The number of employees who work remotely is on the rise. In 2017, The New York Times reported that 43 percent of American workers spent at least “some time” as remote workers. It’s not just a thing workers are doing one day a week, either, as more and more employees work four or five days a week without a designated office, or at least without a designated office that’s paid for by someone else. Some people will be just fine working from a home office day in and day out, but workers have distinct advantages to packing up the laptop and taking work on the road. Here are three benefits of a mobile office.
It’s a break from the monotony
In most standard workplaces, the cubicle or workspace you get on your first day is the one you’re going to have on your last day as well. A few companies use something called “hot desking,” which means your desk depends on your schedule as well as the schedules of other people around you. That arrangement comes with its own set of challenges, but when you work remotely, the competition doesn’t have to feel nearly intense.
Sure, a mobile worker might develop a favorite table at a local coffee shop, but if that one is occupied, plenty of other options are available. If the coffee shop is jam-packed, the worker is free to leave and find a place that offers a little more breathing room. In most cases, no one expects a mobile worker to be in a specific location at a specific time. The biggest necessity is a working internet connection. The internet connection may also need to be password-protected, depending on the nature of the work they’re doing. But other than that, a remote employee’s supervisors don’t care whether the employee gets the work done at a doughnut shop or a tire shop, as long as the work gets done by deadline.
You make the decisions
In a standard office, the employees would, at best, hold a vote on what kind of office coffee delivery they want. It’s much more likely that the office manager would just pick a coffee brand that’s cheapest and tell the workers to take it or leave it
But the remote workers don’t have to consult with anyone else. If they want to make coffee at home and take it with them in a thermos, they can do that. If they want to go to the fanciest coffee shop in town and buy only expensive cold brew coffee, they can do that as well.
A remote worker is the ultimate decider. In some cases, they can even write off some of the purchases they make during the day as business expenses. For instance, the gas you use to get to business meetings can sometimes be written off on your taxes. If you’re going to go that route, though, it’s best to speak with a tax accountant who has experience working with people who are either self-employed or working remotely.
It’s easier to get to appointments
We all dread making appointments with doctors and dentists. Part of that is because such visits aren’t much fun, but traditional office workers also have to worry about checking in with their boss to say, “I have to leave work early today to get my teeth cleaned.”
When you’re working remotely, you have more options. Let’s say you’re having a lot of jaw pain and the dentist says you need tmj splints. A traditional office employee might have just one two-hour window a week, if that, where they can leave work to take care of personal business. Being a remote worker makes juggling your work schedule easier. You’ll need to look at your schedule, and you might need to get more work done the day before the appointment, but there’s usually no need to say, “I’ll have to check with work and get back to you.”