Why are work from home jobs growing?
It’s no secret that remote working has blossomed as of late, with the number of legitimate work-from-home job opportunities continuing to grow year after year.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced this growth. As organizations around the world work to keep both their employees and customers safe, they’ve adopted a culture of remote working by necessity, yet the concept of working from home was certainly not something that began with the spread of coronavirus, nor is it something that is likely to end once the worst of the pandemic has subsided.
In October 2019, it was reported that 16% of companies exclusively hired remote workers, with the number of people working from home said to have grown by as much as 140% from 2005 - 2019.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kate Lister, President at Global Workplace Analytics notes that some 25% - 30% of the workforce is likely to be working from home on multiple days of the week by the end of 2021.
If you ask us, that's a cautious estimate, and the numbers could actually be even higher, especially when you consider the reasons why work from home jobs are growing in the first place:
Increased Demand from Employees
Prior to the impact of COVID-19, you could find any number of surveys that showed that as many as 80% of office-based employees wanted the option to work from home at least some of the time. Many were even willing to take a pay cut in order to do so.
Of course, much of the appeal for office-based staff is that remote work often seems like an easier alternative to working. While it’s true that being based at home eliminates the commute and many of the other drawbacks of working in an office, this kind of work has plenty of challenges of its own.
In other words, though it may be different, it isn’t necessarily easier, a fact that those who found themselves working from home for the first time during the pandemic will no doubt attest to.
In fact, it won’t be long before employers will require some degree of remote work experience from those applying for new positions, as this experience can be invaluable towards proving that you’ve got what it takes to cope with the challenges.
Working From Home Works
One of the reasons so many companies were initially reluctant to allow for remote working is that they were worried about a drop in productivity.
That myth about putting your feet up and watching Netflix all day that we mentioned earlier? It wasn’t just something we made up. It’s genuinely what some managers believed would happen.
Then, the pandemic happened, and those same managers had no choice but to let their teams work from home.
No noticeable drop in productivity.
That in itself proved that remote working works, meaning companies are increasingly more likely to not only maintain it as an option for existing employees but also begin to look at recruiting for remote positions.
By doing so, both those companies themselves and their employees are able to enjoy a number of benefits that just don’t exist with office-based work.
These benefits include:
The average working day can be tough without slogging top-tailing it with an hour’s commute through rush-hour traffic. Not only is the journey to and from work tiring and frustrating, but it can also be pretty expensive in terms of fuel and/or public transport costs.
That's not to mention how much money can be saved when we no longer have to travel for meetings or conferences.
By working from home, we not only save money but also save time and energy.
If we don't have to battle through traffic every day, we have more time to spend taking care of our children or ourselves. We arrive at work refreshed and ready to go rather than worn down by the rush hour, and when we're done for the day, we simply switch off and enjoy having the extra energy to do something fun, rather than being so battered by the post-work commute that we're too tired to enjoy life when we get home.
Remote work means that you no longer need to live within a reasonable commuting distance from your employer in order to work for them.
For you, the benefits are obvious. It means you have a broader selection of employment opportunities to choose from.
Currently settled in Cleveland, Ohio with no desire to leave and uproot your family but still want a customer service role with your dream employer in San Francisco? Remote work makes it possible.
Living in a rural community where the cost of living is more affordable? Remote working means you can do that while still enjoying a job with a company based in the city.
Eliminating the daily commute isn't the only way remote workers save money.
Parking fees, maintaining a wardrobe of office-appropriate attire, buying your lunch every day, all of those costs can soon add up, typically to the tune of $4,000 every year.
Give it some thought, and you may even be able to come up with a few more ways that you can save money via remote working.
Not that cost savings are reserved exclusively for employees.
With more employees working from home, employers have fewer overheads which can benefit the company long term. This ensures greater job security (if a company is doing well, there's less chance of redundancies), and, of course, some of those cost savings could make their way to their employees in the form of bonuses, etc.
A More Comfortable, Personalized Office Experience
One of the reasons so many people like to work from home is the freedom it affords them.
For you, this could be as simple as investing in a good quality chair that helps to alleviate back pain in a way that the tired, old desk chair in your office ever could.
It could mean setting things up so that you can gaze out of your window at your beautiful garden while you work rather than staring at the same old, boring view of the same old, boring grey office buildings, or it could mean decorating your space with artwork and personal items that help you to feel good while you work.
Obviously, you'll need to exercise some modicum of restraint. If you're likely to be on Zoom calls with colleagues and customers then you probably won't want that full-size nude from the time you took life drawing classes hanging directly in the background, but otherwise, you can really make your workspace your own so that you actually enjoy spending time there.