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Counting the blessings of remote work

I know times like this are kinda scary for a lot of us, and a little sad and stressful too. Embracing remote work might sound likee a great idea, but it actually kinda sucks sometimes, especially if it's not something you're used to doing. 

But the truth is, there are also some upsides to it, and those can be easy to forget. So if you're struggling (or just could use some good reminders), here are a few reasons why it's nice to be able to work from home. 

1. More free time without having to commute. 

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I never had a really long commute - it was usually only about 15-20 min to get to work. But I didn't realize how much time that slowly added up to and how nice it was to take that three-step commute from my bedroom to my desk in the mornings. Now I'm able to use that time to ease into my morning, drink some coffee, sit on my porch while listening to a podcast, spend time with my sister, or even read a few pages in a book. 

Rather than jumping out of bed in the morning and running to your desk, I challenge you to get up at the same time you would have when you were commuting and use that time to do something that brings you joy!

2. Cleaner environment from no cars. 

Eliminating the commute not only gives me more time, but it also helps the environment. It's been really cool to see the positive impacts on the environment from the decrease in travel over the last couple of months. Although I miss going places, I feel like even after the world "opens back up", I'll still try to cut back on my driving because I've figured out how to do it! I have learned how to ride my bike places, and I've learned how to be strategic about shopping so I only go out once a week (or less!). 

(Speaking of being strategic about shopping... check out @Esme Crutchley 's article about Making a Pantry Board and Integrated Shopping List with Trello.)

3. Saving money

Working from home has saved me quite a bit of money. I don't get tempted to buy lunch near my office in the middle of the day. I don't spend money driving my car. In fact, I don't actually even need a car at all anymore... which has saved me on car insurance, maintenance, and other routine costs associated with cars. I also spend less money at Starbucks when I don't drive past it every morning. 

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As the memes say... "I saved $500/mo by switching to Quarantine".

4. Creating healthier habits

Okay so this isn't necessarily a given, but I do find it much easier to be healthier at home than at the office. Although it's easy to eat junk food at home, working from home makes it easier to be intentional about my meals and snacks, rather than just grabbing whatever is near me at the office. I've been more strategic about the snacks that I place around and I'm actually eating my leftovers, instead of forgetting them in the fridge. 

Aside from eating healthier, I've incorporated a few small workouts into my day that I would never have done in the middle of the office, but I'm happy to do in my home. Taking a ten-minute break to do yoga, stretch, or get in a quick cardio session with some weights is a great way to energize me for the day, and also stay healthy. 

Oh, and I'm drinking more water since I'm just a few steps away from the sink!

5. Spending more time with others.

Although a lot of us are getting less in-person time, I feel like for most of us working from home has spurred all the extroverts to create more digital social gatherings and I find I'm actually spending more time with people now than I was when I was allowed to go outside the house! It's been awesome to see all of these opportunities pop up. Just tonight I was able to play Settlers of Catan virtually with some friends from work. I had a virtual trivia night a few weeks ago and geeked out on Parks and Rec. I also discovered a virtual drinking game that promotes social distancing.

For those who live with their families, we're also getting to spend more time with those we love at home. It might not always feel like a blessing, but it's nice to be surrounded by people who care about us and can tolerate us for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. :) 

6. Getting the most out of our rent money. 

Ever thought about the fact that even though we are spending twice as much time at our homes, we don't have to pay double rent? Isn't that great!? We're truly getting our money's worth now!

7. The memes!!

Okay this has truly been the best blessing... the quality content that the internet is creating to get us through these trying times.

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8. The growth and innovation of technology

It's been really cool to see so many people adapt to technology and figure out how to solve challenges with working remotely. So many companies said they needed their employees in the office, but when push came to shove, they found a way to make it work. It's been great to see businesses of all kinds figure out how to do things virtually - from gyms using Facebook live to program workouts to musicians making virtual concerts. We're all learning how to make this work, and it's really cool to see humans solving problems rather than throwing their hands up in the air and giving up. 

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So that's all I've got for now. I know it's not always fun, and it can be stressful, but here's to trying to count our blessings and enjoy the pieces of working from home that are lovely. 

2 comments

Can definitely verify #1 and #3.  More free time and not spending so much on gas and lunch are eye-opening!

For me: definitly number 7: My life has become a meme since working from home :)

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