Written by: Kevin Gardner
The past few years have seen an increase in people working from home. While many people jump at this opportunity, there are both pros and cons to working remotely. If you plan on working from home, you should know what you're getting into rather than just getting a blind start. The following list compiles some of the most common pros and cons of working from home.
Pro: Increased Flexibility
One of the most common draws of working from home is increased flexibility. When you work remotely, you don't have to adhere to as strict of a schedule as in-person work. While you'll still have assignments and deadlines to meet, you can fit your job into your daily routine much more seamlessly. If you're a parent or are working multiple jobs, a remote position will help you stay on top of your daily tasks.
Along with increased time flexibility, working from home also releases you from some of the physical constraints of working in an office. With the exception of virtual meetings, working remotely doesn't have a dress code. You can get your daily tasks done in your pajamas or while sitting on a beach in your favorite swimsuit. If you need more flexibility in your life, working from home can help.
Con: Decreased Connection
One con of working remotely is decreased connection between employees. When you're in an office, it's easy to walk over one cubicle and talk to a friend. On your lunch breaks, you can meet some coworkers at your favorite restaurant and relax a little. Working from home reduces these connections.
When you're working from home, maintaining connections requires much more effort. Because you can't just walk across the room and talk to a coworker, making work friends will be harder. Thankfully, programs like virtual happy hour or virtual coffee tasting offer a solution. These meetings allow you to hang out with your colleagues from the comfort of your home, which will help build the connection you lost by working from home.
Pro: Lower Commute Cost
Another perk of working from home is lower commute costs. With inflation on the rise, it's getting more and more expensive to get around. Transportation costs such as gas prices, train tickets, and bus passes add up quickly and take a toll on your overall budget. By working from home, you avoid these costs and save yourself and your family money.
Commuting every day also has a mental cost. If you used to drive to work every day, you know how stressful it is to be stuck in traffic hoping you'll be there on time. This daily stress takes a toll on your mental health and can lead to anxiety and depression. By choosing a remote position, you can avoid this early morning stressor and start your day off relaxed.
Con: Organizational Difficulty
Another con of working from home is the organizational difficulty. For people who struggle to self-motivate, working remotely is a nightmare. If you find it hard to stay focused and on-task, it may be nearly impossible to remain productive while working from home. Because you set your own schedule, it's essential to stay motivated and task-oriented when working remotely.
Similarly, it can sometimes be difficult to manage group tasks when working remotely. Because you can't communicate face-to-face, a collaborative assignment can feel like an unattainable goal. The solution is to find a middle ground and maintain open communication through a virtual channel such as email or video calling. People who thrive with direct supervision may not work effectively from home.
Overall, working from home is a unique challenge that not everyone can handle. Knowing the pros and cons of remote work will help you make an informed decision about your career path.