Working from home is something that many professionals dream of. In the past these opportunities were few, far, and in between, but with the evolution of technology they are becoming more and more common. Many employees are very open to the idea of working remote, especially if they have always been in an office. They assume the that it is the best of both worlds, where they are part of a stable organization, but have the flexibility of working from home. Working remote can definitely have its advantages, but there are also downsides as well. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of working remote to help decide if it is the right fit for you!
Advantages of Working Remote/From Home
One of the greatest advantages to working remote is the fact that you don’t have to drive to work. Your commute is however long it takes you to get from your bed to your desk! On a serious note, this is a nice benefit. You don’t have to waste time in the car or dealing with the stress of traffic.
Most work from home positions don’t necessarily require you to be at your desk all day from 8-5. Typically it is more of a structure where as long as your work is completed, it doesn’t it matter when you do it. This means that you can work a normal schedule, or you can base your work schedule around what is convenient for you.
Being at Home
It may sound odd that being at home is an advantage of working from home, but let me explain. If you have children, family, or other obligations in your home, working remote can be extremely beneficial. You will still be able to tend to matters at home if something comes up, while getting your work done at the same time.
Many folks who work from home say that one of the best benefits is that it gets rid of office distractions. You do not have to worry about unnecessary meetings or co-workers stopping into your office to chat about non work items.
Your health can also benefit from working remote! Long commutes and in office distractions can cause employees to be stressed and run down. Many employees who work from home also choose to go to the gym on their lunch or do some other exercise, which provides great health benefits!
Finally the overall savings is a huge benefit. This includes everything from the gas in your car, to going out to lunch with your co-workers. It is a proven fact that working remote is definitely easier on your wallet.
Disadvantages of Working Remote/From Home
Isolation checks in at the top of the list for the disadvantages of working remote. Initially working from home can seem great given the flexibility and savings, but over time it is easy to feel lonely and almost depressed. Since the office provides an environment to interact with people, you may need to find new ways to get your human interaction and keep your social skills sharp!
While getting rid of office distractions can be positive, you have to remember that there can also be distractions at home. This can be anything from family, neighbors, or really anything that will break your concentration and take you away from your work.
Another issue that typically comes up when working from home is trying to maintain focus. What I mean here isn’t just on staying focused on your current task, but more so being able to separate home life from your work life. It can become very tempting to do things like clean, shop, or other tasks since you are at home.
No End Time
One of the most common concerns of working from home is the fact that you are technically always at work. You always have access to your computer and there is never really an end time. In some positions you could find yourself putting in more time then those working in the offie.
Promotions can also be more difficult if you are not in the office. Visibility is a big key when it comes to upward mobility in a company. You will have a much better chance of getting promoted if your manager physically sees you working hard everyday.
Last to Know
Finally, when you work remote you are not usually “in the know” when it comes to company changes, news, or developments. Things may happen that could impact your position and it may be awhile before you actually find out.
In conclusion, working from home is not for everyone. There are some people who work remote and they are in heaven. There are others who try it and are miserable. In order for it to be successful, self discipline and focus are a must. If you think you fit the bill for a remote position, give it a shot and see how it goes. If you are unsure, it might be better to target a position that allows some flexibility as opposed to 100% to get your feet wet.
Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig. Follow his blog for more great tips like this!