For those of you who don’t know, I work as a technical writer for a pretty large tech company. Because this company has a campus that is so far from where I live, I get to work from home throughout the week.
There are times where I might come into the office for a face-to-face meet but for the most part, I enjoy the luxury of cracking my laptop open and clocking hours without ever having to leave my home. Sounds pretty cool, huh?
I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely LOVE the luxuries that come with working from home! I wouldn’t trade it for any other job… except maybe a job that requires me to travel internationally… maybe.
Like anything, it has its upsides and downsides. If you’re curious about working from home and all that it entails, I’ve put together a list of pros and cons that I very personally relate to. Could working from home be ideal for you after all? Let’s start with the pros!
Pro: You Get to Come Up With Your Own Schedule
If you are like me in having a very sporadic working style, this is an uber beautiful perk. I am not the kind of person that can sit down for five hours straight, focus intently on accomplishing one project, and the turnout be productive.
I might be able to do it out of necessity…once a year…maybe… if that… If it were required of me to be that focused 5 days a week every week, however, it would be a form of torture for me and I would embark on a mental down spiral pretty early on into the routine.
Working from home gives you the flexibility to create a workflow that is shaped around when you perform at your best. Absolutely can NOT be productive before 9am? That’s fine. Just start your workday at 10. Prefer to stay up all night and sleep all day? Work as your nocturnal heart wishes.
You make the rules… most of the time anyway.
Pro: You Get to Create Your Dream Workarea
To some people, the work desk/office space is an empty canvas that contains the potential to offer life-giving, mega-productive, and extremely efficient energy. With the usage and precise placement of the right decor, your workspace can be a zone you perform at your zenith of productivity. It could be the place where you feel the most inspired, empowered, and capable.
When you work from home, there are no restrictions on what is included in that workspace. You get to determine where you want your desk, what you want to frame, where that plant goes, and the list goes on.
Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it!
And when you work from home, you can go for it!
Pro: Work Where You Want
Have you ever found yourself saying “I could use a change of scenery.”? Me too.
That’s a plus when you work from home because you can actually act out on that desire immediately. There are some days I really appreciate the coffee shop atmosphere. There are other days when working around those who are hard-at-work studying or reading at the library motivates me to be super productive.
From a psychological perspective, a change of scenery can actually induce higher productivity levels.
Pro: Wear What You Want to Work
I actually almost forgot to mention this one. It’s easy to forget about dress codes when you no longer have to abide by them.
Many-a-workplaces demand that employees abide by a dress code. When you work from home, a dress code is neither here nor there. I’m a huge sucker for loungewear. When I’m at home, there are days I want to be cozy and cute at the same time so some days that’s what I stick with. On other days, I’ll wear jeans and a t-shirt.
When you work from home, what you want to wear is completely up to you!
Pro: Save Some Gas Money
I’m throwing this in here because I like to highlight unconventional, mostly ignored perspectives sometimes. It just hit me that commuting to work costs money and is essentially a bill in and of itself if you do the math.
Think about how much gas money you save if you don’t have to go into and come home from work every day!
Now that I think about it, that’s probably the best pro out of all of the ones I’ve listed.
I wanted to reveal the pros and cons of working from home in a way that is similar to the way it’s usually revealed when you start working your dream job and everything is great but then reality sets in and you realize it’s not perfect. Here we go. Time to reveal the downsides.
Pro/Con: Eat Whatever You Want, Whenever You Want
So yes! This is great because eating when you’re hungry and when you feel like snacking is super cool especially when you don’t have to worry about distracting (annoying) other coworkers with your smacking or crunching, or who’s using the microwave, or when it’s your turn to break, etc., etc., etc.
It’s not that much of a pro if you devour everything in your pantry out of stress… not that I can relate to that… but uhm… yeah… I’ve heard that can be an issue for… some people… 😉
Con: No Workplace Daily Chats
Ahh, yes. Even the more introverted personality can appreciate workplace chatter from time to time.
When you work from home, you’re really subject to the thoughts and opinions of, well, yourself. A common work-at-home recommendation is to build a community of some sort. Having someone you can call just to talk or bounce ideas off of throughout the day can keep you from suffering from this and the next con…
Con: Occasional Cabin Fever
No one can force you to leave your house. Or maybe someone can! If you have someone in your life who can, you should give them a big kiss on the forehead because if you’re like me, you need people like that in your life. 😉
If you don’t make it a priority to get some fresh air every once in a while, let alone some social interaction, you subject yourself to becoming the Grinch who hates all seasons.
If you want to avoid that, heed the warnings and make sure you plan outings for yourself every once in a while because cabin fever isn’t fun for anyone.
This one is more-so a con if you find it hard to be self-disciplined, which working from home requires a lot of. It is also more of a con for the person who doesn’t live in the most work-friendly environment.
Sure working from home is all fun and games when you’re enjoying the benefits, but, you can’t forget to take care of the work part!
If your home tends to get noisy, you face too many interruptions, or there’s just too much going on, this can make working-from-home very stressful and not that enjoyable at all.
Con: Different Communication Struggles
Communication is a pretty common issue in any workplace environment. It really doesn’t matter where or how you work.
When working from home though, you do tend to run into a few extra issues on the communication side of things. Because most of your meetings are virtual, you are susceptible to connection issues, scheduling conflicts, and depending on how large the company is timezone differences. These things can really set back the completion date of a project if you don’t know how to work with or around them.
So what do you think? Which working style is most suitable for you; working from home or going somewhere to work?
Let me know in the comments below!