Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Work from home setup has been predominantly on the rise since last year due to the pandemic. While some companies have already adopted this setup even before 2020, a notable increase happened worldwide due to lockdowns and restrictions following the spread of COVID-19. Businesses needed to resort to this arrangement to ensure continuity while keeping their employees safe.
A work-from-home setup may be appealing to some. For one, it means travel time is eliminated and no need to deal with traffic. You also do not need to go through the hassle of dressing up. But in reality, remote work is not for everyone. It has its advantages and disadvantages that you may want to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of working from home to help you decide if this setup fits you.
PROS of Working from Home
You save time and money with no commute.
No commute going to and from work is one of the most important benefits of working from home. If you live in an apartment far from your office, you get to save precious hours of traveling to and from work. You may allocate the additional time to other activities such as exercise or attending to your family before digging into work.
Aside from time, you also get to save money with no commute. Your daily travel cost may seem small, but if you add it all up in a year, it is significant and could have been spent on other things such as food or rent.
You contribute to saving the earth.
According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. This finding means that whether you take public transportation or drive your own vehicle, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption by staying at home. You also cut down the use of paper since work is done digitally. Files are shared online, so no need to print and add to the mountain of trash in landfills. Also, since you are working from the comforts of your own home with your own utensils and tools, the use of single-use plastic cups, spoons, and forks decreases, so you don't contribute to the plastic crisis that the environment is currently facing. Not to mention, most company websites and digital work platforms are hosted on a dedicated server ark that uses green energy and is therefore wonderful for the environment․
You are safer from the virus.
Lockdowns may have been lifted in many places already, but the fact remains that the virus is still active and is mutating into different variants. It would be best if you stay careful not to get it and spread it to others. Staying at home will lessen your exposure to COVID-19. By working from home, you are earning money while staying safe.
You can reduce distractions, making you more productive.
When you are in a home office, it is easier to get into the zone because of fewer distractions like colleagues, long team meetings, or random office noise. Remote work is a boon to many people especially those who are introverts or people who feel disengaged or stressed out at their workplace. Such individuals benefit from working remotely the most since not only are they safe but they are also more productive. This advantage is highly beneficial, especially for those whose work requires high concentration and deep thinking.
You get to adjust to what works for you.
Remote work allows you to adjust to what works for you, allowing you to experiment with different working arrangements and virtual collaboration. You get to work on your most productive time and create a system that suits you, resulting in a shorter time to finish your tasks. In addition, since your work schedule is not fixed, it is easier for you to connect and collaborate with your colleagues in different places and time zones. Not only are you more effective, but more efficient as well.
You have more time for self-care.
Since working from home saves you more time, you can now attend to yourself more. You can use this additional time to enrich yourself not just physically but mentally as well. Self-care is something important that often gets neglected.
To physically take care of yourself, instead of indulging in a poor diet of fast food, you can now cook healthy and immune-boosting meals. You can also insert short workouts in your days like Yoga, Zumba, or Jump Rope. After exercising, you can take online learning courses so that you get to develop yourself and improve your knowledge and skills continuously. There are many online resources that you can choose from- you may take something related to your career or expand your horizon and learn something new.
You can be more motivated at work.
If you need to juggle work with family duties, working from home allows you to balance your different roles. This working arrangement can motivate you to do well at work since this setup enables you to have work-life integration.
On the other hand, if you are a millennial, autonomy is something that motivates you. A work-from-home setup can suit you too since it gives you the personal space to work on your own and the feeling that your leaders trust you even with minimal supervision.
CONS of Working from Home
You tend to work too much.
Because you are just at home, the thin line between professional and personal life becomes blurred, making you work around the clock. It is tempting to work continuously, especially if you are goal-oriented and want things done as soon as possible. However, this may cause you to feel burned out eventually. Overworking may also harm your relationship with your spouse, children, and loved ones because you may be physically at home, but you are not emotionally present at all.
You need extra space in your home.
Working from home means you need to make space in your house to accommodate your home office. This requisite may take up living space and can be challenging, especially if your home is not that spacious. You may also need to revisit the property issues like repairs required to ensure that your home office is conducive to working.
You may experience miscommunications.
There are more chances of miscommunication since all communications when working from home are done online. Remember that messages sent via text, chat, emails, or social media do not have the tone, pitch, body language, facial expressions, and gestures compared to face-to-face communication. Interpreting a message will largely depend on how the recipient will take it.
You get a less human connection.
Employees may feel disconnected from their colleagues in the long run due to working from home. Working all day without that personal human dealings may also cause feelings of isolation and lonesomeness. When you're in the office, you get to squeeze in small chitchats with your colleagues, discussing date nights, skincare, or anything but work, that can help take your mind off the pressure at work, even for a few minutes. When you want a quick break from the daunting task you are working on, you can have coffee with your work buddy. With a work-from-home setup, your interactions may be limited to either chat or video calls.
You may procrastinate.
The autonomy that working from home gives has a price to pay- you need to fight off many temptations to stay productive. While it is tempting to put- off your alarm and snooze for a few minutes, watch Netflix, or take a nap during any downtime at work, you should instill in your mind that you are still at work but in a different location. You should maintain focus to ensure that you consistently deliver results, even when at home.
You become too dependent on technology.
Since you are working remotely, a stable internet connection is essential. Without it, your productivity plunges. If your laptop's hard drive crashes, you may need a few days to have it repaired before being able to work effectively again. You may also have difficulty reaching your colleagues that live in the rural areas since they may not have fast internet speed, making it harder for you to finish a project.
You get less social and experiential learning.
According to the 70-20-10 model in learning, not all development happens through attending training sessions. It says that only 10% happens through programs, courses, e-learning, and reading. 20% of learning occurs through coaching, mentoring, buddy system, collaborating, and subject matter networking. The most significant chunk, which comprises 70%, is gained through applying learning on-the-job, situational learning in various contexts, and shadowing.
It may be more challenging to do a buddy system in a work-from-home arrangement since you are not together face-to-face. Coaching may also be limited as you are not together most of the time; therefore, the coach cannot observe the coachee that much. In addition, you are reduced to the available online time of a subject matter expert, making it more challenging to network and build relationships.
There are always two sides to a story. Working from home has its benefits as well as its limitations. The truth is, there is no perfect work setup. What is important is that you consider different factors and check if work-from-home is right for you.
Guest Blogging Team
Published on: June 01, 2021
Last updated on: May 04, 2022