5 Reasons Why Telecommuting Is Great For Your Personal Growth
gerund or present participle: telecommuting
work from home, making use of the Internet, email, and the telephone.
The global demand for flexible work arrangements indicate that it’s fast becoming the new norm, thanks to rapid innovation in work systems and technology. In its third annual Future Workforce Report, Upwork projects that by 2028, over 70% of all teams will have remote workers — what with most of the tech-savvy, freedom-seeking millennials having now entered the workforce.
Worldwide, businesses across public and private sectors that can operate digitally have begun to recognise the positive impact of flexible working policies on both the bottomline and employee wellbeing.
So, whether you’re a young millennial, a seasoned specialist, or even a wise baby boomer — if you’re planning on transitioning to telecommuting (working from home or outside the office), now’s the right time to do it!
And if even the freedom to choose where and how you work is still keeping you on the fence, we’ve listed down five additional reasons why telecommuting is great for your wellbeing.
1. It Empowers You To Pick Up New Skills
Ten years ago, basic digital literacy could get you hired. Today, more and more companies expect employees to pretty much function digitally, and be able to communicate, organise, and centralise through a host of online platforms. Even more so for remote workers. This requires you to be an independent worker who can mobilise, adopt and adapt easily.
“Since I started working remotely, I’ve learned how to use various task management, productivity, and collaboration tools online,” shared Tania Safuan, a senior copywriter. “I even learned how to build social media materials, websites, and online courses — none of which are technically in my job scope. Even though there are designated team members to work on these tasks, distance has made me more curious and proactive, so I decided to understand how things work behind the scenes myself.”
2. It Makes You A Healthier Person
A study by Boston College on 19,000 employees from nine different companies found that stress and burnout rates were lower among workers who had workplace flexibility.
Another study by Truven Health Analytics found that having the option of working remotely can lower one’s risk of depression. The research investigated the effects of telecommuting on employee health and discovered that workers who didn’t telecommute were actually found to be at greater risk of obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse, and tobacco use than those who were able to telecommute.
Daily commute, office politics, and unhealthy work environments contribute greatly to productivity costs, due to employee absenteeism and medical expenses from insurance claims. Being able to telecommute gives you greater control of your health routines, lifestyle choices, and personal schedules, so that you can minimise stress, burnout, and create a more pleasant working space.
3. It Incentivises Creative Team Bonding
The idea of working from home or outside the office and not seeing your co-workers often might make you feel isolated and lonely, and this may affect your mental state (and health).
But akin to a long-distance relationship, it also gives you an opportunity to establish creative and different ways to bond and connect, while still retaining the space and freedom to work on your own.
This can be done by setting up chat channels that are not focused on work but allow you to exchange ideas and personal news, using video conferencing on a regular basis, scheduling biweekly and monthly face-to-face meetings (switch things up with a long work lunch or a brainstorm day at an inspiring co-working space!), or creating a digital work culture that still allows you to appreciate each other.
4. It Fosters Better Trust, Accountability, and Communication
Operating virtually encourages you to be more transparent and competent with your communication and your schedule, to ensure that expectations are managed between you and your team.
Surprisingly, this can empower accountability and take the edge off any trust issues even better than in-person environments. “So much of remote work is about productivity and communication,” said Kate Kendall, founder of the California-based freelance platform, CloudPeeps. “You’d think it’d be easy to hide working remotely but it isn’t.”
To make this work, it’s essential that communication and scheduling protocols are established so that everyone is always on the same page, no matter where they are.
5. It Makes You A More Responsible Earthling
Peak hours on the road don’t just give you a headache and test your cool, they also give you a bad carbon footprint and contribute greatly to greenhouse gas emissions, due to massive fossil fuel consumption.
Company offices are also another unsurprising culprit — the electricity, space, and resources required to power large headquarters or office buildings involve not only great energy costs, but also waste from resource consumption.
To give you an idea of the kind of numbers you could be dealing with — in 2015, Xerox reported that its telecommuters drove 92 million fewer miles, saved over 17 million litres of petrol, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 41,000 metric tons, and saved the company over $10 million!
Working from home means that you’re likely to travel less and be more mindful of the energy you use and the waste you produce — therefore contributing greatly to the health of the environment.
Imagine what life could be like if you were free to choose where, when and how you work! Gigple is making that vision a reality — by matching qualified professionals with leading employers that are hiring for flexible and remote positions. Create a free profile on Gigple to get access to available flex jobs and get noticed by companies seeking expertise in finance, business and strategy, sales and marketing, branding (UI/UX), and technology.