During these unprecedented times, it can be hard to look on the bright side of most situations. Working remotely is new to so many people, so it may be difficult for some to recognize the positives of this change. Others may need a friendly reminder of why we should keep our spirits up. Let’s take a look at the silver linings brought by the current pandemic. Here are some of the benefits of turning your home into a safe workplace:
If you assume working from home provokes laziness, think again! A study by Nicholas Bloom, professor at Stanford University, found employees are more productive when they work from home rather than in the workplace. This might not be the case for all, especially those who have little ones staying at home, but overall home productivity can be the result of many reasons. Some reasons include working in a quieter, more relaxed environment; having no workplace distractions; having no need to run errands during breaks and working during the time that would normally be spent on a morning commute. Additionally, those who work from home tend to work more hours than they would at the office.
The average workday comes with small daily expenses that add up over time, expenses you may not even be aware of. The cost of drive-thru-coffee, commuting expenses like train tickets and gas, childcare, and meals or snacks can take a large toll on your savings. Working from home helps minimize or eliminate these little, day-to-day transactions helping us save a significant amount of money. Making your meals at home can save you the $10 or so per day that you would typically pay to purchase lunch. Companies are also saving money by spending less on office space and utilities.
Minimizing Your Carbon Footprint
Now that we have put a pause on office life, the morning commute for most people is the walk to their laptop. This has created a reduction in the use of cars, buses, trains, and other forms of transportation, which all contribute to daily carbon emissions. As a result, the air quality in the US has vastly improved since March. There are visible reductions in smog and less air pollution reported by space satellites. Even the The New York Times stated greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 51 million metric tons if the working population in the US worked from home half of the time. This demonstrates how much commuting contributes to our carbon footprint and how much this worldwide pause benefits our environment.
More Time to Focus on Health
Cutting out the morning and evening commute allows individuals to work on their health. The extra hours provide more time for preparing healthy meals, getting exercise, wearing comfy pants and indulging in so many forms of self-care. Working from home can be beneficial to your mental health as well. Taking away the hustle and bustle of the outside world can relieve stress and anxiety. Spend the time it would take running to the copy machine for a brief meditation session and don’t be afraid to get up, stretch and dance at any time to keep moving throughout the day with no judgment from your coworkers!
Lower Risk of Sickness
One of the most important benefits of working from home is staying healthy. We cannot forget about the main reason why it is in everyone’s best interest to stay home -- to stop the spread of COVID-19. Working from home has always reduced the amount of employee sick days, so now we can decrease the chances of spreading this virus and getting sick altogether. The current pandemic has highlighted how important it is to prioritize your health for yourself and your loved ones. Staying home today means staying safe and healthy!
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Written by Claire McDonald, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern