If you've gotten a taste of working from home and want to continue, you're not alone. Many people have now experienced firsthand the benefits of working from home and don’t wish to return to their pre-pandemic lives.
Working from home, whether part-time or full-time basis, can benefit your finances, your work-life balance, and even your mental health and morale.
From allowing you to get more sleep (goodbye, commuting!), to picking your own furniture like the best desk chairs, to giving you more flexibility with lunch, there are a whole host of reasons to make the switch to home working for good.
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What are the benefits of working from home?
1. You save money
This is a benefit of working from home that is almost immediately obvious and that might have one of the longest-lasting and biggest impacts on your life. When you don't have to commute to an office or other work location each day, you cut down on money spent on gas, you reduce the wear on your car or, if you use public transport, you cut down on transit ticket or season pass costs.
If you previously drove to work, you may also save on insurance costs as you won’t be using your vehicle to travel to and from work. Some estimates put the financial savings of working from home at nearly £6,800 per year (opens in new tab). Get that piggy bank out and start saving the difference!
2. You reduce commuting time
As well as saving money, you’ll also have more free time by not commuting. This gives you more time outside of working hours to relax, deal with personal issues, practice self-care, start a hobby—the list goes on.
Even if you add a “fake commute” to your day by going for a walk before you sit down at your desk—which also helps you set solid starting and ending times to your work hours—you ultimately control how long that commute is. And you get to choose what form that fake commute takes, by the way, be that a walk around the block or a short cycle ride.
But no matter what you choose to do, you don't have to take that hour-long bus ride or grapple with traffic on your way to the office. And while many people use their commute time first thing to read, listen to podcasts or check emails, you can do that at home as well!
3. You eat smarter
If you already brought your lunch from home, you might not notice much of a difference with regards to your food budget, although you'll be spending less on foods that pack well. But if you weren’t great at preparing lunches in advance or simply enjoyed buying it on your way to work, you’ll definitely save money by eating chez vous.
An estimate from 2015 (opens in new tab) published in The Guardian put the difference in cost between home-packed lunches and eating out at nearly £1,300 ($1,800)—a figure that will only have increased with inflation.
Another benefit of working from home is that you have more control over what you eat and what ingredients go into your meals, like salt levels. That said, you do have to watch out for random snacking now that your refrigerator and cupboards are just a room away...
4. You choose your work set-up
From more comfortable clothing to light levels, you choose your work setup when you’re based at home. Instead of having to ask your employer for a different desk or to turn up the heat, you are the one who decides when you need new furniture and when you're too cold (albeit at your own expense).
Don't like your desk chair or general office decor? You can buy a new one at your discretion. (You can even upgrade to an ergonomic desk chair!) You aren't limited to one approved seller, either. Instead, you can invest time and money in creating the office you want. You may still have your own budget to work with, but other than that, the choice is yours, not your employer's.
5. There's no dress code (kind of)
One of the biggest benefits of working from home is that you can wear more comfortable clothing; although your employer may still require a dress code for video conferences or any public-facing appearances, generally speaking, you can opt for something cozier while you work at home. (See our guide to the best working from home clothes for all the chic home office outfit inspo you need.)
You also benefit from not having neighbor-related distractions, such as a cubicle neighbor humming or the person across the aisle playing a radio too loudly. And the too-heavy perfume or microwaved fish wars that once marked your days in the office? Those are now a thing of the past.
6. You may set a more flexible schedule
One more way in which you can control your working environment if you work from home is through scheduling. Not every employer will allow this, of course, but given that you now save time on commuting, you might be able to negotiate more flexible hours. These can range from 4/10 days (10 hours per day, four days per week), to having an earlier or later shift.
Even if you prefer the traditional 9-to-5 schedule, you may find it easier to fit in doctor's appointments, run errands and arrange social events now that you have more time due to a reduced commute.
If you’ve been unsure about making the switch permanent, the benefits of working from home are seriously worth considering. Although employers may want workers to return to the office in the coming months, see what you can do to keep at least part of your work at home (if not all of it).
The My Imperfect Life team is all about helping you navigate your world. We bring you the latest on fashion, beauty, travel and wellness so you can live life on your terms.
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