Americans are increasingly working from home. More sophisticated communications technology and greater acceptance from mainstream workplaces make this possible. Last year, more than 43 percent of American professionals reported spending at least some time working from home. That number is expected to rise continuously over the next several years.
If you’re currently in a traditional work environment, or if you’re working from home only part of the time, this could be the year you fully transition to remote work. If it is, you have a critical opportunity on your hands. You could move, and now is the perfect time to do it.
Preparing for Remote Work
If you aren’t used to working remotely, there are a few things you’ll need to consider about the opportunity:
For most people, one of the hardest aspects of working from home is maintaining your discipline and motivation. Nobody will be looking over your shoulder, so only you are responsible for keeping yourself professional and on schedule. Therefore, finding the right office environment and going in with the right mentality are important.
You might also experience some communication barriers. This can be especially the case if you’re used to engaging with your team in person on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are many channels and options to choose from, making communication easier.
Your remote working setup might also have an effect on your overall lifestyle. You could find yourself working different hours and making a new salary. And especially if working alone affects your mental health, you might find that you have different needs.
Fortunately, moving can help you with becoming more disciplined, being a better communicator, and landing in a lifestyle that’s genuinely right for you.
Advantages of Moving
So how, exactly, is moving advantageous for new remote workers?
You can find a home with a perfect office
First, you’ll have the opportunity to find the perfect home—and one with the ideal office environment. It’s possible to retrofit almost any room and convert it into an office, but it’s often better to find a space that works as an office in its own right. For example, you might want a spacious room with ample natural lighting. Or maybe you want a soundproof (or soundproof-capable) room in the basement so you can work in silence. Because you’ll be buying a new home, you have the full range of options in front of you.
You can choose somewhere quiet
If you work in an urban location, you might be tempted to buy a house that’s close to the city. Or perhaps you want to be in a suburban area with lots of neighbors. Unfortunately, either of those choices often means dealing with excessive levels of noise. Choosing a new location gives you the opportunity to settle down in a location that’s quieter and more conducive to concentrated work.
You can lower your living expenses
You’ll make the same salary no matter where you live, so why not move to an area with lower living expenses? For example, if you currently live in a large, densely populated city, a competitive salary will likely go twice as far in a sparsely populated Midwest town. Moving to a new location could stretch your salary much further. This will give you the opportunity to build up more savings for your future.
You can go anywhere
Assuming your job is one that can be done no matter where you are, this is your perfect opportunity to go anywhere you want. You could even continue working from home and move outside the country if it doesn’t conflict. Opportunities like this rarely come along. Therefore, if there’s another location you’d prefer to live in, or even one that you’ve always wanted to try, this is your chance. And for as long as you remain a remote worker, you can keep moving, or travel to see the world.
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You’ll start a new life (and lifestyle)
This is also your chance for a fresh start. You can begin your job with a new frame of mind, a new set of goals, and perhaps most importantly, a new lifestyle to tie everything together. Moving into a new house can help solidify the psychological feeling that you’ve begun something new. Plus, choosing your new neighborhood and communities gives you a chance to define your place in them from scratch.
You don’t have to move when you start working from home, but it could help you out in both your personal and professional lives. Give some serious thought to the option, and look for homes in multiple areas before you finalize your decision.