When I was doing some recent self-reflection, I came to the realization that I have been working from home for close to a decade.

There has not been a day that I have regretted the decision to telecommute, despite some advice and opinions from well-meaning friends or associates along the way. Here’s a quick summary of some of the things I’ve come to appreciate about working remotely, and why I consider myself fortunate (or stubborn) enough to have made remote work a top priority.

Self-Discovery

In my late teens, I worked part-time as a tutor. While I didn’t thoroughly dislike that work, I had a strong interest in creative writing, which I spent a lot of my free time doing.

Dedicating the time to my writing craft made me aware that my free-spirited, artistic side could get a lot done indoors. As an introvert, I like working by myself and in quiet spaces. Rather than force myself to become more extroverted, I sought ways to look for work and lifestyle options that were a good fit for my personality, temperament, and interests, so they would be a more natural fit.

Quality of Life

Quality of life and time are very important to me. And being location-independent has always been a crucial component of that, because it allows for more flexibility with lifestyle options such as housing, environment, travel, and work-life balance.

Savings

I took a lot of public transport when I was growing up in a large cosmopolitan city. I spent a lot of my commute people-watching and wondering how I could use that time more productively. It didn’t take me long to figure that working from home had the potential for significant savings—both in time and cost.

There are only 24 hours in a day, so I like putting them to as much good use as possible. The time saved from commuting can go to education, personal development, hobbies, fitness, healthy cooking, family time, relationships, and a whole host of other things. The option to work remotely also removes the stress and frustration of dealing with the rush hour crowd.

Discipline

Remote work is flexible, but it also requires discipline to avoid distractions. Being disciplined is of course useful in a variety of ways, especially for financial management (reducing debt; budgeting; investments; passive income; retirement; general savings).

People have told me several times that I can’t “have it all” when it comes to working from home doing a job (or jobs) I like. I’m glad I did not listen to such opinions, because at the end of the day, it’s my life and the choices I make that have a direct influence on the outcome!

photo credit: Jessica Chua