If you've been looking for the perfect excuse to work from home, here's one for you: the U.S. Census Bureau released a report, Home-Based Workers in the United States: 2010, which shows that people who work from home some of the time tend to have higher household incomes than people who work solely on-site in their offices.
The growing acceptance of virtual and flexible work situations has increased the number of employers who allow staff to work from home some, if not all, of the time. Those who work from home part-time and in the office the rest of the time made the most money, compared to workers who either worked fully from home or fully in the office. Those findings make it clear that a hybrid situation is appealing as well.
Looking for more arguments to give your boss as to the benefits of going virtual? Read on.
There's No Shame
Gone are the days where work-from-homers have to be embarrassed about having an office in a closet. Technology, as well as flexible workspace options, mean that an employee or self-employed individual who works from home can still keep up a professional demeanor for phone and video calls, as well as in-person meetings.
If you need to take a call on the job, video conferencing tools like Skype let you connect to people online, no matter where you're located. Want to have the perks of an office without going to one every day? Flexible office space companies like Regus offer you a business mailing address, as well as conference space for those occasional in-person meetings. And if you just want a change of pace from your home office, you can rent out office space by the hour, day, week, or month.
Is a Better Work-Life Balance Awaiting You?
Your boss might not see the light with this argument, but if you work from home, you just might be happier and have a better time balancing work and life. There is the obvious to attribute to the better balance: no more stressful commute to upset your day, more time spent at home with family, and a more flexible schedule, but there are also the less apparent benefits. Without the stress of a co-worker you don't get along with, you're likely to be happier working from home, and you "virtually" eliminate that over-the-shoulder micromanaging situation that you've been battling with your boss.
In a recent study done by Stanford University and Beijing University Guanghua Management School, working from home led to a job-attrition rate of 50 percent. Bottom line: Employees were happier working on their own terms, and didn't feel the need to go elsewhere for professional satisfaction.
What Your Boss Wants to Hear: Better Performance
The Stanford study also showed a 13 percent performance increase among participants, proving that people who work from home aren't sitting around watching soap operas. Often, without the distractions of co-workers who want to chat, employees can get more done in a shorter period of time, which is only a boon to an employer.
Where You Live Factors In
If you live in the southeastern, southwestern, or western part of the country, you have a better chance of convincing the powers that be that making your office virtual is the way to go. The Census Bureau's study showed the highest concentration of work-from-home employees in these regions, with Boulder, Colo., leading the pack. In Boulder, 10.9 percent of the workforce works from home the majority of the workweek. Who wants to go to work in that snow?
Clearly, there is a compelling case to be made for working from home. Tailor these points and bring them up the next time you try to win over your boss on the idea.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.