Work From Home Benefits
Work from home benefits are extremely wide and varied and very much depend on your own individual circumstances. For some people (like myself) the only work option is to work from home, and for others it is a lifestyle choice. Most people can identify the general spending more time with family and no commuting benefits, but today I would like to delve a bit deeper into those and some of the less well known benefits of working from home as well.
Spending Time with Family
Its funny when I wrote that my immediate thought was there are a lot of benefits of spending time away from family as well LOL! There are hundreds of stay at home parents who would love to go out to work. Yet when I ask people why they want to work from home the top answer tends to be to spend time with family.
Its like a grass is greener perspective in my opinion, because to be honest I think we just want the best of both worlds (and why wouldn’t we?). If you have small children there is the feeling of missing time with them when you go out to work. Staying at home with them 24/7 though can also be quite frustrating and overwhelming. Its often the same for those in a caring role with elderly parents or people with disabilities.
That being said most of us would like to have the choice of spending time with family when we want to. That is the key point here in my opinion. Its about having a choice about how we spend our time and doing what we want to do. That could be spending time with family, or it could be doing something else completely 😉
Flexibility is of course linked to spending time with the family, but it is also important in its own right. As I said above the choice of being able to do what we want with our time is the key. The flexibility that working from home provides does allow us to lead a more fulfilling life in a lot of ways. We can make time for the things we like to do, or have to do, around what we do to make a living.
Personally it is this ability to move everything around when my health is bad that allows me to actually create an income. No employer would put up with my “I can only work when I feel well enough to” schedule. Yet when I have the flexibility to do just that I am pretty productive.
For anyone who has to spend time on busy public transport or in traffic jams the idea of working from home can be sheer heaven. No standing about in the rain and cold and no frustrating stop start journeys that seem to take forever. This one pretty much speaks for itself. There is no travel to a job needed when you are already at the place you work.
I think it is important to highlight in both of the examples of spending time with family and no commuting there can also be financial benefits at play. Being able to reduce childcare and travel/vehicle costs is certainly not insignificant. Even flexibility links in here as you can choose to travel at ‘off peak’ and therefore cheaper times if you have to travel at all.
It is interesting to note as well that reduction of costs such as childcare and transport often means individuals do not actually need as much money to live on. The work from home option can therefore allow for either less work time or more disposable income. If work from home options also include ways of building passive income then both can be achieved simultaneously.
Mental Health Benefits
It is highly recognised that the majority of people can be badly affected by the lack of a work routine and mental activity. There seems to be a natural desire for humans to contribute to the community and have a sense of direction and purpose. Not only does the Government quote this in their many return to work policies, but psychological research supports that view too.
In all my time working in the mental health field, and indeed from my own experience, I can confirm a sense of purpose is practically vital for positive mental health. In fact that is one of the main driving factors behind me writing this blog. Having a sense of purpose is empowering and builds self esteem as well as motivation etc.
Being able to work from home benefits us as individuals by providing a sense of purpose and direction, but it also benefits communities to have its members engaged in purposeful activities. There is less of a ‘layabout’ culture when people are being purposeful. People are more motivated and generally happier which creates a much more positive environment for all.
Reduction in Poverty
The fact the work from home activities involve income generation can have an overall reduction in poverty. People who are unable to secure employment in the traditional sense are provided with an alternative means of supporting themselves. This has several additional benefits as detailed below:
Reduction in Specific Crime Levels
Very simply put it is shown that reducing poverty has a knock on effect on specific crime levels. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for example provides quite a compelling report showing a clear relationship between finance and robbery, homicide and car theft. The report does suggest there are additional factors involved as well, so it is not just as straightforward a relationship as we might expect, but a link is established.
Improved Overall Health
Reducing poverty also has a very clear impact on general overall health. Just being able to afford better quality food such as fruit and vegetables for example has long term health benefits (as health campaigns continually remind us). For me personally work from home options provided me with the means to buy food, never mind better quality food, when I lost my job through ill health.
As work from home options can provide an income for individuals unable to work it allows people to stand on their own two feet. There is a reduction in need for charitable and government support for the unemployed and disabled.
It is quite ironic to me that one of the main work from home benefits is a direct reduction on the need for ‘benefits’. This was one of the main motivating factors for myself and certainly many other individuals who work from home. The majority of unemployed and disabled people do not want to be dependent on others for financial support. Work from home options therefore provide a means of emancipation that meets both individual and Government needs.
I must admit I feel like I could talk about work from home benefits forever. I obviously am an advocate for work from home options and am quite passionate about it. Its hard not to be when it saved your life!
I am not saying there are no disadvantages to working from home, there certainly are. Isolation, lack of training and being vulnerable to scams are top of that list. Those disadvantages though in my opinion are quite easy to resolve. Due to the many benefits as outlined above I do believe that working from home is simply going to keep becoming more popular. It is no coincidence that a shift in work patterns is happening and many policies are changing. The work from home culture is one that balances many needs and more people are seeing that. It may even turn out to be the ‘norm’ in a few years time.
I do hope so! 🙂
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