote working.” Typically, this has been defined as a job that is performed somewhere geographically distant from the company headquarters.

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Working from home has also created something called the ‘co-working space’. This was designed for people who enjoy working from home but missed the social aspects of the traditional office. They enjoyed being around people while working and felt relatively isolated. Co-working spaces can be traditional office spaces or a group of telecommuters that come up with a specific time and location such as a coffee shop to sit down and work together. The main benefit of co-working is for socialization and networking.

Remote Working

Remote work is another term that refers to working from home or telecommuting. This work scenario is more popular than ever and is rapidly becoming the norm. Remote working essentially means that you can work from anywhere and because of that work for anyone. If a company in California offers remote work and you are in New Jersey, you are in luck.

No longer are employees or employers stuck in a single location. Some employers may consider remote working in a single time zone or a worldwide remote team. Remote working in a single time zone could exclude the previous statement on coast to coast working. When a team works in one time zone, they can be clocked in at the same time and monitor productivity in real time.

Worldwide time zone remote working means that employees can work anywhere in the world.  So enjoy your time on the beach in Hawaii or backpacking through Europe while you still get your work done.

Benefits of Work from Home, Remote work and Telecommuting for Employers

The major benefit for employers of working from home, remote work, and telecommunication is increased productivity. Recent studies have shown that people who work from home have increased productivity. As a result, the employer can enjoy higher profits.

Another major benefit is saving costs. With remote work, employers can eliminate the cost of rental space, office supplies, and janitorial services. They can also save on coffee and various types of equipment. In short, they can be set to save a lot of money by end of the year. No matter what size your company is, what matters most is your bottom line. If you have the ability to allow your employees to work from home and could save those costs, why wouldn’t you?

Telecommuting for Employees

Benefits of Work from Home, Remote work and Telecommuting for Employees

Similar savings and costs also are seen in the employee’s bank account. Working from home, remote work or telecommuting can save employees costs such as transportation costs and office attire. These could mean huge savings for an employee by the end of the year. Working from home also benefits your health and the environment. Being able to work when it is good for you, your health physically and mentally can improve which in turn improves your overall working experience.

Just eliminating daily chores associated with work such as commuting cuts down on employees stress and wasted time daily. By being able to control your schedule and when and where you work, mental health can benefit. Working from home among employees also showed an increase in exercise and taking care of your physical health. In addition to the health benefits, there is also an increase of benefits for adventure junkies.

Remote working allows people to work from different countries allowing individuals and families the benefits of experiencing different cultures and different lifestyles. Speaking of families, working from home and remote working allow for the benefits of family time and family values to be increased. With an absence in maternity leave in some modern countries such as the United States, working from home allows moms to help their families financially while still working around the schedule of their children.

Working from home allows mothers to return to work sooner and still have time to bond with their newborns or show up for that kindergarten lunch party. Working from home fathers have more time to show up for their children in all aspects and have the freedom to help at home more with less time or no time in the office and commuting.

Are there any negatives associated with working from home?

Like with anything,  there are some negatives associated with working from home.  It takes a lot of discipline to work from home, for instance. This means that it takes time to get a good workflow going. Until this happens, it can be hard for remote workers to finish tasks on time.  Additionally, it can also be easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks of parenting or running a household. There’s also the danger of good old-fashioned procrastination. This can also lead to missed deadlines or a lack of productivity.

Learning when to turn it off and balance are also struggles associated with working from home. Going to an office to work allows most people the ability to shut off work when they get home and balance their work and home life. For those working from home, learning to “turn work off” and a healthy balance between life and work can be a challenge.

Also, feelings of isolation can be an issue for some people. For some employees, going to an office, socializing and being around like-minded individuals fuels their work productivity. Being at home, away from other like-minded adults, can cause some people to feel isolated. In these cases, making the most of co-working spaces and local coffee shops or libraries are a great option.

The Upshot of Working From Home

Working from home has tremendous benefits for individuals and continues to be a viable option for employees. Although telecommuting, remote work, and working from home have very small differences, for the most part, they all are used to describe the same situation for people who work mostly outside of an office. The benefits of allowing employees to work from home heavily outweigh any negatives. In fact, seeing the benefits shows employers that allowing employees to work from home is both cost-effective and highly productive.

Although there are jobs where working from home would never be an option, for those jobs that have the flexibility to allow employees to do so it would make sense for almost all jobs to go in that direction. Not only are there major benefits for employers, but the benefits outweigh any negatives for employees as well. Although it is important to consider any negatives associated with working from home,  knowing yourself us the best way to determine if working from home is right for you. And find out what top paying remote jobs you will love.

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