Top reasons to kill the commute - telecommute and work from home

You know the situation. You get up at ‘silly o’clock’, get dressed and leave the house. You get to the train station, and stand on the platform with all the other grey faced, tired and weary commuters. You board the train, talk to the same old faces, arrive at your destination, get on the underground, get off again, walk to the office and start your working day. Starting your working day 1.5 hours after you left the house.

Working on trains and in cars? Forget it!

Sure, you can work a bit on the way in, but how much do you really get done? Packed commuter trains are not the best place to work on a report or make an important phone call.

And, if you drive commute, well forget doing anything on the way.

I’ve been a really big fan of working from a home office for many years now. It started as a cost necessity when I first set up a new business, but quickly evolved into a lifestyle.

A virtual reality

Like many start-ups I began by working in a back bedroom, and once I had the business going I moved from home office to a city centre ‘real’ office. I went there to work. I started to commute again. But the reality was that as a consultant, my clients want to meet me that their offices. They don’t come to mine. Where I work is of little interest to them, as long as I am contactable, and available when they want me.

So I changed the ‘real’ physical office to a virtual one, and began working from home again. And a really interesting thing happened.

No-one noticed.

So much so that I let the virtual office go soon afterwards too.

Improved productivity, health and work/life balance

And it wasn’t just the fact that I recovered up to 4 hours of my day lost to trains, motorways and waiting about, that improved my life, but I am now significantly more productive, physically fitter, eat more healthily and am a whole lot less tired all the time.

Telecommuting is not for everyone. It doesn’t suit all industries that’s for sure. But making a small change to a work from home on Fridays culture is becoming a very real reality for many.

Here is an infographic I picked up recently from Spashtop, and it is really interesting. The numbers are based on a study done recently in the USA, so for those of you reading outside the States, the percentages are the interesting thing.

Isn’t it time you looked at your working lifestyle? Are there changes that you can make now to improve your productivity too?

Contact me

For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at, use the contact page on my website or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @recruit_eagle, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.

I look forward to speaking soon.

Views: 448

Comment by Christopher Perez on April 17, 2012 at 7:46am

In my industry, remote staffers make a ton of sense for most of my clients. Many of them embrace this approach but some are still in the Dark Ages. I've managed far-flung staffs myself and I became a convert to the idea when I saw how well it worked in terms of flexibility, attracting and keeping the best talent, and efficiency. So this is a conversation I have with all of my clients when they insist that a particular role be based "in-house". I have found that many of them eventually come around once challenged with some facts. I think the infographic will come in handy in future conversations like this. Thanks for the post, James.

Comment by Eric Smith on April 17, 2012 at 12:07pm

I love the statement-- "No-one noticed". That is when you know its working.


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