Traditional office jobs are slowly dying as a new generation of workers discovers the benefits of telecommuting. In addition to workplace advantages, there are also several spiritual benefits of telecommuting — benefits that help you find more meaning, balance and purpose in your life.
The spiritual benefits of telecommuting
A recent study by IT solutions and services provider, Softchoice, showed that 70% of employees in the U.S. would quit their current jobs to work at a company that allows them to work outside of the office more frequently.
As someone who works remotely full-time, I’ve seen the benefits of telecommuting firsthand. Are there challenges? You bet. Barking dogs, telemarketers and a lack of human interaction come with the territory. But at the end of the day, I can’t imagine ever working in a typical office environment 40 hours a week.
For me, remote work has also become spiritually advantageous. Here are just a few of the big picture spiritual benefits of telecommuting I’ve experienced over the past five or six years:
#1: Flexible work days make space for spiritual routines.
The Softchoice study found that 63% of Americans prefer a flexible eight-hour workday, while 37% would rather work eight straight hours. The ability to exercise ownership over your work schedule (within limits) creates opportunities to incorporate meditation, prayer, nature breaks and other spiritual practices into your daily routine.
Since I started working from home, I don’t have to waste time around the water cooler during work breaks. Instead, I can take a quick walk around the neighborhood, meditate and do other things that nourish my soul.
#2: Working from home leads to a greater sense of accomplishment.
Offices are full of distractions and interruptions. That’s why two out of three workers say they’re more productive when they work from home. A good day’s work gives your life dignity and purpose, while a nonproductive day at the office can leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged.
Some days are more productive than others. It’s just the nature of work. But I’ve found that one of the benefits of telecommuting is that the number of highly productive days I experience significantly outnumbers the nonproductive ones. And I get satisfaction from feeling like the time I’m investing in my job actually produces a positive result.
#3: Remote work helps you achieve a better work-life balance.
Three out of four (75%) U.S. workers say that they’re able to keep more personal and social commitments when they are permitted to work anytime, anywhere. Does your kid have a nasty cough? Not a problem. Instead of taking a sick day or sending a sick kid to school, you can take him to the doctor and make up the time at the end of your work day.
Human beings were created to care for each other. When you were just a twinkle in God’s eye, you were hardwired to drop everything when someone you love is in need. Although there are limits, most telecommuting scenarios allow you to shift priorities to achieve a more satisfying work-life balance.
Working from home isn’t all upside. For example, remote work routines and mobile office technologies sometimes lead people to perform work-related tasks on vacation days, sick days and holidays. And unless you’re intentional about connecting with coworkers, remote work can make you feel out of the loop.
But in my experience, the spiritual benefits of telecommuting outweigh the challenges. Whether you work from home full-time or just a few hours a week, remote work can provide the space and balance you need to become an authentic human being rather than just another cog in the corporate machine.