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The immediately obvious benefits of telecommuting are the flexible hours, absence of a commute, and pajamas attire, but I just looked across the room and someone inspired me to write of a few other perks that come along with the WFH lifestyle:
Having a dog for a pet
This was a big one for my wife and I. Were I not working from home, we would never have added Lizzie, our Portuguese Water Dog, to the family. You can have fish, cats, gerbils, snakes, etc. and still have office jobs, but for me I would only commit us to have a dog if we didn’t have to leave it alone all day. I knew one neighbor who locked his dog in it’s tiny crate alone for 8 hours until they returned home from work. That is a life that I would never want my dog to endure.
Food: Flexibility, Health and Savings
Most people who work office jobs don’t have a full kitchen to avail themselves to when working in the office. Sure they may have a “kitchen”, but I challenge you to whip up a beef stir-fry for lunch on a whim without careful planning and schlepping ingredients and pots and pans to work. At home you can just do it.
It’s also much more economical to raid your fridge every day. Yes, you can take a bag lunch in to an office each day and have comparable meal costs to eating from home, but I challenge the office workers to tell me they don’t succumb to a $4 Mocha Frappuchino Latte on the way to work or raid the vending machine. I also know that the office-bound are likely get dragged to the local Quizno’s, Subway, or other local lunch spot numerous times a month regardless of best intentions.
Timing Your Workout
Working from Home has one particular hazard to it – a reduction in exercise that you normally would get dragging yourself and your stuff to work every day and bounding up and down stairs and walking to and from conference rooms, etc. If you work from home, aside from hitting the fridge and bio breaks, you’re probably not moving much. This makes it necessary to work out on a regular basis. The nice thing about working from home is that you have huge flexibility in timing when it occurs. I still do the workout in the evenings, but if I wanted to I could slip one in a 10am one day and 3pm the next.
So those are a few less obvious benefits of the work at home lifestyle. However, realize that the concept of working from home is flexibility in your schedule and not a reduction in your schedule to regularly fit in all the things that I listed above during the day. You owe it to the boss to try to make up the time lost later, if there is any.