Sure, you know that it’s a day off from work and school, but what do you really know about Labor Day? Apart from being a national holiday, Labor Day is a celebration of America and the workers who helped build this great nation. It always falls on the first Monday in September, and was created by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, one of the largest labor organizations during the 1880s. It was President Grover Cleveland who established Labor Day as an official national holiday in 1887.

As Labor Day approaches, we thought this would be the perfect time to not only celebrate work, but also work flexibility. Here are just five reasons to celebrate work flex this Labor Day.

1) It gives you the chance to test out a new career.

Let’s say that you’ve worked in the medical field for the bulk of your career, but frankly, you’ve always wanted to get back into the classroom and be a teacher. When you have work flexibility, you can try on a new career for size without making a full-time commitment to it. For example, you can look for part-time or freelance jobs in your desired career and still be able to work in your current job at the same time. That way, you can know for sure whether the job you want is really for you or not.

2) It’s a greener way to work.

Flexible work is Mother Nature’s bestie. Besides eliminating your commute, you’ll also save the atmosphere in carbon emissions, according to a study by Sun Microsystems, which found that a daily commute constitutes more than 98 percent of an employee’s carbon footprint. Plus, you’ll toss less disposable containers in the trash when you eat last night’s leftovers, and you’ll think twice before printing that 50+ page document on your home printer. So when you work remotely, you know that you’re contributing to the economy—and the environment—in a positive way!

3) It allows you to go back to school.

Being locked in nine to five gig often leaves little room for much else. But when you have work flexibility, you can still meet the demands of your job and further your education, too, by taking online courses or night classes at your local college. And when you are able to go back to school for certain certifications or to get your degree, you’re not only able to go after higher-paying jobs, but you’re making a huge investment in yourself and your future!

4) It allows all people the chance to work.

Unfortunately, commuting into an office each and every day simply isn’t a possibility for some workers. Whether it’s due to a disability, being a military spouse, or living abroad, certain circumstances can make it difficult for people to have a traditional office job. Work flex gives this segment of the workforce the ability to be active workers, pursuing their passions, and earn a paycheck.

5) It gives you work-life balance.

We all have a life beyond work. Whether it’s taking care of kids, aging parents, pursuing a passion, hitting the books (or all of the above,) your time is truly precious. So when you have the ability to customize your schedule so that you can take your mom to her doctor’s appointment, be there for your child’s writing celebration, take a pottery class at night, and still score some exercise to boot, well, it only makes you a more well-rounded and happier person. That doesn’t just benefit you, though. When you realize that you’re able to do all the things that you need to do (and also love to do) while still earning a paycheck because you have work flexibility, it in turn makes you a more loyal, productive worker. Why? Because you’re grateful that you’re able to do everything that you need to do in both your personal life as well as your professional life. In short, you’re balanced—and it feels good.

So this Labor Day, be sure to celebrate the flex job you have—or get excited to search for the flexible job that you want with all the benefits that come along with it!

photo credit: istockphoto.com