Most workers spend the first part of their day getting ready to go to work, and then traveling there. Picking out what to wear, making sure the kids get to school, then getting out the door for a lengthy commute, typically 30 minutes each way. And once people get to the office, it’s time to be incessantly interrupted by chatty coworkers and mindless meetings. By the time the workday is over, people may feel like they’ve barely accomplished anything.
There’s no doubt about it: working in an office and productivity don’t go together. In fact, studies show that working from home makes people far more productive than people who work in the office. Especially for freelancers, who have greater control over their workloads, schedules, and location, working from home will save time.
Here’s how working from home saves time—and allows you to get your work done, too.
You control the distractions.
When you work in an office, the distractions are always endless. Folks stop by your ‘cube to chat, others IM you all the time, and your boss swings by your desk to check up on that project you’re working on. Working from home helps minimize those distractions by working from the peace and quiet of a home office. You’ll still be in contact with your team, but most likely it will be in the form of emails and the occasional phone call. The bottom line is that you’ll be able to set the tone for how often you’ll need to connect with your clients.
You eliminate the commute.
You’d be hard-pressed to find workers who actually enjoy their commutes. After all, commuting not only takes time out of your precious day, but it tends to be pretty stressful, too. People who work from home happily ditch the commute—and score some extra hours in each day. Many people who work from home choose to start their work days earlier—and subsequently boost their productivity. Freelancers can fill that former commute time with outreach to clients, getting certified in a new skill, or using Fundbox to improve their cash flow.
You can set your own schedule.
Maybe you need to bring cupcakes to your child’s in-school birthday party. Or you might need to schedule a follow-up doctor’s appointment for your aging parent. Your personal life and your professional life can peacefully coexist when you work remotely. Being able to control your schedule, from polishing that presentation to even fitting in your beloved bikram yoga at lunchtime, is all possible when you work from home. And when you have complete control over every aspect of your day, you’ll be able to be truly present and focused when you’re working.
Let’s face it; you’re just not a morning person. Working from home means that you can work when you want, and at the pace you want. So if you find that you’re most productive and creative at 2:00 a.m., you can work while everyone else is asleep. Being able to work with your body’s natural biological rhythm ensures that you’ll work when you’re most productive and sleep soundly when you’re not, even if that’s at 11:00 a.m. when the rest of your colleagues are plugging away at the office.
Even freelancers who’ve worked from home for years might be shocked at how much time people gain during a typical day when they work from home instead of in an office. It boosts productivity, sure, but telecommuters find something even greater—work-life balance and peace of mind.
Jennifer Parris is a Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs.