Telecommuting is becoming increasingly common. More and more jobs can be worked remotely.
Whether you’re freelancing, your company doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, or your office simply allows you to work from home part time, home based jobs can be a great choice for you.
However, some people find it detrimental to their productivity, and it’s certainly not the right fit for everyone.
If you’re considering working from home, weigh these pros and cons to see if it’s a good option for you.
A long commute can be detrimental to your happiness. Good news for those working from home! You’re already at work! Gas or public transit costs can add up to thousands of dollars a year, and the average person spends four hours commuting per week. Think of all the time and money you’ll save and be able to put back into your business!
You don’t really have to get ready
Especially for women, who often spend more time preparing for the day, the option to forgo hair and makeup and just get straight down to work is extremely appealing. You don’t have to be at the office at a certain time and don’t have to worry about your appearance. So go ahead and take the time for a morning workout, meditation, or whatever helps you get set for the day that you didn’t necessarily have time for when you were working in the office.
Often when working from home you can set your own schedule. Some jobs will require you to follow their schedule, but typically working from home means you can work when it’s best for you. The 9-5 grind isn’t everyone’s most productive time, so if you do better working late nights, or early mornings, then you can go for it! You can also take breaks around your schedule. If you work best in short spurts with intermittent breaks, then you’re free to do that. It may take some time to work out how best you can be productive, but you can customize your schedule to optimize your workflow.
Mixing up your workspace
Working from home means you can make your office as comfortable as you like. This means you don’t have to dress in layers to combat the freezing office temperature and you don’t have to settle in an uncomfortable office chair. You have control over your space, so set it up the way that works for you. This means you can get a standing desk, set up a tea station close by, and use the hardware and software that works best for your situation. You also have the option to work at coworking spaces or cafes, which some prefer to a home office since it gets you out of the house.
No distractions from coworkers
If you lean toward an introverted personality, working from home is probably your ideal situation. When you’re an introvert your energy is drained from being around other people, which can make it difficult to focus at the office. At home, you don’t have to worry about interruptions from coworkers or office drama.
When you work from home, you have the option to walk away from your work situation and return when you feel ready. This means that if you feel overwhelmed, you can take a moment to collect yourself and reflect on the situation. When you feel prepared to deal with whatever challenges arise, you can tackle it without the pressure of your boss looking over your shoulder, or judgmental coworkers.
Improved work/life balance
Working from home can improve your work/life balance. Since you’re saving time from commuting, it means you have the opportunity to focus that time on your home relationships or chores. Waiting for a file to upload? Instead of dillydallying at your desk in the office, you can empty the dishwasher. Working from home means you have the opportunity to spend lunches how you wish, which means you can get lunch with a friend to catch up, or take your dog for a walk.
When you work from home, you may find yourself missing the social interactions that come with working at the office. You’ll have less opportunity to get to know your coworkers and you won’t be able to build relationships with them in the same way as you would in the office. It’ll also be more difficult to collaborate on projects, and the teamwork will likely be less kinetic than at the office.
Although coworkers won’t distract you, you’ll find plenty of distractions at home as well. Entertainment, chores, family, especially young kids—these can all incredibly distracting. To work from home you need to set strict boundaries between for your space and time. A lot of people insist that working from isn’t for them because they need the structure of the office to stay focused. You’ll be constantly tempted to take breaks in the kitchen, or take time to do a household chore, but these tiny breaks can add up and must be avoided.
Lack of constant pressure from a superior can make you too comfortable. You need a lot of self-discipline to be able to successfully work from home. Although you don’t need to dress professionally, many people who work from home find it helps get them in the right mindset to work. You need to hold yourself accountable for your time and effort, and if you can’t, then working from home isn’t for you.
Lines blurred between work and home
Working from home can mean more work/life balance, but it can also blur the lines between the two. It’s easy to work overtime because of deadlines, stress, or simply getting lost in your work. You don’t get the luxury of being able to leave your work at the office. Placing your work in your home can mean that your work stress more easily penetrates your home life, and it can be difficult to avoid. If you need strict boundaries between work and home, then sticking to the office is best for you.
You’re judged solely on results rather than work ethic
Your superiors or your clients can’t see all the hours you put in. They don’t know that you worked eight hours on troubleshooting a technical issue, or researching best practices or new ideas. They only see the final results. This means that your results really have to shine. On one hand, this can be a pro. If you can achieve amazing results in less time, than it works out for you! However, this isn’t often the case for most people. If you turn out mediocre results, or results that would be fine in the office, you can be judged more harshly because no one witnessed your process.
People might not take you seriously
In the same vein as the above con, people may not take you as seriously as when you worked in an office. You may find that you’re asked to take on more household chores, or friends may interrupt your workday. When you work from home people can sometimes assume that this means you work less, and therefore they may make comments questioning what it is you do. People are used to hearing a simple answer to the question of your occupation. It’s easy to imagine someone working in an office, harder to picture someone working from home. So you may encounter some doubts among acquaintances and even friends and family.
Working from home can save you time and money, which can mean more family time. But it can also mean more distractions.
After reading these pros and cons, do you know what the right choice is for your lifestyle? Do you work from home? If so, what’s it like? Share your work story on UltiCareer to let others know what your type of job is really like and help them gain insight into what the right choice is for them!
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