Work flexibility isn’t just something that improves your career – it’s something that improves your entire life. With the opportunity to set your own schedule, make time for personal obligations, and work remotely, you give yourself a sounder work-life balance. This, in turn, will make you a happier, healthier person.
The gig economy is growing, and more people than ever are demanding work flexibility. As you plot the next steps in your career, you might consider making flexibility a priority. If you do, you can expect a slew of tangible benefits.
Reduce Commuting Time
Some flexible work arrangements allow you to choose your own hours, letting you avoid congested roadways during rush hour. Others involve working from home, allowing you to skip the commute altogether. Whichever option your job provides, you can say goodbye to those stress-inducing hours behind the wheel and mad scrambles to reach the bust stop on time. You can use the time and energy you save on more meaningful parts of your life.
More Time for Family
Everybody knows they’re supposed to “work to live, not live to work.” Unfortunately, rigid work-related demands make it impossible to follow the old maxim. With a flexible working arrangement, you can truly put your family obligations first. Working mothers have taken to gig work in record numbers because they appreciate the flexibility the system provides. By taking a gig job of your own, you can plan around all those soccer practices and dance recitals – and your family is sure to appreciate the change.
Flexibility to Work Where You Want
Today, many companies are allowing employees to work from anywhere. By taking one of these positions, you can relocate to the hometown of your dreams. Some people use this newfound flexibility to move abroad or live as digital nomads. Others find a place with a favorable cost of living. Whether you’re after exotic locales, a slower pace of life, or lower grocery bills, a “work from anywhere” position will allow you to achieve your objective.
Traditional jobs often involve sitting in traffic, riding the subway, and traveling for meetings – all of which take a serious toll on the environment. Work flexibility allows you to cut down on commuting time, avoid excessive travel, and speak with far-flung colleagues from the comfort of your home. Cutting down on work-related aggravation while reducing your carbon footprint? Sounds like a win-win.
Mental Health Benefits
Flexible working arrangements lead directly to a better work-life balance, and a better work-life balance leads directly to improved mental health. No matter how much you love your job, you need time to visit your friends, talk with your family, and pursue your personal interests – all of which improves your general sense of well-being. It’s no surprise that studies show a correlation between flexible work and better mental health.
Commuting to work isn’t just annoying – it’s also expensive. The daily costs associated with gas, subway fares, and bus tickets add up quickly. On top of that, in-person workers often buy lunches at restaurants and spend extra money on snacks throughout the day. Working from home allows you to make your own meals, which has long been associated with lower costs and healthier habits.
More Time for Professional Development and Learning
Studies show that 92% of employees want professional development. If you’re among them, then it’s worth considering how work flexibility could provide you with more learning opportunities. When you create your own schedule, it’s easier to attend training sessions or study for courses. This ability to focus more earnestly on your professional development will translate into greater opportunities for career advancement down the road.
More Time to Focus on Your Health
Your health should be a top priority – but work demands often get in the way. With a flexible job, you can take the time you need to attend a doctor’s appointment or get an issue checked out. You can also set aside time for exercising and preparing healthy meals. All of this will make you feel mentally and physically fitter.
Work flexibility doesn’t just make workers happier – it also makes them more productive. Choosing your own hours allows you to work when your mind and body are most alert. Night owls can stay up late at their keyboards, and early birds can start working right at the break of day. The health benefits associated with flexible work will also help you stay focused, and you’ll produce better work as a result.
Make More Money
You might see gig work as a compromise – sacrifice higher pay in exchange for flexibility – but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, flexible work arrangements can help you earn more money. When you’re setting your own schedule, it’s easier to juggle multiple gigs and pick up extra work on the side. With the right strategy, you can take on more jobs without disrupting your work-life balance. Work flexibility can provide more money and a better lifestyle – and that’s what career development is supposed to be about.
About the Author: Ben Clabault is a freelance writer from Sandwich, Massachusetts. He has spent much of his adult life traveling through Latin America. He currently lives with his fiance in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. His areas of expertise include travel, marketing, SaaS, and global cultures. You can find his work on Copyfolio and reach out to him on LinkedIn.