There are people that simply love working from home and people that hate it. The truth is there are countless prejudices that exist when referring to the remote workforce. As a result, many try to get such a job in order to stay at home or end up refusing to telecommute since they know about remote work.
What should be remembered is that remote jobs have clear advantages and disadvantages. Only after you are aware of both the pros and cons of work-from-home jobs you should see if this is for you or not.
The Truth Behind Remote Jobs
Although there are plenty of companies out there that offer work-from-home jobs, it is still not for everyone. There are countless individuals out there that tried to make the switch to remote work and failed simply because this work style is not for them.
At the end of the day, it is vital that you are completely honest with yourself. You can definitely give remote work a try but do not expect it to be a magical solution to your problems.
If you decide to work from home, you need to keep things as professional as possible. For most people, the work needed to succeed is actually more than with a regular 9 to 5 job.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working From Home
We will cover the most important advantages and disadvantages and not mention some things that are not necessarily related, like lack of paid sick days since this type of statement is related to the nature of the job, not remote work as a whole.
Work From Home Pros
1. No More Commuting
You no longer need to worry about crowded trains or buses. Traffic jams are not a worry and you do not spend a lot of time on the road.
There are many employees that hate commuting. They see it as being highly depressing and stressful. This is especially the case during Mondays or Fridays.
It can be difficult to keep up a good mood when commuting is a hassle. Working from home removes the need to go through daily commuting. Dealing with countless other people that take the same bus or another method of transportation is no longer a problem.
2. Saving Time
If you are the kind of person that spends a lot of time getting ready for work, commuting is something you most likely do not love. When you remove commuting from the equation, you get to save a lot of time. This can easily be hours in some cases, based on how long you prepare and how long the trip is.
For instance, if you drive for 1 hour to get to work, it automatically means that you lose 2 hours per day. Then, you have to factor in the time that you lose as you prepare, like when you cook your office lunch or when you get dressed.
The extra time you gain can be spent on things that you love or you could simply have a longer breakfast. Saving 2-3 hours per day is a huge advantage of working from home.
3. Saving Money
You can easily save money because of the fact that you do not commute. There are no more gas bills or transport tickets to worry about. The car might not at all be needed anymore.
To make matters even more interesting, money might also be saved because you no longer need a business attire. You can cook your food and not have to go to an expensive cafeteria that can cost a lot during lunch.
When you work from home you do not need to respect a dress code. If you want to wear a t-shirt, this is what you can wear. If it is cold, you can just stay in a chair and get wrapped in a blanket. Just make sure that you do not get too cozy since productivity can suffer due to extreme comfortability.
If you are a business owner or a freelancer, you choose working hours. There are even many companies that allow remote employees to choose their own working hours. Such flexibility is not possible with the regular office job.
This is highly advantageous because you can work when you are most productive. Some people are more productive during the morning while others want to work late at night. Private appointments are also more convenient. You can easily schedule a doctor’s appointment early in the day. This would not be possible if you had to go to an office for work.
6. More Family Time
Because you do not waste a lot of time commuting, the extra time can be spent with friends or family. Having a flexible work schedule allows you to arrange everything in the order you want. It is also possible to attend the school events you would normally miss due to regular work.
7. Your Own Working Environment
This is a huge advantage that few people realize. You get to choose your very own office environment so you will not end up bored with your surroundings, which is quite common in corporate buildings. Design your very own working environment based on what works for you.
If you feel like it, you can even leave home. Remote work means you can do your job from a park or a café you really love. Some even prefer coworking spaces since they connect with other remote work professionals.
The reason why this is a big advantage is that you do not have to respect rules. Your office can be exactly as you want it to be in order to be as productive as possible.
8. Lower Stress
Stress is reduced when you work from home. You are no longer annoyed by commuting and the stressful working environment in an office is nothing to worry about. There will be no boss around you and other coworkers that bother you. In the long run, this leads to a happier life as stress is lower.
Never underestimate how damaging stress can be on your well-being. It can make you depressed and can easily lead to not taking care of yourself. Basically,
People that work in big companies for many years end up being caught in some given routines and structures. Many do not even like these routines.
If you work from home, more decisions are taken by you. And not only if you run your own business, but also if you are a freelancer or remote employee.
10. Food Preparation
The fact that you can prepare your meals is a huge advantage of remote work. This is because you can make healthy and fresh food choices. Being dependent on office food options usually means making some unhealthy choices. This was confirmed by a CoSO Cloud study.
11. Extra Time For Workouts
Few know this but people that work from home actually work out more. This is due to the fact that they have more time. Also, because of the fact that they just sit at home, they are naturally inclined to move their body more. Even something as simple as walking the dog for a longer time is more exercising. Starting running or yoga are just two examples of workouts you can enjoy when working from home.
12. A Better Work-Life Balance
Remote workers always have more time
13. Better Health
Since stress levels are lower and you do not have to commute every single day, you get to sleep better and sleep more. Then, you work out more and you eat healthier. All these
Obviously, this does depend on residency and personal situation. However, when you are location-independent and there are no family members or friends that stay with you, it is easy to move to a location where you get tax advantages. This is actually something that many freelancers do to increase their income.
Work From Home Cons
Remote work is not just incredibly advantageous for people. There are some disadvantages that have to be mentioned. The important ones are the following.
1. Lack Of Human Interaction
When you work from home you do have online meetings and you do have to deal with calls from time to time. However, most of your time will be spent alone. There are no weekend plans exchanged and no fast coffee breaks. Due to the lack of social interaction, it can be quite hard to deal with daily work.
2. Separating Work From Private Time
Since you do many things at home, it is sometimes really difficult to separate business life and private life. Because you are not reliant on office hours, you can end up working from when you wake up until really late at night. The entire life revolves around the work you do.
Many do not see this as being a disadvantage since they like their work but in time, it is easy to be burned out since private life and work-life become one.
3. Numerous Distractions
There are countless distractions that you have to deal with when you work from home. This ranges from doing the laundry to watching a new episode of a TV series that just came out. Basically, there are distractions everywhere. You would need a lot of discipline to properly focus on the work that is to be done.
The good news is there are apps to help you out, like Time Doctor. This is an app that reminds you that you have to work when you end up using YouTube, Facebook and other programs that distract you.
One of the main reasons why a lot of people cannot work from home is that they are distracted. They end up doing many other things and do not finish their work on time.
4. Lower Productivity
Due to the presence of distractions, productivity goes down. You do not have someone monitoring you but this also means you will not feel pressured to work. Also, there are people that have to be a little pressured in order to be more productive.
Luckily, there are plenty of tips you can follow to increase your productivity when working from home.
5. An Unhealthy Lifestyle
While it is true that working from home can help you improve your health, it can also lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
There are many companies that offer offices with standing desks or ergonomic chairs. When you work from home, you might not want to buy proper office equipment. Some people even stay on a couch and do work there. In time, this can only lead to back pain.
Working a lot and not exercising can become second nature. This is not good for your body. That’s why it’s super important to start healthy habits you can do daily.
6. Bad Collaboration
You will deal with video calls and emails but there are many things that are a lot faster to explain in person. There are limited communication options available when you work from home so collaborations are harder. Also, the nature of the work done means that you can end up missing some really important things that are just mentioned in passing.
7. Bad Reputation
This is a really annoying part of working from home. The truth is that people just do not value remote workers as much as in-office employees. You will be told to get a real job and be asked to do more chores simply because you are at home. People often do not see remote workers as people that work. This can be really frustrating.
Should You Work From Home?
There are many advantages and disadvantages of working from home, as it was seen above. You are the one that needs to decide what is important and what is not. Some factors will affect your happiness and wellbeing while others will not. However, if you want to work from home, remember the following:
- You need self-discipline.
- You need time management skills.
- You have to be organized.
- You have to be focused and avoid distractions.
- You have to be able to work alone and spend a large part of the day alone.
- You have to do the work without being supervised.
Remote work can be started part-time. This allows you to see if this lifestyle is for you or not. You can easily gain more experience when you do this and you do not have to worry about losing your current job.