Why let people work from home forever

In 2020, because the Covid-19 pandemic, almost 70% of full-time employees worked from home. Many employers who may never have considered offering a remote working option tailored to the need. Today, as companies contemplate their return-to-work plans, they would do well for themselves and their employees to continue to offer remote working arrangements to those who prefer them.

Several years ago, I quit my corporate job to stay home full time with my kids. I never planned to be a stay-at-home parent. But my second child was born with multiple disabilities, and as he grew older his list of doctor’s appointments and therapy grew. I had a hard time managing my son’s needs and keeping up with the 40+ hours per week I had to spend in the office.

When I resigned, I put over a decade of training and work experience aside. I reluctantly removed my children from the on-site company daycare they had been attending since they were a few months old. I focused only on my family – the time I don’t regret. But a remote work agreement would have made it easier for me to provide for my family. and continue my career.

No commute means happier employees

No matter where you work or where you live, a trip to the office can take up a large part of the day. The average journey of Americans in 2019 was 27 minutes each way, which is approximately 200 hours per year for a full-time employee. Aside from the actual commute, getting out of the house at a specific time in the morning to avoid traffic can be stressful. Instead of worrying about rushing to the office on time or having to leave early for personal needs, employees are more productive when working remotely, have fewer sick days and take less time off.

Working parents should also consider where the custody of their children is in relation to their desks. My former employer’s on-site daycare made it easy for my children to access quickly when they were not feeling well or had a problem, but for many people, This is not an option. And while having them near my desk was helpful, our return home was often stressful because my kids were tired or hungry or both (and me too).

When the children are older and go to school, a remote working arrangement keeps parents nearby for school events or to pick up an unwell child. When parents are more readily available to their children, they are concentrate better at work and stay productive.

Remote work allows people to connect anywhere

Today’s technology makes it easier to work from anywhere. With a remote working option, individuals can incorporate important life events into their day, such as attending health care appointments. When employees have the flexibility to take charge of personal obligations, they are happier and more productive.

A flexible workplace is particularly useful for parents as they can spend more time with their children than those who spend an entire day at the office. They may be available for pickup or return to school, or for a school performance or sporting event.

My son had several extended stays in the hospital during which I spent many hours waiting. A remote working arrangement would have given me the flexibility to be with my son while remaining connected to my work. I could easily have been working on a spreadsheet or resending emails while I was in the waiting room or while he was resting.

Remote work allows us to control our calendars

A remote work option could have given me the flexibility to plan my day around work meetings, my assignments and my family obligations. Even on days I didn’t have an appointment, working from home made it easy to throw in a load of laundry or start dinner, which would have made the transition easier once my workday is over.

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