What was once a coveted workplace perk is now becoming the standard at companies around the globe. Since COVID-19, work from home policies have become popular among employees and employers alike. One survey found that over half of employees— whose job can realistically be done from home— would prefer to work remotely.
If you’re on the hunt for a new job, you may be wondering— “Is a remote job right for me?” In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of working from home to give you a better idea of how it might affect your work life.
IN THIS ARTICLE…
Advantages of working from home
Ready to secretly wear your pajama pants all day? Here are some of the benefits that people love about working from home.
1. No commute
Cutting out the dreaded morning and afternoon commute puts valuable time back into your hands to do things that you love.
2. Fewer expenses
Eliminating your daily commute to work saves more than time; it also saves you money that you’d spend on fuel, car maintenance, or public transportation. Additionally, working from home can help you cut costs in other places like work apparel, morning coffee, quick lunches at the nearest sandwich shop, etc.
3. Location independence
Location independence is a major benefit to remote work. Whether you have lofty goals to explore national parks and new countries or would simply like to work from a different coffee shop every week, remote work options enable you to do this.
Note: Before you start planning a globe-trekking journey, always be sure to double-check your employer’s remote guidelines. Some workplaces stipulate that you must reside within your state or country due to scheduling or tax implications.
4. Streamlined communication
Tired of days filled with meetings that could have been a few emails? Many people find that when work is flexible and remote, communication is streamlined between coworkers and teams.
Of course, this isn’t the case for all employers. As companies work out the kinks in their remote structure, some have opted for over-communication instead of under-communication. When interviewing for a company, always be sure to ask about their communication process. This can give you a better idea of whether or not their process matches up with your ideal vision.
5. Fewer office distractions
Between in-person meetings, conversations with coworkers, and the sounds of phones or equipment, the office can be a distracting place.
6. Take care of chores and to-dos around the house
Working from home gives you extra time to do those things around the house that ordinarily pile up. Whether it’s a load of laundry before meetings or the chance to do dishes during lunch, taking care of these tasks throughout the day can make housekeeping far more manageable.
7. Increased flexibility
Remote work and schedule flexibility typically go hand in hand. Being able to set the times that you work allows you to do things during the day that you would otherwise have to take off for. Doctor appointments, taking the kids to school and picking them up, and helping family members can all be done throughout the day. This also allows you to adjust your schedule to your most productive hours.
8. Opens up more job opportunities
When you are open to working from home, more jobs become available to you. This is because companies from coast to coast are hiring remote employees that live anywhere in the country— not just in the cities they’re based in. More job opportunities mean that you have a better chance of finding a job you truly love with an employer you’re proud to work for.
Disadvantages of working from home
Though there are plenty of reasons why employees love working from home, it’s not for everyone. The following are a few reasons why some people prefer to stay in the office.
1. Lack of a good working environment
While an office may be distracting for some, the home may be a poorer work environment for others. Whether it be kids, roommates, or other family members, the home isn’t always quiet and can have plenty of distractions.
2. Home office costs
Working from your bed sounds nice, but your back and neck will thank you for a desk and ergonomic chair. Building a home office like the one you have at work can get a little pricey— and not all employers are willing to help their employees cover these costs. Whether it’s a laptop stand and second monitor or a standing desk, creating the perfect setup isn’t always cheap.
3. Less face-to-face interaction
Working from home can get a little lonely at times, leaving people yearning for face-to-face interaction. If in-person communication and camaraderie with coworkers are a must for you, then a remote job may not be the best option.
4. Less work-life balance
Some people find a better work-life balance when working from home; others are worse off. Indeed, it can be easy to feel like you never really leave your job when your office is also your home. With no physical separation between work and home life, the lines can get blurred, leaving you feeling burnt out and exhausted whether you’re on the clock or off.
5. Lack of a routine
There’s something comforting about a daily routine. You wake up, get ready for your day, grab a cup of coffee on the way out, and listen to your favorite music or podcast on your drive. It gives you time to prepare mentally for your daily to-do’s and the workday ahead. Similarly, an afternoon routine after work may give you the opportunity to wind down, decompress, and get ready to relax when you get home.
With a flexible remote schedule, these routines may not come as easy. Without a definite start and end time to your day, it might feel a lot like rolling out of bed and into the office. For some, this lack of routine can throw a wrench in the entire day.
Choosing the right employer with JobSage
At JobSage, we’re setting out to build an employer review site around things that matter most to jobseekers— inclusion, growth, purpose, feedback, flexibility, and compensation. We want to help you find the right employer by getting answers to the questions you care about— including how flexible an employer really is. Join JobSage for guidance in your job search or to leave a review for your employer to create a more open, transparent conversation in and around the workplace.