Many people love the idea of working at home, while others despise it. There are many misconceptions that come along with remote work. It all boils down to people either trying to desperately secure a work from home job so that they can stay home or simply refusing to telecommute because they only think about the negative aspects of it. So, what exactly is the best way to go? Let’s take a look at some of the joys and woes of working at home. Find out if you should pursue a work at home career or steer clear of the popular job trend.
This is the number one reason many choose to pursue a work at home career. No more heavy traffic, putting gas in your car, crowded buses or train rides. When you’re surrounded by the tired, frustrated, and rushing people each day trying to get to work it really takes a toll on you. Working from home is the only way to avoid the dreaded daily commute.
Save time and money
Not only will you save money by not paying for gas in your car or bus/train fare, but you will more than likely save on the cost of lunch each day. Since you don’t have a commute anymore, you also save tons of time. If you’re not lucky enough to live right next door to your office, you could easily spend half an hour, one way, getting to work each day. That is a whole hour each day that you spend simply getting to and from work. Just think about all that you could get done in that time. You could sleep longer, exercise, have a long breakfast, meet up with friends for lunch, etc.
There’s nothing more convenient than working from home. If you have children, you’re able to be there for their school events or doctor’s appointments. You can take your lunch hour and go to the grocery store, come home and prepare dinner while still getting your work done. Also, there’s the convenience of getting to wear exactly what you want. No more suits, ties, and slacks. Say hello to joggers, leggings, and maybe even your pajamas.
Flexible work hours
If you’re a freelancer or business owner working from home, you more than likely get to choose your working hours. Even if you’re not, there are tons of companies who offer their remote employees the freedom to choose when and how they work. For some, that might be early morning hours, and then others may choose to work at night. When working from home, you have the freedom to choose and you don’t have to miss important events or appointments.
More time with loved ones
Since you’re not having to spend time commuting to work anymore, you can spend precious time with family and friends. You can attend school events, your child(ren)’s sporting events, and maybe go for yoga with friends, if you have a flexible work schedule. These are things you may not have been able to do with working a traditional job.
Your own work space
No more sharing or having an uninspiring workspace anymore. One great benefit of working at home is getting to create your own work environment. You can put up things that inspire you and make your space just as cozy and inviting as you please. That’s not all, who says you even have to work from home if you don’t feel like it? Grab your laptop and head to a coffee shop, library, or co-working space nearby. Working in new environments can do wonders for your mood and productivity.
Your health can really increase simply from working from home. No more daily commuting and reduced stress levels can equal better sleep at night. In addition to this, you may be eating better since you now have the time to cook healthier meals. Also, studies have shown that remote workers don’t get sick nearly as often as traditional workers do. Not only because you are living healthier, but because you aren’t being exposed to all types of germs and bacteria that you find in offices.
When working from home, it is so easy to become distracted. Distractions are everywhere! You have the opportunity to clean the house, play online games, such as solitaire or twenty-one, and even binge watch Netflix, if you please. It really takes a ton of discipline to avoid these kinds of distractions and truly be able to focus on your work.
No human interaction
Although you will have conference calls and video meetings with clients or team members every now and then, you will be home alone for the most part. No coffee dates, eating lunch with coworkers, or exchanging weekend plans with colleagues. The lack of social interaction can be a real damper for some.
No work/life balance
You sleep at home and you work at home. Sometimes, it can be hard to separate your personal and work life. If you’re a freelancer, you’re no longer dependent on office hours and can literally work anytime you want. Sometimes, your whole life can revolve around work. There’s no set eight hours with a lunch break anymore. You have to be sure to delegate time for work and time for play so that you don’t get burnt out.
Not only do you have to find some kind of work/life balance, but you also need to make sure you have the discipline to get things done. When working from home, you no longer have a boss telling you what to do or looking over your shoulder all day. For some people, it’s hard to get work done without that pressure. Either there’s too many distractions or lack of motivation since you aren’t in a traditional workplace setting.
Takes a strain on body
On one hand, working from home can increase your health, but on the other hand, it can really take a toll on your body. Most companies provide office employees with ergonomic chairs or even standing desks. When you work from home, you may not have all of this nice equipment and may not be able to afford it starting out. Even worse, some people choose to work lying down on the couch all day, and sooner or later, that can lead to horrible back pain.
As you can see, there are plenty of joys and woes that come along with working at home. It is up to you to decide which of these are more important to you and which will have the biggest impact on your wellbeing and happiness. Decide which of these are complete deal breakers for you and which things you don’t mind dealing with!