The Positives of Telecommuting

Posted September 3, 2020 by Alyssa Stahr

Working from home, telecommuting, being a digital nomad — whatever you call it, more and more employers are embracing the “work away from the office” life. I’ll be the first to admit that I have more trouble concentrating as I get older, and there’s no way I could ever go back to the proverbial office. I’ve been writing and editing for about 20 years now, and I have no idea how people who are forced to be creative from a pigeonholed number of hours from one tiny desk location do it. COVID has definitely spurned the conversation about office life versus telecommute life, but I’m here to share why my life as a digital nomad has become so much richer than when I was in a cube. 

Overhead Costs

This one’s for you, employers. Companies like Pinterest are opting out of their multi-million dollar leases in favor of allowing employees to work from home. You’re saving money on office supplies (who hasn’t stolen the office stapler or pen in their day); fancy office makeovers; coffee and snacks; and leases. Now, you can allot that money to things that really matter to employees: better technology; continuing education; team building events or retreats that matter and make lasting, valuable memories; better health care, gym memberships or yoga classes; etc. 

Work/Life Balance

If I want to write a blog at 4 a.m. (yes, I’m one of those people who dreams headlines and keeps a notebook by her bedside), I can do so. If I’m more productive on a Saturday morning when I have to write a white paper when I won’t be disturbed, I do it. In turn, I may take a Friday afternoon off. Instead of “nickel and diming” salaried employees with PTO hours, Brightly subscribes to a flexible schedule of trust and productivity. We work hard, we try not to bother each other on vacation unless it’s an absolute emergency and we meet our deadlines. 

Gone are my days of sitting in a cube and slowly dying every clock tick until 5 p.m. I benefit greatly from garnering enjoyment out of what I do on a daily basis, which helps. (Side note: Find your passion and it will never be a “job.”) It is no secret that the United States is the most overworked developed nation in the world. I have personal experience of companies that frown upon employees who use up all of their hard-earned vacation days instead of sticking to the grind; question those who take their entire maternity or paternity leaves; and even those that do not pay back employees their unused PTO or vacation promised after leaving a company. We at Brightly Creative couldn’t be further from that reality. In fact, we rejoice in the work/life balance and genuinely cheer each other on both personally and professionally. We only get one life, and that is certainly not a cliche with this group.

Creativity and Progressiveness

When I first became a full-time digital nomad in 2014, it was a very scary leap. I was leaving my “day job” for parts unknown, turning into a freelancer for the first time in my career. And I can say without a doubt that it was the most important and best decision of my life. It’s boosted my creativity (resulting in some of the best work of my life), my productivity and my overall happiness. Since becoming a digital nomad I have never once closed my laptop thinking a day of my life was just wasted. I’ve become much more technologically inclined due to troubleshooting in different environments and countries, and I’ve shown those who may be uncomfortable with the idea that it’s possible to thrive as a telecommute employee. 

Having an employer who feels the same way I do is an absolute blessing, and if you’re an employer scared to transition away from the office and are reading this, remember that with all of the ZOOM calls and WhatsApping you are actually placing more importance on the work and your people. Valuable time isn’t wasted, it’s appreciated. Want to hire the guy from New York who may not live in your city? He’s the best guy for the job, and now you can without forcing him into an expensive move across the country, another overhead cost savings if you’re paying for relocation. If not, he’s footing the bill. Virtual happy hours are genuinely fun for me, not a chore I have to do after sitting in an office with the same people all day. Getting together for events are unquestionably more exciting than they would have been in the past, and our time together as a team is so much more precious than it would normally have been. 

So, for employers out there who are thinking of how to adapt out of office life during and after COVID, I hope this blog inspires you to take the leap. With a little trust, planning and positivity, you’ll be so glad you did. 

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