Office workers around the world are still working remotely or in a hybrid setup as the global pandemic enters its third year. For some, working from home has become a way of life or perhaps even a dream come true. You can skip the commute, wear whatever you want, and take breaks whenever you want. But for me, working from home is not very enjoyable. In fact, at times remote work can be a major struggle. Here are the pros and cons that I've experienced after working remotely for over two years.
Working From Home Has it's Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage of working from home is the lack of a commute. You can roll out of bed and start working immediately. Remote employees also avoid the stress of traffic and crowded public transportation.
Working from home can save remote employees a lot of money. Because remote employees don't have to spend money on gas or public transportation. When working from home you can avoid eating out and this will help save costs as well. You can also save on monthly expenses for clothes since you can work in your pyjamas if you want.
Lastly, remote workers have the flexibility to work when and where they want. Instead of a job whereby it is necessary to stick to a nine to five schedule. As opposed to office-based counterparts, you can take a break to run an errand or to fix a quick snack, and then jump back into your work.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey
What are the Cons of Working From Home?
Unfortunately, there are many cons to working from home. Here are several disadvantages of remote working based on my own personal experience. I realise that each individual's situation is unique.
No dedicated office space:
It can be a challenge to work from home with no dedicated office space. You may find yourself working in the kitchen, the living room, or even your bedroom. Most days I tend to work from the bedroom as it's the most convenient and the quietest room in the house. It is frustrating that I don't have double monitor screens while working from home. This can lead to a lack of focus and productivity. I do find that I am more susceptible to distractions, such as the television, or friends and family members calling to check-in.
Propensity for clutter:
One of the most common challenges with working from home is that your workstation may quickly become disorganized. If you have no home office and you're working from your bedroom, like I do, for example, it's really easy to just roll out of bed and start working. And before you know it, your room is cluttered with wires, pens, notepads and post-it notes.
"If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing." - Ernest Hemingway
Another big downside to working from home is loneliness. When you're in an office surrounded by co-workers, it's easy to chat with someone whenever you need a break. But when you're working from home, it's just you, your computer, and possibly Prime TV. You may find yourself emailing but not really talking to anyone all day, and this can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
One of the dangers of working from home is that it's really easy to overindulge in food. You have all the snacks and comfort foods right at your fingertips, and it's tempting to eat unhealthy foods as it's quick and easy. Sometimes I find it to be more convenient to eat a bag of crisps than to prepare a proper meal. And before you know it, you've gained five pounds and feel terrible about yourself.
This one goes hand in hand with overeating. When you work from home, it's all too easy to just lounge about all day or get caught up with laundry and housekeeping chores rather than doing any actual work. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and decreased productivity. In addition, when you're working from home, there are often fewer external deadlines or pressures to get work done. This can lead to a lack of motivation or a sense of urgency.
Lack of Motivation:
One of the main reasons why I hate working from home is because it's hard to stay motivated. When you're in an office environment, there are always people around to give you energy and push you to do your best. But when you're working from home, it's just you, your computer, and your Amazon Prime account. This can lead to a lot of distractions and have an impact on employee productivity.
“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss
Decreased physical activity:
If you like keeping track of your daily steps count as I do, you will be shocked by how much less you walk and how difficult it is to hit the 10,000 step goals since you no longer commute to and from the office. When you're working in an office, you have to walk to and from your desk several times a day. But when you're working from home, you might not leave your house at all except for grocery shopping. This can lead to decreased physical activity and less healthy habits overall.
A final downside to working from home is that you can easily have too many conference calls. Since there's no physical office space, people are more likely to agree to conference call requests since there's no real inconvenience involved. And before you know it, your day is filled with hours of unnecessary meetings. Everyone's communication preferences are different, I personally prefer face-to-face interactions.