Hi, here’s a talk I did about the benefits for you – for individuals – from working from home!
The first main benefit of working from home for individuals is saving hours. How many hours ? Well we calculate most people on average spend about 13 hours a day dedicated to work on a working day. How is that made up? Firstly nine hours in the middle, which is spent at the workplace. That includes your breaks at lunch, because that’s not really your personal time that’s just time that you’ll recharging your batteries to go back to work. You wouldn’t be sitting in some food court near the office on your day off! Before that you get up and you get ready for work which might mean putting on your makeup having a shower having a shave whatever it is that you do in the morning so that you look appropriate for work, and then at the end of the day reversing all of that and getting back into your casual and home clothing so on and taking off your makeup if you do that. So it’s a couple of hours spent in preparation and so on. And then a couple of hours a day spent commuting. I know some people lucky enough to take a bus right to work, which only takes half an hour each way…but other people they’re flying from Boston to New York every morning and back again , or they’re taking the train from Paris to London and back again. So they’re spending much more than a couple of hours a day commuting. I know they’re not really common as scenarios but many people spend over two hours each way..so on average let’s calculate two hours to and from work. For a total of 13 hours.
So how much of that time is actually work time? Probably not more than six and a half hours. A lot of research indicates four to five hours. So what happens if you work from home? Some people answer “hey, I’ll do no work if I work from home!”. I say, “well that’s just not realistic! If you don’t do the work, your boss won’t let you do it for very long!”
So what would you aim to do? I would say aim for six and a half hours of work, which is the same as you would have done if you had gone to the office. Now that’s six and a half hours instead of thirteen hours per working day dedicated to work. So that’s about half the time spent which is a huge saving. What can you do with that extra time? You can have a life! You can have work-life balance! And I’ve got other videos to talk about that in great detail. But I think most people would agree that that is a big saving of hours.
The next major benefit is saving stress. Stress is a huge problem in today’s world, for just about everybody. And that’s not only stress related to achieving your work results, but it’s stress that could be affecting your health and your relationships, and so on. Where does the stress come from? Most people you get up in the morning and rush around like crazy so they can leave in time to get the correct bus or train or for driving into work. You’re cramped up in the train…or people shouting at you on the freeway! It’s very stressful. Commuting is very stressful. And then you get to work and that’s stressful of course, as we know, because you’re probably in a very stressful open plan office where you are constantly having to get dragged into office politics and all of the stress around that. Then of course the way that your boss might be stressing you out by over managing you because you’re there right in front of them. So a huge amount of stress and of course the same commuting back from work in the evening. It’s not the work that’s necessarily stressing you! It’s probably all those other factors – getting ready, commuting, the intensity of the face-to-face interpersonal relationships in an open plan office.
So the third benefit of course is saving money! Some people would say that’s the biggest benefit! I don’t think it is, but it is a big benefit. So how does that break down?
1. Some people they might spend just say 5,000 thousand dollars or euros a year commuting – taking a bus or train to work. Other people feel they need a brand new $50,000 or fifty thousand euro car, so that they’re not embarrassed driving into the car park with an old wreck! And that’s costing them probably fifteen thousand dollars a year with depreciation, insurance and the rest of the costs.
2. Food costs. We all know that if you’re going into work somewhere, you end up buying a lot of stuff that you don’t need; doughnuts, extra coffees, chocolate, snacks, whatever it is. Not to mention your actual lunch! That’s going to add up to at least five thousand dollars or euro’s a year.
3. Clothing is another big cost if you’re working somewhere where you’re expected to look the part, which most people are. Especially women working offices. Then you’re spending quite a lot of money on that.
4. The biggest cost for a lot of people though is actually housing! And some ask how housing cost is a cost of going to work? The answer is that ever since the Industrial Revolution, people have tried to work try to live close to where they work, to avoid commuting for too long. And because of that the prices of properties near workplaces are very, very high. So most people would probably buy a nice house or nice apartment for over a million dollars or euro’s, which is costing them probably 50 thousand a year in interest payments. And you may respond, “well I have to live somewhere”. Yes, but if you’re working from home, then that ‘somewhere’ could be somewhere great! You could be living on beach looking out over the ocean, you could be living on a farm looking out over the animals and fields…you could be living in a lighthouse if you liked that! Whatever it is you could be living somewhere you enjoy living, but in terms of the money saved, saving a huge amount of money! It’s probably costing a quarter as much as that inner city property you’re living in. So that could be saving you fifteen thousand euros or dollars a year or even more than that.
I won’t try to come up with a global average figure for all of these costs but some people will be saving twenty five thousand dollars a year! Other people that’ll be two or three times that amount of money depending on the different factors!
And that’s a huge proportion of your income, even if it was just twenty five thousand dollars a year. Over a decade that’s a quarter of a million dollars. That could be in your bank account and if you’re a couple that’s half a million dollars that could be in your bank account per decade. That’s a lot of money. And if you’ve been working for ten years and you’re looking at your bank account now and thinking where’s all the money, this could be where all the money has gone!
So just something to think about in terms of the benefits from working from home for you as an individual.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, my contact details and video links are below. Have a great day!
Tel: +61 (0)491350732
The related videos include:
Work from home Part 3, the benefits for individuals