Guest Post via GoToMeeting
How does the daily commute affect our happiness, health and the world around us? Research shows that overall, the results are negative. A growing trend of working remotely or working from home could have positive effects on our health and environment.
Workers in the digital sector have begun to explore the idea of becoming “digital nomads”. This way of life is increasingly discussed as having potential to be the future of work. Where working from home is increasingly popular, so too is working from anywhere at all.
The idea is simple: if your work is online, or is managed by shooting off emails, or logging in to the internet, why tether yourself to an office desk? The trend is largely led by professionals in digital marketing, but it could easily spread to academics, analysts, and app designers.
Digital nomads are able to live the kind of lives that most of us dream of. Jet-setting around the world, they can make money working from the beaches of Bali, the rice fields in China, or anywhere really.
The only prerequisites are the ability to hunt down a strong WiFi signal in any environment, and the discipline to be across deadlines and meetings in multiple time zones.
If this sounds all a bit too flashy, then simply working from home a few days a week can also improve on work fatigue, general happiness, and health.
A British study confirmed that all train commutes over 30 minutes to and from work result in heightened anxiety and lower life satisfaction. Even cycling for up to thirty minutes and driving for between 16 and 60 minutes led to unhappiness.
However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that 1 in 3 Australians now regularly work from home.
For some, this is a positive lifestyle choice. For others, it is simply catching up on an inundation of work that remains after they’ve left the office.
But this trend is made easier using a plethora of communications options like apps, dial-in meeting and webinar software. So it’s fair to say that the office experience can be replicated or even bettered at home, or somewhere across the globe.
Has this made you rethink you daily commute? The infographic below details Australian statistics on the health impacts of the commute.