Having a work-from-home career can mean different things for different types of people. For some, working inside the comfort of their homes is an ideal setting that solves most of their office problems; while for others, such setup has more challenges than benefits.
With the recent institutionalization of the Telecommuting Act, it is now possible for employees in the private sector to work from home and still receive equal treatment and benefits with those who are working in the office. With this, a home-based job can be an attractive arrangement compared to the traditional, 9-to-6 work setup.
But before you hunt and apply for home-based jobs, it is important to know its advantages and disadvantages to know if a work-from-home career is for you.
1. It makes you a self-starter and develops your independence.
In a work-from-home setup, you create your own schedule and monitor your own progress. You also learn how to be disciplined enough to do your tasks unsupervised. This opens more opportunities for you to acquire more skills beyond your job scope to be able to work more efficiently.
2. You save more money.
There are a lot of things you can cut from your daily expenses if you have a work-from-home job. For one thing, you save a lot from your meal expenses. You avoid the temptations to buy expensive coffee, eat out, or hire a food delivery service. In the long run, you also get to add more to your savings by cutting your budget for clothing. You won’t be needing a new suit or shoes, anyway.
3. You skip the traffic.
On a 2017 global survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Metro Manila’s traffic ranked 3rd worst in Southeast Asia, and it only worsens for daily commuters and private vehicle owners alike.
With a home-based work setup, you save not only your transportation allowance but also the time you spend on the road. You can cut rush hours, horrendous traffic, and public transportation off your stress list and do more productive tasks.
4. Your productivity level increases.
Here’s the thing about increased productivity: it also lowers your stress levels. Working at home is generally more comfortable and less tense, so you get to focus on getting the job done rather than channeling your energy on canceling out office noise and distractions.
5. There’s more flexibility.
No need to clock in and out for your shift or worry about the business attire you’ll wear every day. At home, you can create your own workstation and work even in your pajamas. The how’s and when’s of your job doesn’t really matter as long as you submit your deliverables on time. In fact, if you finished your tasks early, you can use the extra time to bond with your family or do something you love.
1. Learning from your supervisors is comparatively less easy.
Being surrounded by like-minded professionals and experts in the field you’re in exposes you to more learning. By working remotely, you shy away from the possibilities of learning from your managers as well as sharing your knowledge with others.
2. There’s a lack of real-time collaboration.
One of the joys of being in an office environment is the sense of teamwork you can only enjoy with your colleagues. At home, there’s guaranteed lesser and slower interactions between you and your officemates. And even though you can always hold a meeting online or the phone, you won’t ever be able to pull someone out for a ‘quick’ meeting like you can face-to-face.
3. There are longer and (probably) lonelier workdays.
As humans, we crave social interaction. Working from home means you’ll work by yourself almost all the time. Your workdays might feel stretched longer than it’s supposed to be. If you’re the type of person who enjoys peace and quiet a lot more, then a work-from-home career might be for you.
4. You may be prone to distraction and procrastination.
There is no physical separation from work and leisure at home. It is easier for remote employees to slack off for ‘just one episode’ of your favorite Netflix series or take a nap that lasts for about 4 hours. It takes a great deal of self-discipline for these things to not take you away from your productivity.
5. You don’t have access to office conveniences.
Office setup is meant to encourage the productivity and efficiency of employees. It’s a standard that everything you need—secure Internet connection, complete work supplies, and office equipment—is a part of your environment. It can mean more challenges than you expect if you don't have these at home.
No matter how ideal it looks like, a work-from-home career is not for everyone. Evaluating its pros and cons based on your type of work, personality, and work ethics is important, should you decide to settle for a work-from-home career. At the end of the workday, whether you prefer to work from home or not, it is crucial to remain motivated at work and never lose sight of your goals.
Are you an employer who wants to know how to keep remote employees motivated? Read Secrets to Establish Highly Engaged Employees to know how.