Global Workplace Analytics’ states that, “50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency.” Additionally, “75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80th percentile of all employees, home or office-based.”
Chances are high that you or someone you know is working remotely at home as a virtual employee. Technology is making this option increasingly easy to pursue and there are countless benefits associated with telecommuting. If you are wondering if this possibility is right for you, consider these 5 benefits to working remotely:
1. Countless Employment Options
If you’re looking for in office employment, you’re limiting yourself to the companies that are located within a one to two hour radius from where you live (and that’s one heck of a commute). If you apply to jobs where you can work virtually, you can literally work for a company anywhere in the world. Global Market Insights states that the, “virtual assistant market size is estimated to grow at an annual growth rate of 34.9% over the coming seven years.”
More and more companies are adjusting to accommodate remote workers. Moreover, there are many job websites that cater to virtual employment. Skillcrush has a great list of 25 sites for finding remote work. You can also find websites that focus on a particular industry. For example, CloudPeeps caters to freelance writers and social media and online marketers who all work virtually with a variety of clients. ‘
2. Increased Demand for Virtual Employees
Companies across the board are looking to hire virtual employees. In fact, Forbes published a list of 125 companies where most or all of the employees work remotely. Here are just a few reasons why: 1. Many times remote employees and freelancers don’t require expensive benefits, 2. Several studies have found that virtual employees are more productive, 3. It cuts down on company costs since a building and all the supplies that are needed to run an office are not required, and 4. Work from home (WFH) employees might be paid less since they may live in a less expensive part of the country. Let’s say an entrepreneur in New York needs to hire an assistant. The cost of living is so costly in the city that they would have to pay someone a high wage. It would save this employer thousands of dollars per year to find a virtual assistant who lived in a part of the country with a lower rate of pay.
3. Saving Money at Home
Working at an onsite office can be pricey. If you drive to a building, you might have to pay for a car, car insurance, gas, parking fees and toll. If you don’t drive, you still have expenses for public transportation or a shared carpool. Additionally, it could be costly if your work has a professional dress code and you’re expected to look a certain way. Finally, there are the “extras” like going out to lunch with coworkers, buying their kids’ school fundraising cookies, contributing to birthday gifts and the other little things that certainly add up.
4. Working Around Your Lifestyle
Working virtually allows more freedom and options than a traditional 9 to 5 schedule. I have a friend who started working as a freelance writer seven years ago when her first daughter was born. She needed to supplement her husband’s income but she still wanted to stay at home to care for the baby. Now she has two girls who are in elementary school full time and she continues to work virtually so that she can attend field trips, care for the girls during school breaks or be at home when the kids happen to get sick.
5. Working How You Work Best
Some people thrive in the hustle and bustle of a busy workplace and love completing projects as a team. Other people prefer a quiet environment where they can work at their own pace and be independent. If this second example sounds like you, then working remotely definitely makes sense. Rather than long meetings and office drama, you’ll probably have the occasional phone conversation and an active email account. On the flip side, if you are extremely social and need constant feedback, you may want to look into other types of employment.
If you are thinking about working remotely, there are a ton of resources and possibilities available. It does take some time to discipline yourself and to learn the nuances of a company off site, but the benefits are amazing. David Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer of Microsoft UK, believes that, “We need to take a more flexible approach to both the workplace and the work we do; one that provides us both the physical and cognitive space to harness the incredible power, insight and experience we offer, but focused not on the individual processes but instead on the overall outcomes our organizations are seeking to achieve.”
It’s not how you do the work, but how well you do it. If you are confident in your skills and your potential to work from home, then now is the best time to get started!