For most people we encounter, when they ask us what we do and they find out we work remotely, the answer is usually one of two:
- I wish! Are you hiring?
- I could never… I feel like I’d never get anything done!
Us Nytronians have the great flexibility of working from home full-time if we so desire, and thanks to the relationships we’ve built along the way, some of us have the option of sharing workspace with our customers as we’re working on projects with and for them. We have employees and support in: Mexico, Argentina, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, Bulgaria, Germany, Slovakia, Colombia, England, Israel, Greece, and more. That covers a time-zone stretch of ten hours (over a whole work day!) And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Most of us got our first taste of telecommuting prior to Nytro, so we’re not new to this. When it comes down to it, all we need to get our job done is a working internet connection, a phone line, and the willingness to do so. We’re all completely used to the setting of working from home, so our Miami girl Kathy went “on the field” and interviewed lots of people from different backgrounds, industries and lines of business to find out what they liked and didn’t like about working from home. This second installment of the Work From Home series (click here to read the first part if you haven’t yet) covers all the pros shared with us:
- Flexibility: this is, without a doubt, the top reason telecommuters love the idea of working from home. Flexibility means very different things to everyone: to working parents, it means the ability of getting to be part of the workforce and keep a steady income while also having a very active role raising their kids. For those who like to travel, it means the ability to plan longer trips and work while taking in beautiful sights and completely immersing themselves in other cultures. This has given way to a new venture: companies like Remote Year, that plan the itinerary for you, and all you have to do is make sure your job is ok with you working remotely.
- No commute: not only is it great that you can roll out of bed onto your work desk and skip a possible hour-long or worse commute, but this pro is actually making a difference on the environment by cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. According to this article, telecommuters are having the same impact on air quality as planting a forest of trees. For those who work with global companies and have to attend calls outside the 9:00am-5:00pm time zone they live in, being able to take that call from the comfort of their home at 3:00am seems like the only reasonable thing to do. Also, if they live in a place where snowstorms can happen, there’s no issue getting to work through bad weather, and they can just complete their work at home.
- Work-life balance: this one is split right down the middle as some feel that telecommuting is completely detrimental to their work-life balance, but since this piece is about the pros, let’s start with the people who say telecommuting allows for a more balanced equation. The idea of a good work-life balance is that there are 24 hours in the day, you work for eight and sleep for eight, and so the other eight should be invested in your interests, eating, spending time with family, etc. and not have work bleed into it. You work while at work, and that’s it. When you work at an office, you wake up with enough time to get ready for work (which for some that includes spending extra time on hair and/or makeup), drive to work, eat at work (many people do working lunches when they’re on a deadline), drive back home, and sometimes need to do additional work at home. When you work from home, you save the time on getting ready and the commute, and you are able to invest it into getting work done. When you work from home, you can take your pet out for a walk during lunch (which clears your head and becomes a solid break during the work day), you can work out, etc. You don’t need to ask for permission to disappear for as long as you need to, as long as your work is done at the end of the day.
savings: all the pros so far have been from the employee standpoint, but
what about for companies? When businesses offer the option of telecommuting to
some or all employees, they can save on:
- Furniture (cubicles, desks, cafeteria seating, etc.)
- Office space (rent less building space only for employees who come in regularly)
- Devices (some companies provide the IT equipment to their employees, while others are BYOD – bring your own device, so they can save on that too).
These are the main pros across the board that keep people working from home happy, and their employers too. Some people are concerned about the lack of human contact yielded from working remotely, but depending on the company, there are specific tools that can be used to ensure there’s still a good channel of communication and a connection point between employees: virtual all-hands meetings, project management sites, video-chat services and a cloud-based document-sharing space are crucial to make things work seamlessly. All of these are easily achievable at a very low cost, depending on the number of users.
Did we miss any big pros to working from home? Share your experience with us and stay tuned for the cons, many of which were surprising to us…