Working from home can certainly sound appealing, especially if you’ve never done it before. It removes the need to wake up early in the morning just to dress up in business attire and commute to an office. Why choose that when you have the option to work on your own time (and in your pajamas) at home?
Depending on your own attitude towards work and the level of discipline you have, working from home can either be beneficial for you or end up making you a lot less productive. What’s important is that you properly consider all the advantages and disadvantages of working from home before opting to do so.
Pros of Working from Home
Working remotely has many advantages. Some of them are as follows:
Working from home means you don’t have to deal with the hassle of commuting to work every day; no more dealing with crowded public transport or traffic jams preventing you from getting anywhere. Even the regular traffic during typical work times can be frustrating for many. It also cuts down on the cost of commuting, whether you have to pay for gas for your car or the cost of public transport.
Working from home means you get to sit in the comfort of your bedroom or living room, with no need to get dressed, do your hair, or put on makeup. Instead, you can simply wrap yourself in a blanket whenever you feel like it, work in whatever clothes you want to, or even work lying down if you feel like it. Furthermore, there’s less noise and movement than there would be in an office.
Just make sure not to get too comfortable too often, or you might negatively impact your productivity.
You Work Whenever You Want
Working from home gives you the freedom to work whenever you want, along with choosing your own break times or even deadlines. This way, you can schedule your day around non-work-related events and work during times when you know you’re most productive. If you’re a morning person, you can work in the morning, but if you’re more of a night owl you’re free to do that as well. If you have other things like doctor’s appointments scheduled during the day, that’s no problem either.
Not having to spend so much time commuting and sitting in the office (and having flexible work hours) means you have a lot more time to yourself. You can use this to spend more time with family or friends. If you have kids of school-going age, you can schedule your work around the time they’re out of the house, and you can meet up with friends whose work schedules may not have aligned with your own previously.
Your Own Work Environment
One of the biggest advantages for many is the ability to create your own work environment — one in which you can produce the best output. Instead of sitting in a drab office with its plain white walls and lots of other people making noise to distract you, you get to create the environment that’s best for you.
You don’t even need to stay at home if you’d prefer to work elsewhere. You could sit in a park, at a café or library, or even rent a desk at a dedicated coworking space. You can do anything that lets you work well and be more creative.
Cons of Working from Home
Of course, working from home does have its downsides, too. Those include:
Working on your own means spending a lot more time by yourself than you would working in an office. This means you can get lonely quickly, especially if you’re not making any effort to socialize. Extroverts, for example, may even find themselves feeling more tired working alone than they do surrounded by other people.
To avoid this, it’s important to meet up with others every once in a while, be it friends or family. Otherwise, you may start getting less productive as your days get more repetitive and dull.
Despite the lack of distractions in the office, there are many other potential distractions that come with working from home. From social media to TV shows and even ordinary chores like grocery shopping, things can distract you from work and leave you getting less done.
Fortunately, there are apps nowadays that can reduce the amount of distraction you get from social media by blocking websites and push notifications, but you still need to be very disciplined to focus on your work and get things done.
It Can Make You Less Efficient
While being able to work comfortably from your home can make you more productive given the right conditions, if you’re not disciplined it can have the opposite effect. With no one to keep you in check, you may find yourself slacking off instead of working. In the same way, there could be too many distractions around you, or you may even get too comfortable at home and start getting lazy.
Some people simply can’t get much work done without a bit of pressure, and if this applies to you then maybe working from home isn’t for you. After all, working from home eliminates the feeling of any day being a “working day.”
Working from home can do a lot for your health if you use the added time you get during the day for healthy activities such as going on walks or working out. If you don’t do that, however, you risk making your physical condition worse. You may, for example, spend all day lying on the couch, or sitting in an uncomfortable chair, both of which can cause things like back pain. Similarly, the lack of exercise will affect you in more ways than one.
Multiple people working on a task means it gets done faster and more effectively than if a single person were to work on the same thing. Working from home means you don’t have easy access to help from coworkers anymore. You may find it difficult to complete some tasks without getting creative input from others.
In the same way, not being able to ask others for help means you may encounter tasks you don’t know how to do, or in some cases you may not be able to finish a job on time. At times like these, when working on your own, you can’t rely on other people to take over for you, which could be a problem.
Working from home has its pros and cons, and whether it’s right for you depends on your own discipline and style of work. If you’re considering working from home, it’s important that you consider its advantages and disadvantages carefully. If the cons outweigh the pros for you, then working from home may not be for you. However, if the opposite is true, you may find it to be better for your wellbeing and job satisfaction.