Working from home, once an unimaginable idea, is a regular part of many professionals’ lives. Technology innovation and improvements enable many to work from their houses, apartments, and even RVs. The Millennial generation, having grown up with computers nearby and cell phones in hand, want to hop aboard the WFH train. Statistics show “68% of millennials are more interested in a job that can be worked remotely, 64% would like the opportunity to work from home, and 82% say they would be more loyal to employers if they had flexibility.” Why? Because work-life balance and experiencing life to the fullest are key for most millennials – I understand this first hand!
My work from home experience began when I joined Lantana last June as a Program/Policy Analyst. As a public health graduate, I never imagined my career would allow me to work from home, and I was immediately intrigued by the structure of our company. Transitioning from my old job in a traditional office setting felt different. As I got more comfortable with my new home “office,” I started to realize how good I have it! A whole new world of working remotely (from anywhere!) was now at my fingertips – I coordinated meetings, analyzed spreadsheets, and wrote newsletter stories at the local coffee shop within walking distance from my New Jersey home. I enjoyed working lunches with local friends who worked from home on Fridays. I even took my office to a hotel in Boston one Friday, so I could make the first pitch at a Red Sox game that night!
As my work-life balance improved, I felt drawn to move out of NJ by the freedom to go ANYWHERE. It was always my dream to live in a city (so millennial of me) in Southern California – palm trees, good food, and exciting cultures and activities – so naturally, Los Angeles it was! I understood why my generation wants to work from home the moment my husband set up my standing desk in the front of my new windows and front yard palms – I was living the millennial dream!
Besides the fact that I can work from anywhere, East Coast, West Coast, my couch, or my coffee shop, the time flexibility is a big factor in the value millennials place on working from home. By arranging my working hours based on my lifestyle, I’ve improved my physical and mental health. Unlike millennials with traditional jobs, I don’t feel pressure to skip the doctor or the dentist because I don’t have to take time off to make those visits. And, a quick walk around my block or to the coffee shop down the street gives me a chance to take a breather and reset for 10-15 minutes on the busiest days. A bonus perk of working from home in California has been my hours: I work a standard 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EASTERN TIME, leaving the entire afternoon to catch up on housework, volunteer, or venture outside to enjoy the consistently beautiful weather!
With my new work-life balance, I can pursue all the things in life that are important to me: my career, my health, and my adventures. I am more productive in my work, and I take better care of myself and spend more time investing in non-work activities and friendships. I can even pursue personal dreams, like living on the West Coast, without changing jobs and stressing! I travel more, I focus harder, and I have an overall better quality of life. With all that said, who can really blame us millennials for wanting that new home office?