We all know that remote work is likely to stay for the long haul.
And while some of us sometimes miss catered lunches, friendly water-cooler moments, and free cappuccino in the shared kitchen, it’ll likely take a while before employers across the nation find a way to reopen their office spaces safely.
That’s why a data science team at LiveCareer decided to take the pulse of 1,000+ employees’ experiences with remote work, zeroing in on the professional and personal benefits WFH provides.
Below is a quick rundown of the study’s key findings:
- Most employees save between 30 minutes and 2 hours each day by not commuting to the office. That’s 7.6 to 30 days a year!
- The average employee saves around $4,000 yearly by working from home.
- A full 74 percent of remote workers started a side hustle with the time they saved.
- Nearly half of Americans have traveled to a different city or country to earn a living in a remote capacity.
Remote Work: Money and Time Savings
It’s no secret that remote work offers lots of benefits ranging from improved work-life balance to increased productivity.
On top of that, WFH helps save time and money. With so much extra time saved, how do employees use it? It depends. The vast majority of working professionals choose to spend more time with family and friends and get more sleep.
Others prefer to undertake more recreational activities such as hiking or camping, pick up new skills and competencies or generally work on self-improvement, getting training/education.
How do employees use the extra money?
Most working professionals report they use the extra money to build or beef up an emergency fund or nest egg or contribute to retirement and/or pension savings to ensure a smooth transition further down the road.
Other working professions claim they’ll use the extra cash to save for big purchases such as a home, new car, grad school, or vacation once it’s safe to travel. The remaining workers reported they’d invest the money in personal or professional development.
Telecommuting vs. Traveling and Work Satisfaction
When the COVID-19 pandemic started to wreak havoc on a global scale, few of us managed to deal effectively with stress, juggle family responsibilities, and deliver on our combined team goals.
With time, we’ve acclimated, and some of us even entertained the idea of traveling while working remotely. And many turned that secret dream into reality, according to the study’s findings, with over half of remote employees spending at least a week working from the road.
As a result, many remote workers now also report higher job satisfaction. In fact, 37 percent of employees rate the state of their professional life as somewhat better, followed up by 15 percent who go as far as saying they feel significantly more satisfied with their jobs.
The Effect of Telecommuting on Employees’ Overall Wellbeing
Lastly, researchers at LiveCareer wanted to explore the effects of remote work on employees, gauging their overall physical and mental health, well-being, and how telecommuting affects different aspects of their lives.
Based on the obtained results, the vast majority of workers in the US exercise more since they have started to work remotely. Perhaps that’s because many of us live in houses as opposed to apartments where we can afford to have a dedicated gym room.
On top of that, most US employees claim their financial situation is now somewhat better or significantly better. That makes sense given how much more remote workers save per month.
As for employees’ family life, remote work too had a largely positive effect, with more than 63 percent of respondents reporting their family life has improved. One explanation for it could be that when the pandemic erupted, many families were hemmed in at home where they could spend much more time with their loved ones, talk things through, and generally iron issues out.
Social-life-wise, 44 percent of employees managed to have a somewhat or significantly better social life despite the social distancing measures. Perhaps those Zoom interactions did pay off in the end.
Prolonged remote work positively impacted most American’s life goals and their crystallization. According to our respondents, their vision for life roadmap is now somewhat better or significantly better. One explanation for it could be that many of us engaged in self-discovery and self-reflection during the prolonged WFH.
As a result, we now have a much better sense of what we want to do in the future, both on a professional and personal level.
Max Woolf is a job search expert and a career advice writer at LiveCareer. His insights, advice, and commentary have been published by Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Fast Company, MSN, NBC, Yahoo, USA Today, Fox News, AOL, The Ladders, TechRepublic, Reader's Digest, Glassdoor, Stanford, G2, and 200+ other outlets. Max’s mission is to help job seekers from all around the world develop their skills, find good career opportunities, and land jobs quickly and without much effort.
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