• Kara Maddox

15 Pros and Cons of Working Remotely


Working remotely may sound like a dream, or a nightmare, depending on your preferences. It requires self-discipline and hard work, but it also increases your productivity and happiness. So, before you beg your boss to let you work from home, take these pros and cons into consideration and decide if it's the best fit for you.

The Pros

1. Ability To Travel

Working remotely means you can work from almost anywhere as long as you have Wi-Fi. This is a huge plus if you want to travel the world without sacrificing your career. A remote career is not only limited to traveling; however, you could possibly move to another city, or even another country if you choose to do so.

2. More Time With Family

One of the rewards of working from home is the opportunity to spend more time with family. You can have lunch with your spouse and make it to your child’s special events while still completing your work.

3. No Commute

No commute saves you money, time, and the stress of traveling to and from work every day. When I worked in an office job, the commute was often the most stressful part of my day. Not only was I concerned with traffic troubles on my way to work, but less than enthused when my journey back home took twice as long because of rush hour. Working remotely can save you many minutes, if not hours, and lets you get a head start on work... or sleep in an extra 30 minutes. Plus, no commute means less money spent on gas.

4. Flexible Working Hours

If a regular 9-5 job isn’t your thing working remotely may be a good option for you. You’ll no longer be tied to completing your work at a set time. It also gives you the convenience to do other things that may otherwise have interrupted your work. Have a doctor’s appointment? You don’t need to ask for time off. Need to pick the kids up from school? No problem.

5. Own Working Environment

Not only does remote work allow you to choose your hours, but it also lets you choose your working environment. Do you work better in sweatpants and a hoodie? Don't want to fix your hair or makeup? Not a problem when your home is your office. Although, I should warn you not to get too comfy.

6. You'll Save Money

There is also the benefit of being able to write off work-related expenses if you work from home. But don’t think you can deduct everything. Check out this article to see what qualifies for a home-office tax deduction.

7. You'll Be Happier

If you think working from home will make you happier, you might be right. Studies show that those who work from home are happier than those with a regular office job. There is a catch; however, those who split their time between home and the office are the happiest, but overall, you’ll still be happier than the other alternative.

8. You'll Be More Productive

Contrary to popular belief working from home actually boosts productivity. Many believe the distractions of remote working would decrease productivity, but research proves otherwise.

9. Health Benefits

Lastly, a major pro of remote work is the health benefits it can offer. Working from home allows you more time and opportunity to prepare your food, exercise, and get more sleep. Not to mention you’ll be isolated from all the germs you may pick up on in an office.

The Cons

10. Isolation

Working remotely, unfortunately, most likely means working alone. The lack of face-to-face interaction with co-workers, or even people in general, can be quite hard for some remote workers. Isolation also leads to other problems such as a lack of collaboration and productivity.

11. Distractions

There’s housework and Netflix, and laundry, oh my! Working from home undoubtedly means working with distractions. If you are based out of an office, you are unaware of the non-work related tasks waiting for you at home. However, working remotely can mean placing yourself at the center of all that distraction especially if you work from home with

children.

12. Lack of Collaboration

Working remotely often means working alone, which means you could suffer from the lack of collaboration with your co-workers. Of course, there are other means by which you can connect with your co-workers, but without immediate face-to-face interaction, the conversation will be less productive.

13. You're Less Likely To Be Promoted

One of the drawbacks of working from home is that you lack that face-to-face contact that is necessary to build trusting relationships, and as a consequence, you are less likely to be promoted or get a raise while working remotely.

14. Bad Rap

Unfortunately, working remotely can have a bad reputation. If you’re like me, you may hear comments such as “when are you going to get a real job?” or “are you really working or just playing on your laptop?” Comments such as these can be bothersome; however, this is only a con if you let it be.

15. Blurred Lines

Blurred lines between your private and work life can be an issue, not only with yourself, but your friends and family too. If you chose to work from your home, you might be tempted by other household tasks that you need to complete.

Also, friends and families may view you working from home as an opportunity to stop by or call whenever they please. On the other hand, you may feel it’s hard to switch back from work life to personal life since you are working from the same place as you live.

A solution to consider is a co-working space near you, which not only helps eliminate this problem, but many of the cons listed above. Want more? See some time management tips here. Also, find a co-working spot near you.

Is remote working right for you?

1. Are you good at self-management?

A) Yes

B) No

2. Do you function best around others?

A) No

B) Yes

3. Is work-life home-life separation important to you?

A) No

B) Yes

4. Do you always hit work-related deadlines?

A) Yes

B) No

5. Do you prefer a structured set of rules?

A) No

B) Yes

6. Are you easily distracted?

A) No

B) Yes

7. Are you sufficient at solving tech-related problems?

A) Yes

B) No

8. Are you organized?

A) Yes

B) No

If you answered mostly A’s go for it! Working remotely looks like it could work for you.

If you answered mostly B’s it might not be a great fit. But who knows, this is just a quiz.

What can you do to ensure the best at-home working environment?

Here are 5 tips and tricks to start out on the right foot.

1. Designate a specific office space.

This creates boundaries between work life and personal life and lets others know when you’re working and when you’re not.

2. Create A Schedule

Creating a schedule helps you stay focused and lets your friends and family know what times are appropriate to contact you.

3. Invest in the Right Equipment

Working from your bed or couch may sound like a dream, but your back will pay the price. Invest in a proper office chair and other work appliances, such as noise-canceling headphones that will help you accomplish your goals

4. Get Face-To-Face Contact with Co-Workers

Working from home doesn’t mean sacrificing all in-person time with co-workers. Schedule times to meet up and work together; it eliminates the isolation you're feeling and helps your collaboration with others.

5. Know When to Take a Break

You wouldn’t go into the office with the flu, so don’t exhaust yourself working while sick. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can’t take a sick day.

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