In today’s fast-paced world, technology is putting more and more constraints on us: even though learning and working became simpler, we’re feeling ever so pressured to do more: side gigs and projects, overworking, over-overworking, and striving to be the best all contribute to feeling stressed and burned out.
To remedy this stressful environment, many professionals are choosing remote work: it comes with many benefits, but most importantly, it offers five incredible freedoms that make the life of a remote professional so enjoyable. In this article, we’ll explore these freedoms in detail and analyze why they’re so important — and then, we hope, you’ll get inspired to try remote work yourself!
A study conducted by a personal finance resource DoughRoller has found out that remote workers can save as much as $7000 every year — and this becomes a great stepping stone towards building a solid financial foundation for their future. Here are the main aspects that allow for better saving:
- Commute. Transportation-associated costs are quite high for those professionals who don’t have the luxury of using public transport: car maintenance coupled with gas prices are a force to be reckoned with. As commute time averages around 52 minutes, the phrase “Time is money” rings true more and more: although podcasts and audiobooks can serve as neat companions throughout the whole ride, fully capitalizing on the commute time (e.g. spending time with your family) is impossible.
- Eating out (and drinking out). For many office workers, grabbing a coffee or lunch from a local restaurant becomes a whole ritual which they carry out every day. Naturally, a $5 coffee cup from Starbucks never feels like a “serious spending”, even if it happens day in, day out.
- Child care. The federal government of the US reports that “full-time childcare costs average between $4,600 to $15,000 annually”. For stay-at-home workers, childcare costs are practically nonexistent.
- Cities with low cost of living. As discussed in the ”Freedom to go anywhere” part, remote workers can easily relocate on a regular basis to improve their living conditions. This means that can be remotely employed by a, say, San Francisco-based company and avoid San Francisco’s incredibly high cost of living.
Although these saving points might not seem like much, it’s important to remember one important rule of personal finance and budgeting: spending accrues. This means that a measly bill, repeated over months and years, can make a significant dent on the budget. Remote workers, on the other hand, often cut such costs completely.
Still, over-saving aggressively might not be such a good idea after all: “social drinking” or driving a car aren’t just holes to sink money into — there’s utility in them. This reiterates a curious finding that we (as we’re a 100% remote team) discovered: the freedoms that remote work offers are awesome, but too much freedom can bring in chaos — so balance is the answer.
Freedom to go anywhere
This is arguably the most well-known aspect of freelancing/working remotely, portrayed by people who’re lying on a beach with a laptop in various stock photos. “Freelancer on a beach” is indeed an attractive lifestyle for many professionals: offices, no matter how many perks they offer, aren’t ideal for everyone, so they people prefer to self-organize and work remotely instead.
However, there are many other great locations to work from. Home office, for example, is a great option for those who prefer to fine-tune their work environment and have complete control over it. In this scenario, setting boundaries becomes extremely important: it’s tempting to think that “working from home” = “not actually working”, so remote workers often need to explain
Other places include cafes and libraries. So what’s so great in working from Place A compared to Place B? The great thing about these places is the fact this can be a room, cafe, or a library in any city or country! This opens up a wide range of possibilities that remote professionals can explore: their employment opportunities are now limitless as they can join any remote team in the world.
Freedom to be productive
A study by Stanford University has discovered that remote workers are 13% more productive. This is achieved via shorter commute and more peaceful work environment (e.g. a quiet workroom at home) — remote workers can put in more work hours, all the while enjoying their productivity. Here’s even better news: with smart leadership, their productivity can be boosted even more — and the sky’s the limit here!
However, this freedom comes with an important caveat: productivity can quickly turn into over-productivity, harming both mental and physical health of the remote worker. In an office environment, drawing the line between “start working” and “stop working” is easier: leaving the office building means that today’s workday has ended. At home, however, it’s much harder to resist taking “just one more work assignment”: when your home becomes your office… are you at home or at work?
Freedom to be advanced
Managing a remote team can seem like a nightmare scenario for many managers: team members from different time zones, countries, and cultures need to be united in the same goal — and their workflow also must be organized in an efficient manner. More conservative companies would dismiss this task as too challenging — but many other companies accept this challenge and reap the rewards.
Remote workers are always at the forefront of technological innovations — and this is where their freedom to be advanced stems from: remote teams are always trying new software, techniques, and methodologies to improve the way they work. As many remote teams are heavily related to the IT sphere, it’s only natural for them to solve their problems with cutting-edge digital solutions.
With Agile, programmers started to develop software better and faster. Agile is a software development methodology, summarized by its authors as “Responding to change over following a plan”. This turned out to be a breakthrough approach in various spheres of production. Although the Agile approach isn’t exclusive to remote workers, it truly shines when they utilize it in their workflow. Nowadays, this methodology reigns supreme in countless business all around the world — and remote workers are always encouraged to use it in their fields of choice.
With communication tools like Slack and Zoom, remote professionals regain the ability to feel personally connected with their colleagues: through online audio- and video-conference,
Although talking via programs is vastly different from a real face-to-face conversation, this might be the new paradigm of communication in the digital world — and remote workers are paving the way for it.
Remote work by itself isn’t the ultimate recipe for happiness or job satisfaction, but the freedoms it offers are definitely worth considering — they can make your life more interesting and enjoyable. Switching to remote work can be a challenge, but with just enough inspiration and perseverance, you’ll realize your dream!