When the weather outside is frightful, working from home is so delightful! Here are 10 ways winter telecommuting can heat up your productivity and work-life balance.
10 Reasons Why Winter Telecommuting is HOT, HOT, HOT!
Winter is the most wonderful time of the year for telecommuters. While the rest of the workforce sloshes around in the cold, remote workers nestle in their home offices without weather-related interruptions.
Here are 10 reasons why telecommuters are smitten with winter telecommuting.
1. You Can Have Snow Much Fun
When you work in a home office, you ding-dong-ditch the daily commute and can earn back 11 full days of your life each year, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
That’s 11 extra days to play in the snow! You can build forts, make snow angels, assemble snow people, and rally the neighbors for a snowball fight.
How much fun would it be to surprise the kids with an epic “snowdown” in the front yard after school? Just make sure you have a plenty of backup mittens and post-bout hot chocolate.
Tip: Not ready to rumble? Try a virtual snowball fight with your remote team members. There are virtual reality games, smartphone apps, and social media pages dedicated to some good old-fashioned winter fun without all the chapped lips and icicle mustaches.
2. You Shed the Fleece Police
Are your ugly fleece sweaters actually staples of your winter attire? Corporate fashion police don’t have jurisdiction in your home, so there’s no need to hide under the covers.
Go ahead and throw on that red wooly knit turtleneck with all the silver bells and whistles. Slip those tootsies into a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers. Keep your flannel robe on all day and wear ear muffs instead of headphones.
Winter telecommuting allows you to enjoy the freedom of wearing comfortable clothing while you hammer away at the keyboard.
Tip: Host a virtual ugly sweater party! Get everyone on a video conference and vote on the most hideous amazing festive sweater of the season.
3. You Can Jingle Bell Rock Out (or Not)
There are two types of people in this world: those who love holiday music and those who despise it. If you’re a holly jolly junkie, you can blast your favorite tunes on repeat all day long (Wham! jams included).
Why not whip up some eggnog and decorate your desk while you sing along? Sprinkle your workspace with as much joy and cheer as your heart desires.
Can’t stand holiday music? No problem. You can work at home in heavenly peace without the humbug of overly festive coworkers.
Tip: Put together a playlist for your team. Tell members to send you a YouTube link to their favorite jingles, and compile the links into one list. Be sure to play the compilation in the background at your ugly sweater party.
4. You Can Be a Super Sneaky Santa
Redeliveries and final attempts are for office dwellers.
Thanks to winter telecommuting, you can sign for packages delivered to your home and hide them before the kids return from school.
No more pink or yellow notices stuck to the front door. No more driving to parcel pickup locations and fighting traffic. Plus, you can wrap and stash gifts during your breaks without a trace of evidence for your tiny tots to find.
Tip: Organize a Secret Santa gift exchange for your remote office. Use Amazon or an industry-related website to create wish lists and ship items directly to your coworkers.
5. You Can Log Hours Near a Fireplace
Imagine this scene: You’re dressed in warm, cozy garb, sitting in an oversized chair in the living room. There’s a hot cup of cocoa on the end table, a computer on your lap, and a fluffy white cat at your feet. The fireplace is crackling, while friendly snow gently dances outside the bay window.
Think you can stomach sending emails, reviewing reports, and troubleshooting errors in such conditions?
Winter telecommuting allows you to work comfortably by the fireplace and keep your mug of hot cocoa sufficiently supplied with roasted marshmallows all day.
Tip: If you don’t have a fireplace, download an animated fireplace wallpaper on your computer, or stream a fireplace or winter scene straight to your screen. Netflix, YouTube, and The Roku Channel for Roku devices all feature numerous options. It might not warm you up, but it’ll help make your home feel cozy.
6. You Bypass the Daily Slip and Slide
Roads are extra dangerous during the winter season. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that “24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet.”
Thousands of injuries and fatalities result from winter weather accidents. Such accidents make the holidays heartbreaking. Even full recoveries leave lasting effects, such as healthcare bills, vehicle repairs, and increased auto insurance premiums. Plus, adverse conditions and accidents slow and congest traffic, making it difficult for other commuters to get to and from work on time.
When you work from home, you drive less and decrease your risk of being involved in an accident. Not only do you reduce your health risks, but you also reduce the financial risks, like recovery time away from work, associated with collisions.
Tip: It’s tempting to order food delivery during storms, but it puts the drivers and everyone else on the road at risk. Stock up on nonperishables before Old Man Winter comes so that you can feed your family without increasing potential weather-related driving hazards.
7. You Get to See Sunlight
The winter days are short. Many nine-to-fivers leave for work before the sun rises and return home after the sun sets, which makes the season seem like one endless night.
Working from home allows you to catch some winter rays and enjoy the daytime hours with more freedom.
It doesn’t take a scientific study to prove that a little bit of sunshine increases overall happiness and boosts energy. So, open the curtains and let that gigantic cosmic furnace shine in your home so you can sled-dog your way through your workday.
Tip: Winterize your windows to prevent the cold from entering and heat from escaping. Otherwise, your heating bill will burn a hole through your pocket for the sake of some sunshine.
8. You Blow Away the Winter Blues
You know how grumpy you feel after driving 25 miles per hour on the highway, fighting for a good parking spot at headquarters, and tramping through dirty slush in your soon-to-be-scuffed business professional shoes? So grumpy that the only place you find solace is in a dimly lit bathroom stall.
Though working from home can get lonely, especially in the cold, quiet winter, you avoid a lot of the hustle and bustle by staying put. You also earn a back the extra time you’d otherwise lose to extended commutes, long lines, and other weather-related annoyances.
Tip: If solitude tends to slay your productivity, take the reins by joining online chat conversations and planning virtual lunch meetings to stay connected with remote team members. Keeping in touch helps you stay motivated and avoid total hibernation.
9. You Pop Fewer Buttons on Your Snowsuit
Cookies and cakes and pies—oh my! The holidays can drop a sugar bomb on your waistline, especially when you work in an office. Everybody brings in tarts and treats to share during lunch breaks, potlucks, and gift exchanges.
Though telecommuting doesn’t eliminate the need for self-control with regard to your food choices, there’s less temptation to indulge when platters of pastries aren’t lurking in the lunchroom.
Tip: Keep the cookies and candies away from your desk. If you live in a small space and don’t have room to create a separate office area, at least turn your back to the kitchen and stock the fridge with festive fruit and veggies like cranberries, figs, pumpkin, and yams.
10. You Can Fly South Without Turbulence
If winter doesn’t snowsuit your fancy, take your work with you to warmer weather.
Most remote teams rely on cloud technologies to store documents, collaborate with team members and clients, track progress, hold meetings, and submit projects, so you’re not tied to your desk.
Plus, if your job doesn’t have any geographic restrictions, such as time zone requirements or regular business hours, then you can work whenever you want, wherever want. Imagine spending your yuletide at the beach without sacrificing all your vacation days or taking unpaid leave.
Tip: Check with your employer or clients for conflicts before taking off. Inform them of your travel dates, availability, and work plan during your trip. Make sure you back up your files to the cloud and pack all your needed equipment.
Winter Telecommuting Perks for Businesses
Snow days are expensive for businesses and governments. U.S. News reports that each snow day costs companies and state economies millions of dollars. However, organizations that offer telecommuting options can weather the storm.
Business owners and managers should incorporate telecommuting as part of their business continuity plan for adverse weather conditions. Unexpected costs due to road closures, accidents, call-offs, and snow-ins are avoided when employees can work safely at home.
To implement a telecommuting alternative, document all requirements, expectations, equipment needed, and communication procedures. Perform a test run to validate the plan and fill any gaps. If all goes well, consider extending a remote work option for trusted employees on a regular basis. It’ll likely save the company money and boost overall productivity and job satisfaction.
There’s No Workplace Like Home for the Holidays
If you’re new to telecommuting, check out our quick reference guide on how to get started and visit the Telecommute Toolkit for helpful resources when you sign up for a free or premium account.
Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or just getting your boots wet, be sure to winterize your workspace so that you don’t suffer any delays in productivity.
For example, back up files to a local computer in case your internet connection freezes, and develop a simple communication plan for reporting to managers and clients. Also, to save some dough, consider using a space heater at your desk instead of cranking up the heat in your entire house.
Most of all, enjoy the comforts of winter telecommuting and have fun transforming your office into a winter workplace wonderland.
Which of these winter telecommuting tips is your favorite; do you have winter telecommuting tips of your own? Share your answer when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!
Photo Credits: 1. iStock.com/PeopleImages; 2. iStock.com/inhauscreative; iStock.com/AlekZotoff
Joining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.
Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.