Working remotely is becoming an increasingly viable option in our technologically savvy world. Is it suitable for your working personality? Recent technological advances have shaped the future of the workplace as we know it. Wi-Fi, smart devices, cloud services and mobile apps have all made it possible for people to work from home. Although some companies are reluctant to give in to the home-office trend, many prefer working this way. According to Forbes, the number of remote workers increased by 73 percent between the years 2005 and 2011, and this figure continues to grow. Major companies like Aetna, IBM, American Express, GTE and Microsoft are just a few that have already begun hiring remote employees. If you've been considering working from home, here are a few things you should know before getting started.
The At-Home Option: Pros and Cons
Getting out the door and to work on time can be a challenge, and the rush of it all can set you up for a pretty gloomy workday. This is why so many people would rather work from the comfort of their homes. There's no rushing to get ready, rushing to beat the traffic or rushing through lunch. Just the sweet pace of freedom and steady productivity. However, a less stressful start to the workday is just one of the many benefits of being a remote worker. Being a remote worker allows you to have: - Better Work Productivity: Working from home reduces the risk of socializing with co-workers, being distracted by office noises or having office-based system issues. - Healthier Work/Life Balance: Mashable states that of 800 employees surveyed by HP, 46 percent said that they would be happier and more productive if they could work from home whenever they needed. Some workers spend up to two hours commuting to and from work each day. This means leaving for work before the sun rises, staying indoors all day, then getting home after sundown -- a schedule that can cause tremendous stress and, in some cases, depression. - Better Choices for Work: If you live in a small town, you may not find a job opening for your particular skill set. If this is the case, searching for remote employment may be the way to go. - More of the Green Stuff: You'll save money! No gas expenses, bus or train tickets and expensive trips to cafes for lunch. - Greener Lifestyle: If you're looking to cut down on carbon emissions or paper usage, work remotely. As attractive as it sounds to work from home, there are also a few downsides to this option: - Less Interaction: There will be little to no interaction with other employees, so if you like the feeling of teamwork, working at home may not be a good option for you. - No Supervision: If you have trouble working without constant supervision, remote working may not be ideal. - Lowered Morale: Due to a lack of interaction or face-to-face human contact, some remote workers may have reduced morale. Working from home is a viable option for companies of all sizes, even if they choose to keep some of their workers on premise. According to the latest statistics provided by the Wall Street Journal, more than 13.4 million Americans work at home at least one day per week. So, is working from home really better? Well, according to recent statistics, remote workers are more productive and are definitely happier.