The Perks of Working From Home
Struggling to balance your work life and personal life? Working from home may be the answer. As a busy attorney—I knew that working from home made me feel better.
It turns out that for most, an hour saved in commuting improves your wallet, your waistline, and your overall well-being. Every day 10.8 million Americans travel more than an hour each way to work. According to the Census Bureau, 600,000 of us have a “mega commute” which is a commute that lasts more than ninety minutes and is 50 miles or more each way. The average daily commute is 45 minutes per day.
Here are the top 6 perks of working from home:
1. Money is saved! The average commute costs us 12% of our salaries, according to Robert Puentes, a Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program for the Washington D.C. Brookings Institution. A survey conducted by CNN Money found that the average commuter spends 200 hours and $2,600 annually— and up to 60% more in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. What would you do with this extra money?
2. You can take better care of you. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed Americans about their daily commute and discovered that those with a longer commute are more likely to face obesity, cholesterol, physical pain, fatigue, and anxiety. Those who work from home tend to be well-rested and eat healthier.
3. Healthier food is in your stomach and an extra dollar is in your pocket. Working from home also allows me to take better care of myself because I have access to the kind of food I prefer versus resorting to eating out. A Forbes Magazine article published in 2013 found that most Americans go out to lunch twice a week, with the average cost of lunch at $10. On an average, we spend one thousand dollars a year on lunch.
4. Cups of coffee cost you less. Those of us who must have coffee to function, spend an average of $1,092 when buying daily coffees outside of the home. Working from home provides (almost free) coffee, at a moment's notice with no line!
5. Your pajamas become work appropriate. While I don’t recommend staying in your pajamas all day, working from home saves significantly on decision-making time of what to wear, wardrobe and dry cleaning costs.
6. You can operate in a stress-free, comfortable work environment. Besides saving on the costs of commuting and eating out for lunch, there are very real benefits of working from home. I personally enjoy being able to work in a stress-free environment surrounded by the delightful things that I have gathered from all over the world during my travels.
While working from home may seem ideal, it also requires discipline. Work must be done at the pace the client requires and delivered at the designated time. This means optimizing your time and finding your rhythm. For example, despite my dislike for the early morning, I have found it the mornings to be a productive time for me to work.
I’ve also learned that having a designated workspace helps to associate that area of my home with work. This will deter distractions from things like family members and the TV while also allowing you to have a safe/private place to maintain sensitive client documents and case related information. If you don’t have room to designate as a workspace, create a designated desk to prevent accidents that can occur when your work desk is also your dining room table.
While I have said that a designated workspace will deter interruptions from family members, working from home allows busy attorneys like myself to be better parents and caregivers to sick or elderly. I know this to be true because I worked from home while I was home caring for my terminally ill husband. It was a generous blessing from the firm and the beginning of career worked from home.
Brianna Clarke Esq is an experienced attorney and the Owner of TheClarkGroup in Baltimore, Maryland. She's known as a problem solver and practices law in all areas that connect with art be it performing artists contracts, galleries, and/or visual artists.