Having a job in modern times is a necessity in more ways than one. Earning a steady income not only enables a person to cope financially with the costs of living – which are climbing higher every day – but also provides a sense of security, and, more importantly, forms an integral part of one’s identity. Over half the population says they feel their profession goes a long way towards defining who they are, naming insecurity and loss of identity as two main emotions they think they would feel should they find themselves jobless.
But, fears and niggling insecurities aside, most of us are fortunate enough to hold down a reasonably satisfactory job, which – even if less than perfect – is a source of regular income and has the added advantage of completing us as a whole. The select few are lucky enough to have nabbed their dream job – but whether that is a profession, vocation or a curious mix of both is rather besides the point.
Nevertheless, even the most perfect job may come with a host of disadvantages, some of which, unfortunately, employees have to put up with every day of their working life. The scope of these drawbacks ranges – sometimes quite surprisingly – far and wide, and can include anything from having to don uncomfortable apparel, to being given an unfair workload, to being constantly undermined by a colleague or superior. And that’s just while you’re at the workplace. Beyond that, one could also add unbearably long commutes, long or erratic work hours and those dreaded night shifts that tend to make your body clock go haywire. Throw in the costs of travelling, early mornings (or late nights), and the stress of maintaining an appropriately professional attitude, and it’s a mystery how so many of us manage to keep the same job for years on end.
The solution for all this could be brilliantly simple. With the trend of the new era evermore leaning towards the digital, for many companies, allowing their employees to work from home is the obvious way forward. Working from home is a relatively new phenomenon that has only appeared in recent years – yet, with its potential to eliminate all the disadvantages formerly associated with work and its ability to present both employer and worker with multiple benefits, it looks like many more businesses will be jumping on the remote working wagon soon.
Here’s why we think working from home is the bee’s knees for both company owner and employee:
Location, location, location
Who says location is important anymore? If you’re working from home, you could very well be based on the moon! Well – maybe not the moon, as you’ll need a working internet connection – but you get the idea. Working remotely opens up a realm of possibilities that used to be firmly closed. Want to apply for that job in Japan? Go right ahead! And the deal is just as sweet for business owners, allowing them to base their main headquarters literally anywhere in the world – and give them a much, much wider range of prospective employees to choose from.
Make that no travelling. This is one of the best perks that comes with working from home. Open your eyes in the morning – and, bang, you’re at work! Not having to commute every day means you won’t have to face rush-hour traffic or press yourself into a crowd of passengers on the subway or bus like the proverbial sardine in a tin. It also means you’ll be saving plenty of your precious time – especially when you consider that the average daily commute in Europe takes around 45 minutes! That’s at least 15 hours of otherwise wasted travelling time that you can put into your job instead – every month! You’ll also be able to wake up later in the morning, make yourself a decent cup of coffee and be bright and perky for your working day.
Substantially less costs
Do you know how much money you’ll have to spend every month if you work from home? Absolutely nothing. Granted, you’ll need to invest in a good computer or laptop and a couple of other devices – such as a smartphone or tablet if you plan on working on the go – but you probably already have those anyway. Besides, the amount you would spend on buying them is minimal when compared to the costs you would run up every year travelling to and from work, buying suitable clothing and indulging in that daily takeaway espresso. A recent study on British employees shows that wage-related costs can eat up as much of a sixth of their monthly wage – that can rack up to as much as over £3,000 a year!
Finding it tough to balance your work and family life? More than 40 million Americans have found that working remotely may very well be the answer. True – you’ll find yourself having to juggle a huge amount of tasks, not all of them work-related, but, with a little practise and hopefully, some help from other family members, you’ll be able to make it work. For company owners, there is good news too. Having their employees working from home means they can return to work sooner after maternity or parental leave, or even not need it at all. Such jobs also open up opportunities for workers who are housebound due to mobility reasons.
One of the biggest draws of remote working is its flexibility. Though there are some online jobs that require fixed working hours, there are many companies that measure – and pay for – productivity, based on your work amount rather than the times you are doing it in. Want to work on that important project at 3 am? Who’s stopping you? Put the kettle on, flip open your laptop and you can enjoy the quietest, most fruitful hours of your working life. Modern employers can then reap the benefits.
We all have that one – or, if we’re particularly unlucky, more than one – co-worker who needs perfect silence in order to be able to work. Working at home gives employees the opportunity to tailor-make their own personal space in which they feel the most comfortable. Creating such a working environment in turn helps workers feel more at home (pun intended), hence enabling them to be more productive. So, if cranking up the rock music is your muse – feel free! You’re right at home and can rest assured you won’t be bothering anyone with your little quirks.
It seems that the age of pen and paper is fast disappearing into the distance. In today’s increasingly digital world, communicating has never been easier or faster, both for employer and employee. Emails can be sent in a matter of seconds, while video conferencing renders one’s physical presence practically moot. No more chasing that colleague or setting up business meetings. Which means that conference in Japan isn’t too far at all!
All this means we’d have to be crazy to deny our employees all these advantages. After all, as Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” And that’s what we look for. Always.