In early 2020, up to three-quarters of Americans in the workforce were under a stay-at-home order, forcing them to work remotely (if at all). This gave great momentum to the already large “work from home” movement, causing many people to rethink their life at the office.
Given the choice, why should you work from home? Is the flexibility all it’s cracked up to be, or could it end up putting a dent in your career?
Read on to learn about why work from home lifestyles are a great fit for many people and a frustrating situation for others.
The Advantages of Working From Home
No matter your industry, working from home gives you more independence than being stuck in a cubicle. You have control over what your work environment looks like and—as long as you don’t have a Zoom meeting—what you look like while working.
Here are a few other key benefits of working from home.
Get Rid of Your Commute
Used to driving or taking public transport for an hour or more to get to work? At a time when so many people are trying to save money, getting rid of commuting costs is a huge benefit. Working from home means your only commute is walking from your bed to your desk.
Independent Working Environment
Tired of chatty coworkers making your productivity take a hit? Sick of your boss being able to stare over your shoulder while you work on projects? Remote work lets you work on your own, so aside from the occasional video meeting, you’ll be able to concentrate in solitude.
For people with medical needs, infants, or just a wacky sleep schedule, flexible work hours are attractive. Many bosses are fine with you working odd hours from home, as long as everything still gets done. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to be available to communicate during normal business hours.
The Disadvantages of Working From Home
The above benefits make working from home sound great. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only factors to consider. Here are three reasons why working from home may not be for you.
You’re in Control of Your Motivation
The flip side of independent work is that you won’t have the built-in social interaction and accountability that an office provides. There’s no one watching to make sure you’re engaged during work hours—it’s on you and you alone to stay on schedule. If you work better around other people than alone, consider signing up for a coworking space.
Family and Pets Can Be a Distraction
Being able to snuggle your darling pet or child while you work sounds like a bonus, and sometimes it is. But do you have a plan for when they’re whining for your attention during an important call? If you don’t live alone, you’ll have to set up a working space where you can tune out the rest of your household.
Harder to Balance Personal Life
If you’re someone that struggles to find a healthy work-life balance, working from home won’t make it any easier. The fact that your job and your personal life are only a few feet apart at any moment makes the lines between them blur. To succeed, you’ll need to set clear boundaries and stick to them.
Why Work From Home? Be Sure to Weigh These Pros and Cons
Above are some of the most common reasons why work from home lifestyles are both freeing and challenging. Your reasons for working remotely may differ from the ones on this list, but no matter your situation, they’re a good place to begin thinking about your career’s future.
Looking for more life and career advice? Take some time to browse through the other articles on our site.