It seems like a dream come true, but working from home is a reality for a growing portion of Americans. By one estimate, telecommuting has risen 79 percent between 2005 and 2012, and now accounts for about 3 million workers. That’s not including those considered “self-employed,” which would up the percentage to 30 percent of the American workforce!
Based on statistics, working from a home office may soon become the norm for the vast majority of Americans. So, why should you be excited to build a home office? These are just a few of the benefits you’ll experience in your cozy new workspace:
1. Have More Time to Work
That hour-and-a-half you spend stuck in traffic every day? Eliminated when you work from home. Both you and employer win as your stressful commute becomes time you can spend productively.
2. Slash Commuting Costs
Speaking of commuting, imagine the money you’ll save on gas once you build a home office! Plus, driving fewer miles each day will probably lengthen the life of your car, so you won’t be on the market for a new one so soon.
Interestingly, the costs of commuting go beyond the financial. Did you know that lengthy commute times correlate with unhappiness in scientific research? In fact, a long commute is the single best predictor of day-to-day unhappiness. So building a home office and working from home will save you more than just money; it could save you the stress and grumpiness that come from having to make a traffic-stuffed journey twice a day.
3. Save Money On Your Wardrobe
For some people, this is major: YOU CAN WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT. When you work from home, wearing sweatpants every day is perfectly acceptable. That means you’ll not only be more comfortable; you’ll save money because you won’t have to invest in a work wardrobe anymore.
4. Get Tax Breaks on Home Office Equipment
If you’re a salaried employee, you can get tax breaks when you build a home office. (That can include not just construction costs, but computer equipment!) In addition, a percentage of your utility bills may become tax deductible if you provide evidence you use a portion of your home for work.
5. Negotiate for a Higher Salary
Because working from home saves companies money on space, it’s reasonable for you to bring this up at your next performance review when talking about possible pay raises.