One silver lining of the pandemic is that it became more acceptable to work from home. For many, this was a dream come true. After all, who doesn’t want to ditch their tiresome commute, spend more time with their family, and work from the comfort of their couch, right? But, in fact, there are some drawbacks that you should consider before choosing to work from home permanently. Let’s talk through some of the pros and cons of working remotely.
One of the perks of working from home is that you don’t have to commute to and from work anymore. This means less money spent on gas and less time spent sitting in traffic. Also, most remote workers can wear whatever clothing they want (outside of video calls and occasional in-person meetings), which translates into even more savings.
Without a doubt, there will be more flexibility in your schedule if you choose to work remotely. It can be difficult, for example, to run out to visit the dentist when you’re sitting at a desk in an office building with lots of coworkers. When you work from home, on the other hand, it’s easier to incorporate these kinds of tasks into your day without negatively impacting your job.
You know exactly what we’re talking about, right? There’s always someone at the office who can’t wait to accost you at your desk and chat your ear off about their weekend plans, wasting precious work time. At home, no one except your cat (or possibly your kids and/or significant other) will barge in on you, which means more quiet and uninterrupted time to work.
Working remotely frees you from having to live in or near a certain location for a job. Unlike in the old days, now you can live wherever you want and, in most cases, still work in your desired field. So if you dream of earning a living while residing in a more tropical locale, for example, this is feasible if you find and land the right remote job.
Some find it easier to concentrate in the morning; others in the evening or after lunch. When you work from home, you’re likely to have more control over when you work, whereas at the office you have less say over your schedule. Working remotely sets you up to capitalize on the times of day when you’re most productive and creative.
While it can be great to avoid the coworkers you aren’t crazy about, you might miss the ones you like. Colleagues frequently become friends, and if you start working from home, you won’t see them in person as often anymore. Work has the potential to become somewhat lonely.
Another drawback of working from home is that it’s harder to set up and abide by work/leisure boundaries. When you work at an office, leaving the building usually signifies that the workday is over and it’s time to enjoy personal activities and friends. But when you work at home, your workspace might overlap with your personal space, making boundaries fuzzy. It can be harder to feel free of work.
We all know how easy it can be to misunderstand somebody’s tone through a text message, IM, or email. When you work from home, you need to compensate for the fact that your coworkers can’t see your facial expressions or body language. You also can’t see theirs, which means that you’ll have to work harder to maintain good professional relationships.
If you aren’t naturally self-disciplined and driven, working from home might prove to be a challenge. Since your boss is no longer hanging over your shoulder, you’ll need to keep yourself motivated and on task, which isn’t always easy for everyone especially when there are so many distractions at home.
It’s been found that some managers are biased against employees who work remotely. In other words, if they don’t see you, they might not offer you promotions or raises like they do someone who works at the office. You may feel less appreciated or valued than in-office workers.
As you can see, there are both pros and cons to working from home. While many folks only view it in a favorable light, the truth is that there are some negatives too. So before you commit to working remotely, do your homework and make sure it’s the best decision for you.