No matter what job you have or where your workspace is, you’ll always have some complaints about it. It’s not all perfection. Long hours, the struggles and annoyance of commuting, doing work that isn’t fulfilling, boring co-workers who try your patience, and horrible management practices are just some of the complaints that people lament about their workplaces. But, much to the delight of workers everywhere, many companies are starting to accommodate their workers and provide telecommuting positions. This means that they can work from home and avoid the hassles of the office environment. Because of this, many people are seeking work-from-home positions, thinking that it will be an easier job. But, just because the job can be done from home doesn’t mean that it’s an easy job, and, just like any job, any work-from-home job has its drawbacks, too. So, before you take a work-from-home job, here are some of the pros and cons about working from home that you should consider.
Pro: Being able to better balance your work and home lives
Most people would prefer to live in a world where they didn’t have to work at all. However, this is sheer fantasy for most of us, as work is necessary. But, balancing your working and non-working life is easier to do when you work from home. It takes diligence and practice, however. When you’ve got fewer people to report to, you can give yourself a break when you need to, and manage your workload so that you aren’t over-worked. But, you’ll need to make your work environment productive and inviting so that you aren’t tempted to take too many breaks, and are still able to get your work done.
Con: Distractions are rampant
There is something to be said for having a boss around. Without your boss breathing over your shoulder and keeping you on track, it’s easy to find yourself becoming distracted from your work, or just not even working. It’s not usually a big deal to turn on your tv so that you have some background noise while you’re working, but if you get sucked into the show and stop working, you’ll get behind, which is never good. So, you’ll have to keep on task, which requires strict rules, excellent time management and lots of boundaries. Not everyone is up to it.
You can actually save money working from home. It may not seem like you’re spending money to make money when you work at an office, but you are. You spend money on gas to commute there, money on lunch, money on fundraisers, cards for co-workers, and for your work clothes. But, when working from home, you don’t have to spend any of that money. You can even get money back during tax season because some of the things you do end up buying can be counted as business expenses.
When you work from home, you really have to be comfortable with your own company because that’s all you’ve got. Even if your co-workers were annoying, you at least had someone to talk to at work. When you work from home, the only person to talk to is yourself, or maybe your pet. So, loneliness is a very real problem for those who work from home, and it’s one that’s not easily solved. So, if you’re a social person, you may need to consider this aspect carefully.
Because you don’t have to commute to work, your schedule and routine don’t have to be as strict. You don’t have to make it to work on time. Lots of work-from-home jobs offer flexible schedules so that you can work when it’s convenient to you. This means that you have more time in the morning to do things you want. You could work out, watch a couple of episodes of your favorite show, go for a walk, enjoy a lengthy breakfast that isn’t hurried because you’re rushing to work, play video games for an hour, or whatever else you want to do. You can also take some extra time for your lunch break, which is a good idea just to keep your spirits high and keep you from becoming distracted or frustrated with the job. So, call a friend up and go to lunch with them since you have the freedom and flexibility to do so.
Con: No one to compete with
One of the benefits of working in a group setting is the fact that you can compete with them. Knowing how well you are doing can make you feel better about your job, or prompt you to improve the quality of your work. But, when you work from home, you have no one to compete with or learn from. There are also fewer incentives, as well. Since you aren’t working on site, you’re not going to win a prize for doing a better job than your co-workers. This type of appreciation can be sorely missed when you’re working by yourself.
Before you take the plunge and decide to work from home, make sure it’s the right decision for you. It isn’t for everyone, and it would be a bad career move to quit your job to work from home, only to discover that you couldn’t handle it. So, consider the benefits and drawbacks carefully before making the decision.