The Hidden Benefits of Remote Work
Updated: Mar 18, 2020
Remote work is a relatively new concept for professionals and organizations alike. Friends of mine who graduated even 5 years before me, weren’t considering the possibility of a remote workspace being on their radar. As the concept launched and quickly gained momentum, the list of benefits offered by this idea are undeniable and continuously growing longer. Personally, my experience as an employee working remotely has only spanned a year so far and it has already broadened my horizons and shifted my outlook on the nature of work. Some of the benefits I have felt and seen directly and others I realize as I become more and more familiar with this industry environment.
I have been able to improve my accountability and productivity as I go about my workday in my own space. Working remotely has given me an immense sense of pride knowing that I can accomplish great things and contribute to award winning projects from the comforts of my living room. I find that dedicating certain areas to work and others to relax helps a lot. I also like to set up my work area as I would a desk in an office. When I have all the accessibility to tools and resources that I would in an office I can achieve the same level of productivity without the distractions or interruptions of sharing a space. Whether it's full time or an occasional day spent working from home, your setup is crucial.
The benefits of working remotely are far reaching however, beyond myself and my colleagues. With the climate change crisis becoming a more globally acknowledged issue we can begin to recognize the roll each of us play in contributing to the solution. A sweeping issue such as climate change is not solved by any one step or action, instead it will take concerted effort from everyone on the planet. Companies and corporations are recognizing that they have a social responsibility to their employees, stakeholders and the public. Allowing employees to work remotely has several significant environmental benefits.
Primarily remote work reduces commuter traffic, which in turn cuts back on air pollution, water pollution, and oil consumption. Imagine if every company in the United States designated 1 day per week or more to remote work. Even just one day of widespread remote work could save 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas according to the Telework Research Network.
The benefits are cyclical because, if allowed to skip out on a hectic morning and afternoon commute once a week, our workday can start calmly, with a cup of coffee. The change in environment can reopen channels of creativity that can be redirected into ongoing projects. A stale workspace limits the innovation we bring to our work. Remedy this by testing the limits of your professional experience.
I am fortunate to be able to explore and create the ideal working environment for myself. It did not come naturally at first, it took trial and error, most especially discipline. As I continue to find my way, I learn from those who have explored the boundaries of what work can look like to different people.