Working from home is becoming more and more popular and there are many good reasons for this. So why should we work from home and does it help our personal health and the health of our environment?
Here at About Going Green we believe that working from home is a fantastic way to live greener and healthier life for you. Greener living often means a healthier planet and this article aims to show you how.
In this article – Why do people work from home, you will discover the reasons people decide to start that journey, the personal benefits of doing so, how it is environmentally friendly and we will briefly discuss different options for working from home.
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Why People Work from Home
Homemakers: Lots of stay-at-home moms and dads consider working from home to support their family. Perhaps they have young children who are not old enough to attend and early year’s education program. Perhaps they would prefer to spend their time at home with their young one instead of hiring a nanny or registering them for day care.
Health Reasons: Some people end up working from home because of personal health reasons. Maybe they have had an accident which has forced them to be at home recovering for a long period.
Change in Career: Some people decide that they want to be their own boss and become self-employed. Maybe they have had a negative experience working for other people. Perhaps they realized that the job they were in wasn’t right for them. Or maybe they just wanted the opportunity to choose how much they earn instead of earning for somebody else.
Either way, there is one thing that all of these scenarios have in common…. they all want to bring in some extra money and make the most of their time. All of these people are willing to take a little risk if the outcome is achievable.
Be Your Own Boss
I think this is probably my favorite reason for wanting to work from home. I find the hierarchy structures in workplaces unnatural, uncomfortable and difficult to relax in. I had been in a management position too and I still didn’t like it.
There is so much competition, negative energy and there is often one who will go out of the way to walk all over you and try the hardest to make your life a misery – you know the one!
We have to conform to certain work expectations such as uniforms, policies, deadlines, early morning meetings, you name it, the list goes on…
And there is always somebody who decides what you do, where you do it, when you do it and how you do it. How depressing. This just isn’t for me. I want to live my own life and make my own decisions. They may be paying me to do a job, but after all it is MY time and not theirs.
I got sick of missing important life events such as weddings. I had enough of being made to feel guilty or penalized when I genuinely needed to be at home to recover from a sickness bug.
Working from home is completely different. You can be your own boss. You get to make all the decisions. Simple. Enough said.
OK so there are some risks when deciding to be your own boss and that is income. At first, it is very likely that you will need to take a risk, and risk not earning the amount you would like to be earning at the start.
However, I personally believe that this risk is well worth it. If you work hard and aim high, the changes are that you will end up earning lots more than you were earning when working for somebody else.
In most circumstances, when you begin working for yourself, from home, you can actually decide how much you want to be earning. Then all you have to do is work out rates and how often you will be working.
I would like to briefly mention something here about passive income. If you get paid by your time, e.g. an hourly rate it is virtually impossible to be really successful in life. If you want to succeed in life, you need to get your money earning more money. This is known as passive income.
Say Good Bye to Commuting
Some people are fortunate enough to be able to walk, jog or ride a bike to work every day. However, this is not an option for all of us. If you are already environment conscious, you may already have a greener transport solution such as car-sharing or using public methods of transport instead of driving.
But for some of us, neither of these options are possible due to our personal circumstances and preferences.
Personally I have always worked in the city but loved the peace of living in the country, mainly because the jobs i have had been in the city. I would have jumped at the opportunity to work in the country but that opportunity didn’t come up. As a result, commuting to work was a daily chore. This has always been a bad decision, it meant a long commute to and from work every day.
What a drag that was! I would get up, get ready and be on the road at 6am, arriving at work for about 7am. I would work all day, and to avoid the traffic on the way home, I would stay at work until about 7pm and wasn’t arriving home until about 8pm. That meant I was out of the house for fourteen hours on average every day. Then I had several hours of work to do when I got home.
Living this lifestyle was exhausting. That meant I was living to work, instead of working to live. This had huge detrimental effects on my mental and physical well-being. That meant I was exhausted all the time, suffering from insomnia, living off of coffee and sugar, rarely having enough time to cook decent food, eating fast food and not having enough time for my family and friends. This type of living is not sustainable.
Our society encourages this behavior. In the past human beings spent their entire lives in a small area. Growing up, working and living their lives in a small village. But today society is different. The USA is designed for road users. Most people have access to a vehicle and use it to get to and from work.
Working from home completely eradicates commuting. Say good bye to wasting hours sat behind the wheel every day. Say good by to sitting in stand still traffic. Say hello to having more time in the day to do the things yo want to do. Say hello to have some extra cash in your pocket from the money you haven’t spent on gas!
When you first decide to start working from home, you often don’t think about how working from home can reduce our impact on the environment and support the health of our planet. Working online can be very environmentally friendly as it uses less of the planets natural resources. Let’s go ahead and take a look at this.
Reduce Air Pollution & Global Warming
Commuting to work by vehicle every day means burning gas and polluting the air we breathe. Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the USA. Personal vehicles are often the single greatest polluter because the carbon emissions from millions of vehicles add up.
This is dangerous to our own personal health because we create air pollution. The federal air quality standards suggest that nearly 150 million Americans live in areas that do not meet these requirements.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse and pollutant. It is the main cause for global warming. Plants and animals release carbon dioxide naturally as they live and breathe. However, it is human activity, such as transportation, that has caused the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to be higher than they had been in hundreds of thousands of year’s.
Gasoline comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are one of the planets natural resources. Natural resources take a long time produce and replace. Much longer than the time we spend on the planet. So basically, once they are gone, they won’t be returning for a very long time.
Working from home reduces you need to commute. Therefore, all that gas that you would be burning is not used, carbon dioxide is not released into the environment. This reduction in pollution is going to reduce global warming.
You may be thinking that one person isn’t going to make a difference. I ask you to stop. Right. There. This is exactly the point. We have to look at the bigger picture. The more people that sack the day job for a sustainable career at home, the greater the impact will be.
If we have to commute to work, then I would recommend finding a more environmentally friendly solution that is not driving you own personal automobile. The best way to do this would be to walk, jog or ride a bicycle.
For some people this really isn’t possible because they live too far away or their personal health prevents them from being able to do this. In these circumstances I would highly recommend seeking out a public transport option. Buses, trains and trams are fantastic options because they have only one engine and can seat lots of people.
If you are unable to travel by public transport because these facilities are not available in your area, then I recommend you get in touch with your local mayor and request that something is done about this situation. For more about this, please just ask me about my experiences campaigning for a local bus service.
Until this service is made available, please make travel-share arrangements. There are lots of ways that this can be achieved. Is there anybody in your area that works near where you do. Perhaps there is somebody at work who lives in the next town? Ask around, you might be surprised to discover that this is easier than you thought it might be.
There are also tons of awesome apps, websites and social media groups available to help with the organizing of this.
Use Less Natural Resources
By their very nature, offices and work environments use up natural resources. A typical office contains equipment that many home work environments don’t need. Let s take a look at the design of a normal office.
Most offices are made up of cubicles, a large space is turned into small spaces with the use of cubicle walls. The smallest of offices have hundreds of these cubicle walls. These walls are made from wood particles, glue and petroleum fiber. Petroleum in made from fossil fuels.
Green alternatives, that are made from renewable sources are more expensive. Many office spaces are built on a budget and paying extra for equipment is not an option. The same goes for furniture such as office chairs, desks, conference tables etc.
Another important point is that many people already have office spaces at their home, and if they don’t have an office they usually have a space where they could work, e.g. a table. This means that creating these spaces is pointless and a waste of time, resources and energy.
Working from home definitely reduces our need to consume the worlds natural resources. If there is less demand for office equipment, there will be less manufactured from the limited resources we have.
Create Less Waste
Not only do office spaces use up natural resources, but they also create lots of unnecessary waste. We can look at this from the perspective of the equipment that is used to create office spaces but also from the perspective of day to day waste.
All waste needs disposing. All the office furniture needed to create the office will get used, worn and at some point it will need replacing. Unfortunately we live in an era where presentation is more important to use than preserving the planets natural resources. People dispose of perfectly working pieces of equipment, the minute they get a scratch.
Sadly lots of office furniture and equipment ends up in landfill. This includes lots of electrical equipment such as printers, copiers, computers, projectors, tablets and other devices that are made from harmful elements. Some of these toxins include lithium, lead and bromine.
When they are disposed into landfill, they break down into our environment. By letting their employees work from home, companies can restrict how much toxic waste they produce. This also saves them money because they won’t need to buy the electronic equipment in the first place.
Often offices encourage frequent paper waste. How many people have spent time on a document, printed it and then been told its needs editing slightly? This document is likely to wind up in the trash. The employee will make amendments to the document and keep printing off copies until it is finalized.
Some work environments encourage paper recycling and this is a great start. However, colored ink contains toxins. When this paper is composted, these toxins release into our environment.
If you want to reduce paper waste, I would recommend stopping color printing. If you still need to print in color, I would recommend reducing color printing only to time when really needed. Then, have a box for black and white printing and a box for colored printing. Obviously this is only effective if the place where you recycle separates the two.
When you work from home, you are more likely to send documents to your colleagues via email. Feedback is given and documents are updated and finalized without even touching a piece of paper. This stops millions of trees ending up in files, archives and landfill each year. This also demonstrates how working from home promotes forest conservation.
Use Less Energy
Maintaining the environment of an office building used a lot of energy. In the cold weather you need to ensure that it is warm enough inside so that employees are comfortable and in the hot weather you need to ensure that it is cool enough inside. Employees need light so that they can see what they are doing.
Much of this demand for energy is met by the power produced in power plants, by the burning of nonrenewable fuels such as coal or oil. This is often a complete waste of energy.
Most employees are already managing their home environment to make it comfortable for them, whether they are there or not. This makes office climate control pointless.
Instead, companies should be considering what they could do with the money they save by encouraging their employees to work from home. Maybe the money that they would spend on climate control could be put back into the growth or development of the company, or increase the salaries of their employees.
All of this can be done while reducing their energy consumption.
Home Business Options
If you have a lot of training in your field and enjoy the career path you have taken then this is probably a fantastic option for you. Going self-employed does have its risks, advantages and disadvantages.
To start being self-employed you will need to have a financial budget. You will need to consider how much you will need for equipment, advertising and your general living costs.
It is probably a good idea to calculate how much you would spend in six months, minimum. Make sure that you have this money put aside so that when you decide to quit your day job you can go into your new self-employed position confident that you won’t be grovelling at your previous employers feet in a few months time.
Earning Money Online
There are many reasons why people decide that going self-employed isn’t for them. Perhaps you want a change in career or perhaps you don’t feel comfortable taking the risks involved.
There are many options for earning money online. The great thing about it is that the earning potential is limitless, you just have to know how to do it. Keep an eye out for my next article where I will be diving into this subject a little deeper.
A Few Final Notes
If you ever have anything to share about this article or about Going Green, I would love to hear from you.
Please use the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
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All the best,