I work from home, and I have for so long that I don’t know what it would be like to drive to an office each day. Most of my friends; however, still do that morning and afternoon commute to and from their job. Whenever we talk about our workdays with each other, there seems to be a disconnect. I notice that people who don’t work from home many times have a skewed image of what it’s like.
Most people I know who work in an office think that if they had the luxury of working from home they would have a much more flexible schedule and balanced life. The reality of the situation is very different. Anyone who is able to be successful and disciplined enough to work from home for any significant length of time will probably tell you that they work more hours at home than they ever would at an office. I struggle maintaining balance in my own life because I work from home.
It’s so easy to jump on the computer at midnight with the intentions of quickly checking email, but then three hours later, be all involved in a project. There is no real separation between work life and home life. It’s all a blur that we try to distinguish as much as we can. If I want to get away from work, I have to leave my house. There is no other way.
I think many employers may be hesitant to allow their employees to work from home because they think they’ll just sit on the couch and watch Jerry Springer all day. The truth; however, is quite the opposite. Studies show that productivity goes up significantly when employees can work from home, even if it’s just on a part-time basis. In addition, working from home saves companies a ton of employee related expenses. Last but certainly not least, employees who work from home are happier, healthier and less stressed.
Workshifting reported some very interesting information on this topic in an article entitled Workshifting Could Save the United States $650 Billion a Year. They also created this fun infographic below. I hope this article convinces some employers to ease up on their employees a little and let them work remotely, even if just a few days a week.