Morale is high and you are getting more done than you ever have before. The company you work for is growing fast and hiring exceptional talent. Is this the stuff of career fairy tales? Nope -- this kind of workplace actually exists.

Only you will not find it in any one city. This is because the happiest and most productive companies are staffed by teams who work remotely.

Am I biased? Yes. I lead a fully distributed team at Aha! and have seen the impact of remote work firsthand. It gives us access to a larger talent pool -- we can hire people regardless of location. We look for intrinsically motivated people and then give them clear goals and the tools needed to be successful.

But it is not just me -- lots of people are clamoring for remote work. In fact, a recent study found that 74 percent of employees said they would quit their jobs to work for an organization that would allow them to work remotely more often, even if their salary stayed the same.

Companies would do well to listen to those findings. Remote work leads to happier and more productive teams. And when workers are happy and productive, they bring their best to each day -- which in turn leads to happier customers.

In other words, everyone benefits. If you have the opportunity to work remotely, here is what it will bring you:

Freedom

Remote work means that you do not have to settle for a job that is within driving distance. You can work from anywhere you choose. As a result, you are more available for the things that are most important to you. No more rushing home for dinner or to put your kids to bed -- you are already there.

Health

That daily commute takes a lot out of you. Maybe more than you realize. One study found that as commuting distances increased, so did blood pressure, body weight, and metabolic risks. Yikes. Remote work lets you use that time to improve your health. Without a commute, you have more time for sleep and exercise.

Teamwork

This one might come as a surprise -- remote work can make you feel more engaged at work. As one Harvard Business Review article points out, "proximity breeds complacency." Meaning it is easy to go days without speaking to or having a meaningful conversation with someone who works one desk over. But distance demands that you make a greater effort to connect. So as a remote worker, you tend to reach out more and have more meaningful conversations.

Productivity

Remote work gives you the space to be productive. No more endless office distractions like gossipy co-workers or spontaneous conference room gatherings. You have more time in the day -- not just to work but to do your work well. In fact, one productivity survey found that 86 percent of people said that working alone allows them to "hit maximum productivity."

Meaning

You want to be measured by what you accomplish in a day -- not how busy you look. And this is what happens with remote work. With no one peering over your cubicle wall, there is no need to keep up appearances. All that matters is your results. So you can focus on doing meaningful work.

Of course, people who work remotely still have bad days. No job is perfect. But when you have the opportunity to design your workday to fit the demands of your life, even those bad days feel a little easier.

Maybe it is not exactly a fairy tale. But compared to office life, it comes pretty darn close.

What do you think are the benefits of remote work?

Published on: Oct 20, 2017