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The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

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Everything You Need to Know About Working From Home.

In the modern day, more and more people are setting up home offices and working from the comfort of their own abode. This could be as a small business owner who does everything from their living room, or as an employee who splits their working week between the office and the home. Working from home can be a true blessing, however, it’s certainly not for everyone. Let’s consider some of the pros and cons of working from home. 

Pros 

There is No Office Commute

That’s right; no more getting in your car at 7am to sit in heavily polluted traffic. If it takes you one hour to get to work and one hour to get back home, that means ten hours a week wasted on your office commute. Over the course of a year, that could mean around five hundred hours! That’s before factoring in the monetary cost and the environmental impact. Commuting can be super stressful, so removing this from your day can be considered one of the major benefits of working from home. 

There is Greater Flexibility

If you want to work all day in your pajamas, there is absolutely nothing stopping you. If you struggle with waking up early but find you are really productive at night, you can work in the hours that best suit you. If you want to have lunch at 5pm or take a two-hour break to watch sports, you are the boss of your world now. You can find and create a workflow that truly works for you. As your own boss, flexibility can be easy, but as an employee you may need to check how much leeway your boss gives you. 

More Time With Loved Ones 

If you have a family, you can be closer to your children. You can make your kids breakfast and meet them when they get home from school. If you are living with a partner, you can always have dinner or lunch together. If you have pets, you can make sure they don’t get left alone for long periods of time. Whatever hours of work you may miss in the daytime, you can always make up for in the evening. 

Better Access to Snacks

It is a proven fact that eating snacks throughout the day increases productivity. It is recommended to eat snacks between meals to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Working from home allows you to have immediate access to all the snacks in your house, especially your SmartBox! 

Customize Your Environment

If you want a degree of professionalism, ideally you want a home office; a room that is for working only. You are free to create your space any way you like it. You can work while listening to heavy metal, you can have pictures of your dog covering every wall, you can have only pink accessories; the choice is yours. There are a number of ways to optimize your workspace for maximum efficiency.

Less Stress

Removing the office commute from your day means getting rid of a major source of stress. Working from home also means no office politics, personality clashes or backstabbing. If you need to take a power nap and refresh yourself, you can go right ahead. There is nobody watching your every move. There is obviously still the pressure of paying bills and feeding the family, but now you can do these things structured in a way that suits you. 

Cons

You Need a Lot of Self-Discipline

With no boss standing over you pressuring you to meet deadlines, all the onus is on you to complete work that needs to be done. Getting up and focusing on work in an environment that you previously associated with relaxing can be a real challenge. Your Netflix subscription is right there in front of you. Your pets or your kids are clamoring for your attention. Maybe you have a big project due that you keep procrastinating over. You need a lot of motivation to stay on track.

It Can Be Lonely

There is really no way to work around this. Working from home means a lack of human connection. Working in an office or a group environment can mean building human relationships and friendships. There is always somebody to bounce ideas off, and you may find natural mentors who guide you through new projects. This simply doesn’t happen for remote workers, and it can lead to a lonely and isolated life. 

It’s Harder to Switch Off

When you are working from the comfort of your home, there is a less clear distinction between work life and home life. This means it can be more difficult to switch out of work mode. Many remote workers don’t fix their working hours or create a set schedule. If they do have a schedule, there is the temptation to just override it. This often leads to overworking, which can in turn lead to no work/life balance and burnout. 

Massive Reliance on Technology 

Your laptop starts sputtering and has to be taken to the repair shop. Your Wi-Fi grinds to a snail's pace or cuts out completely. If you’re working from home, this is going to seriously affect your workflow and could have you out of action for days. Make sure you always back up all your documents. Ensure you have a good internet provider with a fast speed. Have email and video calls accessible on your phone, so you can still do the essentials. 

Useful Tools to Help Remote Workers

If you are interested in working from home, you may want to consider these vital software tools that will help you to manage your professional life;

  • Video conferencing software, such as Zoom or Skype, so you can attend important meetings.
  • Scheduling software, such as Calendly or Doodle, to make sure you never again miss meetings or deadlines. 
  • Messaging tools, such as Slack or Fleep to make sure you can stay connected with remote team members. 
  • File storage, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, so you can be sure to have access to important documents wherever you are. 
  • Software to remove distractions and manage your usage of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, such as Freedom or FocusMe
  • Notetaking software to take minutes and record ideas, such as Evernote or Hive Notes
  • SmartBox to provide you with boxes full of snacks to help you get through the day. 

Summary

If you want to enjoy the full benefits of working from home, you must stay focused and disciplined. This way of life is not for everyone. If you can master your schedule and master your work/life balance, then there is a lot to enjoy, including staying in your pajamas all day and cuddling your dogs in between tasks. 



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