Working remotely totally changed my working life. I’m so much happier than I was working in an office. My friend, Taiss, wrote this post for me. She’s been a digital nomad for years and recently stopped traveling quite as much. Check out more of her stuff at her blog, Together To Wherever. You may recognize her husband as Rob Atkinson, a friend of the Niche Site Project Community, a guest on my YouTube channel and podcast.
Over to Taiss…
Being able to work outside the typical corporate office can have a lot of fantastic benefits, not only for your life but for your work as well.
I know what you’re thinking: Yeay! No boss around so I can do whatever I want!
Well, sort of.
Your boss will still expect the work to get done. They’ll probably be paying even more attention to make sure you stay on top of things BECAUSE you’re working remotely.
Often times, employees will really have to “sell” the idea of being able to work from home to their employers, so it would be critical to go even above the norm with performance to prove it works.
There are also those who work as entrepreneurs at home on their own business. Being your own boss and having to motivate yourself to be productive can have its own challenges and get lonely at times. On the other hand, getting obsessed with work and never “switching off” can be a problem as well.
But seriously, consider remote work.
Whatever job you may want to have, whether a freelancer, online entrepreneur or working for someone else. Think about finding something that allows you to work remote or from home. Here’s why.
1. No or Very Little Commute
Let’s start with something so many people complain about, not to mention the environmental impact: the physical act of getting to work.
So much less time is wasted when you don’t have to leave home and can get straight to work.
The actual process of going back and forth from work can really wear you down. For some, this might not be much of a problem, but considering we have a common term in our language now to refer to specific times of day as “rush hour,” I know it’s something people deal with every Monday through Friday.
The time wasted just sitting in a car, is not just time that is gone from life, but it also comes with some stress. Being stuck in traffic and having to maneuver to find the quickest route, dealing with other drivers’ recklessness, and your mind wandering (maybe even worrying) at stop lights all add to the stress of the commute.
You may have not thought about it, but all that time can be put towards, your family, pets, or even a side hustle to make more money.
We’ll get to that in a bit.
2. Travel and Location Independence
The flexibility that goes with working remotely as far as where you work is hands down my favorite aspect!
It’s great to choose your work environment. Some people may choose to be at home and others may decide to travel the world and change locations every couple of weeks or months.
That’s the beauty of it: the choice!
When you get to pick working wherever you feel most comfortable, you can be more motivated and productive. Even if you stay at home, you can change rooms or choose to work at a standing desk, on the couch, or just at your desk.
Either way, it’s nice to be able to change things up. You might even go to a cafe or even your own backyard to get some change of scenery while you work.
For those who travel or want to travel, well, the possibilities are endless. I can tell you from personal experience that the excitement that comes with exploring a new city’s coffee shop or co-working space can sure inspire a good day’s work!
Additionally, your vacation time can be, practically, any time! If you’re able to do your work from anywhere, why not book that trip to (fill in the blank) during the off or shoulder season?
You’ll be able to go more cheaply, deal with fewer crowds, and even get some work done in between the sightseeing.
Being location independent and having the ability to work anywhere that we can get an internet connection has allowed us to travel to over 20 countries in the last 3 years. We have a travel blog, Together To Wherever that we update with all of our experiences. A couple of those years were spent living and being based out of Thailand while we traveled and worked.
It takes a little bit of organization and a whole lot of discipline and dedication!
There are also more networking opportunities when you’re able to get out of the same office environment. It’s believed that one downside of working from home is loneliness. Well, you never know who you can meet in your own town or halfway across the world that will become a great connection, a source of information, or even your next business partner.
We’ve built amazing, long-lasting friendships with people around the world and while we don’t see them every day, they have become a huge support system for us.
So, no, it doesn’t have to be lonely not going to the office. You can hand pick who you want to work with at the cafe or co-working space, etc. We’ve been in mastermind groups, connecting and brainstorming with people on the other side of the world! There are always new people with fresh ideas that we meet as we travel and live abroad.
3. A Happier, Healthier Version Of You
We talked about the benefits of less stress when you don’t have the negatives that go with a commute.
So, how else does working remotely help your health?
Well, I can tell you that cooking from home has helped us eat better. Not eating out has allowed us to choose better ingredients in our food with the benefits of less salt and unhealthy oils. Simply, put we eat a lot cleaner than before.
When you work remotely you’re able to better control your meal times and, therefore, be able to enjoy the process of eating a bit more. That whole concept of eating at your desk to impress your co-workers (we’ve all seen THAT employee) is pretty much not available.
If you’re a slow eater, like me, you can take your time with your meal. Really enjoy it and even practice a bit of meditation by being more present.
We spend our meals together chatting about everything from our work goals to planning the next trip which, we truly believe, has contributed to making our relationship stronger.
Aside from better eating habits, there’s more opportunity for physical wellness as well. Doing a quick 10-minute yoga session in your living room is way more doable than trying to do it in your office or cubicle.
You may even choose to step outside for a quick walk and/or stretch rather than sit all day and hope that you can make it to the gym after work…if you get to leave on time….if the traffic isn’t too bad…if the machines are open at the gym…
Do you see what I’m getting at?
There’s going to be a better work/life balance THROUGHOUT your entire day and the months, and the year. If you’re a gym person, you’ll be happier having the place all to yourself during some random hour of the day. If you like getting outdoors, you can go before it gets dark and soak up all the sunshine.
All these little benefits can add up and make a big difference in your productivity and motivation level.
On a side note, you can break up your day with breaks to run errands. Believe me, there’s not much fun in running errands but being able to do them while everyone else is in the office makes it a whole lot more enjoyable.
No lines at the bank, post office, or grocery store.
Boom! You’re getting things done faster and that annoying to-do list just got less stressful.
I love going to the grocery store when I can do it in 20 minutes on Tuesdays at around 10 am with no crowds and no lines. This used to be one of my least favorite errands before!
4. Time With Your Family & Pets
Can you picture the look on your dog’s face when you don’t walk out in the morning to (beat traffic) and get to work but, instead, grab the leash and go for a stroll around the block? Then, randomly, between work sessions, you feel like getting some fresh air and go throw the ball in the backyard a few times?
You come back feeling less of the “funk” that you may have been in while working on a project and your pet gets some time with you. It’s a win-win!
Even though he may not admit it, we know our cat loves having us around all day!
Whether you’re a work-from-home dad or mom, you might even choose to keep your kids at home more often than at the sitters.
I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a common theme here that’s allowing for more time for your health, for your family and pets, and for your happiness:
Getting out of the rigid environment of a corporate office opens up a lot for individuals who want to improve their lifestyle.
And it’s not just a benefit to the individual. It also has a huge positive impact for the company!
Getting more work done. There are even Stanford studies showing that working from home improves productivity!
Employees working from home:
- call in sick less
- take less time off
- take shorter breaks
Regardless of who you’re working for (yourself or someone else), you’ll be doing a better job if you have more control over your work environment and timeline.
Not everyone can produce amazing work in 8 to 10 hours at the office. There’s so much comfort in picking where you want to work, that at times, you are able to do some crazy intense bursts of work for just a couple of hours.
Those fewer hours are more powerful in moving things forward because YOU chose that time and it’s what works best for your personality and preference.
For instance, I’m able to do my most “brain-powered” work in the afternoon. On the other hand, the morning is when I can get all organization and administrative-type work done well.
In a nutshell, choosing your own workflow can have a very positive effect on your output for the day, the month, and the year!
With all that productivity, you may have so much time leftover that you’ll want to start some side hustle! This is a great bonus for those who have a corporate job but want to start their own business on the side. Some have been known to do this so well, that the business they start while at their regular job ends up giving them the chance to quit and be their own boss.