Author: Jocelyn ter Morsche, marketer at remote company Xoxzo.

Remote work seems appealing: no more morning commute and goodbye uncomfortable suits and office politics. However, it is not all that it seems and people who can only imagine what it’s like to work from home, probably paint an overly optimistic picture of a remote worker’s life.

But what is it really like to work remotely? In this part 1 out of 2 discussing the pros and cons of remote work, I will first talk about the pros that I experienced while working from home. Perhaps you’re thinking of making the switch to a remote job so it’s a good idea to first find out if this work style suits your personality and lifestyle. Check out this list so you can have a deeper understanding of what the life of a remote worker is like.

An overly optimistic picture of what some people think remote work is like.
Source: Master1305

Pros of remote work

1 – Goodbye commute!
2 – Save money
3 – Eat fresh & healthy
4 – Comfortable
5 – More autonomy
6 – Flexible schedule
7 – More time for friends and family
8 – Your workplace, your style!
9 – Time to exercise regularly
10 – Better Health

1- Goodbye commute!

In 2018 the average one-way commute for Americans was 27.1 minutes. This means that the average American spent 225 hours per year or 9 full calendar days on the road in 2018. Going remote means that you can save a lot of time that I like to use to sleep, study, exercise, do the laundry, pay my bills and so on. Pretty much all of the things that can take ages to check off your to-do-list when you have a full-time office job.

Also, no more rushing to get ready, stress of being stuck in traffic, and grumpy commuters spilling coffee on you. I noticed that even a Monday morning doesn’t seem that bad anymore. According to a 2014 survey of PGI, 82% of the respondents experienced less stress when they no longer had to commute to their offices. Read more about remote work statistics for more surprising statistics.

The dreaded morning commute
Image source: 2- Save money

Okay, your electricity bill might go up but there are so many things to save money on when working from home. Not all employers pay for transportation expenses, so if that is the case for you working remotely will save a lot of money on that alone. And expensive formal wear? No need for that either.

Other than that, there’s no excuse to not cook your lunches instead of eating out at pricey cafes, or getting pre-packaged meals from that overpriced convenience store as you would working at an office. I didn’t realize how much these things added up until I started working from home and noticed the difference in how little I spend on food these days.

“Ok, I think I can buy a new suit if I cut on non-basic stuff like eating”.
Image source:

3 – Eat fresh & healthy

As mentioned above, not only does cooking your lunches save money but I also noticed that I started losing weight by cooking my food and eating healthier at home. When you work at an office, the temptation is real: birthday cake, pizza day and coworkers bringing snacks. Of course, free food is fun too but now you can decide when and how much you snack and, above all, fresh food always tastes better. I like to cook large portions during my break sometimes and freeze what’s left for days that I’m busy at work or just lazy.

4 – Comfortable

There’s no better thing than waking up feeling fully rested and enjoying a cup of coffee before starting a productive workday from your favorite place: home. I like to wear pajamas (every once in a while) and it’s so much better than an uncomfortable suit that you just can’t wait to take off at the end of the day.

Do you know that feeling of a cold coming and you’re not sure whether to skip work? No worries, wrap yourself in a fluffy blanket and start working. When you’re finished you can go straight to bed.

The trick is to find a balance between being comfortable but not getting too lazy.
Source: Pressfoto

5 – More autonomy

If you work at a big company’s office chances are that you don’t have much of a say in how to do your job. People are constantly watching you and you may feel like you’re stuck in routines and rules that have been established since the beginning.

Generally speaking, when you work from home you have more freedom and autonomy, which can be intimidating for some people. Personally I like working independently, I like to come up with my own ideas on how I want to work. Being able to work independently is also an important skill.

Remote workers also like to use technology and tools to their advantage, such as video conferencing tools, which allow you to stay in touch with coworkers at any time so you don’t feel like you’re completely alone.

6 – Flexible schedule

In many cases, if companies have a work-from-home policy they also work with a (semi) flexible schedule. This means that you can work when you feel most productive. Some people like me, prefer to start early in the morning and finish early, others feel more productive at night or some people work from morning till night but take long breaks. The flexibility is also great for still being able to run errands and plan a doctor’s appointment without having to miss a whole day of work.

On today’s schedule: making lunch for the kids at 12, Zoom meeting at 1.
Image source: Freepik

7 – More time for friends and family

This one goes hand in hand with the lack of commute and flexible work hours. You can use that extra time to spend more time with family and friends. You also won’t have to take time off to take care of a sick family member since you’re already at home anyway.

I used to finish my office job quite late and then also had to deal with a long commute so meeting friends after work was not always easy. Working remotely I noticed I have a lot more time; all of a sudden, work, meeting friends and getting enough sleep all fits in my schedule.

8 – Your workspace, your style

Not a fan of the typical minimalistic white office space? You can now create a workspace and decorate it according to your taste. Make it cozy, make it cute, or keep it simple: make it a work environment that makes you feel comfortable and in which you can be most productive.

I like the cozy vibes that cafes have way more than the typical office space, that’s why I also invested a bit in decorating my room with lights, plants and more so I can work in a space I feel happy in every day.

Finally, my own dress-code and no judgements.
Image source: Luis Molinero

9 – Time to exercise regularly

I still remember that when I had an office job I often had no more energy to exercise after work. A day existed of getting home from work, cooking and eating dinner way too late and then crashing in front of the tv until it was time to go to bed. While working at home you always have time to go for a run, hit the gym, or follow an online workout from your favorite YouTuber. Check out this article, if you want to know more tips and tricks when it comes to staying fit while working from home.

10 – Better health

Not only did I started to feel better because of more sleep and a healthier diet, apparently remote workers also get sick less often. Closed office spaces are a hotspot for germs and bacteria. Depending on the size of the company, hundreds of people may touch the same doorknobs and printers. Not even the coffee machine is safe.

Wakefield’s research showed that 69% of Americans don’t take sick days, even when they don’t feel well. This means that diseases can easily spread in an office, while working from home you’re less likely to get infected.

Image source: Freepik

What is the biggest benefit you’ve experienced or would expect from working remotely? We’d love to hear your opinion!

Stay tuned for part 2 of these short series in which we will address the cons of remote work.


About the author

Jocelyn ter Morsche
Jocelyn ter Morsche – Marketing
Joined remote company Xoxzo in August 2020. Majored in Japan Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands and previously worked as a social media marketer in Tokyo. Describes her marketing approach as data-driven, yet creative.
Posted by:theremoteworkerlife

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