7 Ways Working From Home Changed My Life
In 2008, I joined Corporate America after earning my bachelor’s degree in marketing. I had a good job, at a good company. It should’ve been enough. It should’ve made me happy. But, it didn’t, and I felt like something was wrong with me because I was living the American dream and I was miserable.
Every night, I had to prepare my clothes for the next day and go to bed early so I could get up in time to shower, eat breakfast, and do my daily commute in the morning. Then I’d get to the office to sit in my open-space desk around dozens of other people. My co-workers would be talking all day, while somehow getting work done despite the constant distractions. I’d, of course, feel obligated to participate or risk being isolated from the group.
Looking back, maybe that was an expectation I put on myself that I shouldn’t have.
Then no matter how productive I was that day, I’d have to stay past clock-out time. I’d have to wait until it seemed like I wasn’t leaving early enough to appear like a slacker while also trying to beat the impossible rush hour traffic. I could never do both, so I always ended up in traffic while thinking about all the other things I’d prefer to be doing with my time.
Once I finally made it home, I’d only have enough time to eat dinner, do a few chores, and get ready for the next day. I was so burnt out that I wouldn’t have the energy for anything else.
Luckily, I found a way out of the rat race. These are 7 ways working from home has changed my life:
1. I own my time working from home
If I want to stay in bed sleeping until the time I need to log on to begin working, that’s perfectly fine. I can work in my pajamas. If I want to plan something for the exact time I’m done working, that’s fine too. I can get out in the middle of the day and explore.
I can combine my schedules, so I have the work-life balance that suits my needs. Remote workers have the power to do this.
2. I save money working from home
I don’t have to spend money eating out at lunch if I don’t want to. There’s no need to buy fancy suits and accessories for every day. I save money on gas and car maintenance. Plus, I don’t have to participate in obligatory office gift exchanges (although they can be fun).
Many expenses aren’t as critical when you’re working from home because you don’t have to worry about keeping up with your co-workers (the office version of keeping up with the Joneses).
3. I have more energy working from home
Since working remotely, I’m not completely burnt out at the end of the day and can still get in a workout or do something in my evenings that satisfies me in another way. I can take evening courses, hang out with family and friends while being completely present, or get out and see some local sights.
People often underestimate the value of having energy left over after your workday is complete. But it’s such an essential element of taking care of yourself physically and mentally.
4. I can do more things I enjoy working from home
I don’t have to sacrifice everything else for work anymore. I can keep doing the things that make me happy outside of my job. This factor alone is why remote work wins with me.
I don’t just have to choose my career and have that consume my entire life.
5. I can wear whatever I want working from home
This kind of speaks for itself. I can work in pajamas. Pants aren’t a requirement if I don’t make them one. I save a lot of moneyon unnecessary wardrobe items and a lot of time getting myself ready to look as presentable as Margaret will in the office today.
6. I can be anywhere I want to be working from home
Want to sit by the beach? Go ahead (as long as you’re near one). Want to sit on your porch in the mountains? Do it (again, you must live in the mountains for this one). Want to occupy an office for a day? There are lots of options for this now! Want to sit at home? That’s perfectly fine too. Would you like to travel while working? I’ve made that work, and I’m sure you could too.
As long as you have a computer, WiFi, and cell service you can work anywhere you want. Sometimes, you don’t even need cell service anymore.
7. I choose the people around me working from home
Have you ever hated a co-worker? Okay, maybe just strongly disliked being forced into the same space with someone you’d never willingly choose to spend time with? If your answer is no, then you’re in the minority and extremely lucky.
Yes, you still have coworkers that you communicate with frequently. However, remote working improves the quality of every communication you have with your colleagues.
At the end of the day, I’d always choose remote working over working in an office. The advantages I’ve listed above have improved my quality of life in a way that I never even imagined before. Which option do you choose?
Author: Michele Gourdine