Working from home is a growing trend for workers in the United States, including educational professionals. While making the move from a brick and mortar classroom to an online platform from home may take time and adjustment, working as an online educator from home offers many benefits for both you and your students. Let’s look at six of the key benefits of working from home offers school professionals and how ProCare Therapy can help you make the transition to online education.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the average American spends 26.1 minutes driving to work and 26.1 minutes driving home, for a total of 52.2 minutes a day. That adds up to over 4 hours a week and over 200 hours a year sitting in your car. Working from home eliminates your daily commute, allowing you to take advantage of those extra hours, whether for extra sleep or extra time with family and friends.
Lower Your Stress
For many education professionals, working in a traditional school environment can be a source of chronic stress. This chronic stress contributes to irritability, problems with concentration, low morale and a decline in work productivity. The good news is, for many, working from home can help reduce some daily stressors just by changing how your daily routine works. This includes:
• Eliminating the Stressful Commute – Rushing through the morning to get out of the house only to battle traffic to get to work is anything but relaxing. And after a long and stressful day, the commute home only adds more stress. Working from home allows you to say goodbye to the morning rush and the stressful commute and start your day with less stress.
• Improving Your Health – To combat stress at work, experts recommend taking breaks, walking during breaks, regular stretching exercises at your desk, and eating a healthy lunch. Unfortunately, in a traditional school setting, these options aren’t always possible. At home, however, they are. No more having to grab a quick lunch or snack out of a vending machine. At home, you can make healthy snacks and lunches. You can take the dog for a 15-minute walk during break time. While focusing on your work you can also focus on you.
• Better Balance of Life and Work – Working from home offers more flexibility when it comes to your schedule. In many cases, you can work your schedule around home and life responsibilities.
• Controlling Your Work Environment – Working from home allows you to control your work environment. Classrooms filled with fluorescent lights and neutral colors can affect workplace productivity. By working at home, you can create a workplace environment filled with personal touches, such as soft lighting and even a spot to do yoga stretches! Also, adding plants to your workspace can help reduce stress levels by as much as 30 to 60 percent.
Reduce Work-Related Expenses
Working from home not only helps your health and stress level, but it can also put more money in your bank. For example, while eliminating your daily commute to work reduces stress, it also saves gas money and wear and tear on your vehicle. Depending on your location, you may be spending as low as $2,000 or over $5,000 a year on gasoline or transportation services to get to work. Working from home eliminates these costs. Working from home also reduces what you need to spend on formal work clothes. You can also save money by making food at home or even eating last night’s leftovers. As an online educator, you do not need to provide supplies or decorations for your classroom when working from home, further reducing your workplace expenses.
In addition to saving educators money, online teaching saves schools money as well. A 2008 survey showed that the national average cost of learning per student in traditional public schools was $9,100. In contrast, the average cost per student for online learning was only $4,300.
Engage Effectively With Students
Today, technology plays a key role in everyday lives, and this is especially true for students who have grown up with technology. For this reason, many traditional schools incorporate technology in the classroom to better engage their students. The same applies to online educating as well, if not more. Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Arkansas Tech University Kevin C. Costly, Ph.D. shared a report about the positive effects of technology on teaching and student learning. In this report, he points out that technology causes students to be more engaged and often retain more information.
As an online educator, you can use technology to draw students deeper into specific topics. Whether using things like Photoshop to encourage arts or virtual trips to NASA and museums, you can bring their lessons to life in a completely different way.
While you may think that working from home and having all your modern comforts at your fingertips could reduce your productivity, the fact is working from home increases productivity. A recent study discovered that while at-home workers take longer breaks compared to in-office workers, they average 1.4 more days of work every month. In order to increase productivity, self-discipline is essential. Some tips to help increase your productivity from home include:
• Create a separate office space in your home that you use for work only
• Take regular breaks
• Establish set working hours and follow a regular schedule
• Create daily and weekly to-do lists
• Minimize distractions during work hours
Increased Employment Opportunities
Working from home opens a world of opportunities for online educators. By working from home, your geographical location no longer limits where you can teach. You can teach students anywhere in the world. Additionally, your home is not your only option. With an internet connection, you can teach your students from home or a remote location.
As an educational professional, teaching online offers you additional teaching opportunities that can allow you to work part-time or supplement your current teaching position. For example, if you teach in a traditional public school and want to expand your reach, you can teach students on the other side of the world when you get home.
Teaching online allows educators to expand their reach to students, increase engagement, reduce stress, and so much more. To learn more about work-from-home positions for educational professionals, contact ProCare Therapy or start your job search today through the button below!