Working from Home: Ten Advantages and Disadvantages

Working from Home: Ten Advantages and Disadvantages

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home? COVID-19 pushed many companies to allow remote work. Now those companies have discovered that remote workers can be more efficient at home, but like everything else, there are drawbacks.

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Advantages of Working from Home

There have been many arguments for working from home over the past years. Business News Daily reports that working from home increases productivity and promotes a happier and healthier lifestyle. 

1. Better Work Life Balance

Working from home allows you to set your hours around your life instead of vice versa. Most times, as long as you meet deadlines, you will be free to set your own schedule.

2. Comfortable Clothes

Another great perk is working in comfortable clothing. You could work in sweats or pajamas and only get dressed for Zoom or Skype meetings.

3. Customized Office

Set up your home office as you like it, or sit at the kitchen table. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

4. Extra Time

Use the extra time saved from the commute to exercise or fold up a load of laundry or something you actually want to do.

5. Increased Productivity

Employees who work from home are happier, take fewer sick days, and quit less often. According to Email Analytics performance increases by 13 percent for employees who work remotely because they are happier.

6. No Commute

There will be no ice and snow to scrape off your vehicle, no traffic, and no worries about parking costs or spaces. The reduction in greenhouse gases is an added benefit for the environment.

7. Noise Level Customization

Customize the noise level in your environment. Work in silence, or have music or news on in the background. 

8. Reduction of Office Politics

There are no interruptions from coworkers to keep you distracted. Unpleasant colleagues or office politics won’t bother you. There’s not a boss to watch over your shoulder. It is your responsibility to ensure the work gets done.

9. Save Money

Saving money by working from home includes no Tim Horton stops, no cafeteria food, no gas money. There are no coworkers trying to peddle chocolates or cookies to support their kids’ school or sports teams.

10. Tax Breaks

If you work remotely, you can deduct a portion of your housing costs, heating, internet and phone bills on your taxes (at least in Canada you can).

Disadvantages of Working From Home

According to Buffer, remote workers say that the biggest struggle of working remotely is loneliness, collaborating, and communicating.

1. Absence of Office Equipment

There may be times you need more than the equipment you have available at home to finish a project. You may not have the latest software running on your computer. You may not have access to documents from your home office. In that case, you have the option of running into the office or purchasing supplies for your home office out of your own pocket, that could be quite costly.

2. Bad Wifi

Having a spotty home wireless connection can cause frustrations. Nothing is worse than losing your internet connection while on a video call or losing a signal on a voice call.

3. Collaboration Suffers

Collaboration suffers because there are some things that just need to be discussed in person. Sometimes Zoom and Skype just don’t cut it.

4. Lack of Communication

It is sometimes difficult to contact your boss or co-workers. You end up playing phone tag and waiting for answers. Sometimes kids and pets interrupt virtual meetings.

5. Never Wearing Work Attire

As mentioned above, it is rather common for people to work in their sweats or pajamas, but some people need to get dressed up to maintain a sense of normalcy. Clothing choices can affect your mood.

6. People Don’t Respect Your Job

People don’t believe you are working and not just sitting in front of your computer. They think you can stop and start work anytime you want. They don’t realize that breaking your concentration can cause errors and make it difficult to get back to work.

7. Poor Home and Work Separation

Sometimes it is hard to stop working and switch off when your office is in your home. You can feel the pull of your office when you are off work. You think you will just check one email and then it turns into hours.

8. Social Isolation

There are no coworkers to discuss last night’s television shows or sports scores with during breaks and lunch hours. After a while, you may start talking to your pets. 

9. Too Many Distractions

There are a lot of distractions at home – laundry to fold, beds to make – not to mention the pull of social media and streaming. It takes willpower not to succumb to temptations.

10. Zero Snow or Sick Days

Whenever everyone else takes snow days, your commute around your house doesn’t count. Sick days work the same way, you have to be ill enough to stay in bed.

Final Thoughts

Working from home definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

 

Feature image from Ivory Mix

What Do You Need to Know About Working from Home

What Do You Need to Know About Working from Home

Do you want to work from home? Has COVID-19 forced you to work remotely? There is more to working from home than just having a laptop and an Internet connection.

According to Statistics Canada, 4 of every 10 jobs are presently performed remotely. Whether you work remotely every day or one day a week, the tips outlined below can help boost your productivity.

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Skills for Working Remotely

For close to a decade, I have worked out of my home office, and I love it. Most of the time. People have told me ‘I could never do that’. It takes some getting used to.

Before we get into the tips, let’s discuss the skill set you need to work remotely.

1. Self-motivation

Working from home is like going to college. You know you should go to class, but no one is going to make you. Can you start work without your boss standing over your shoulder? If not, working from home is not for you.

2. Self-discipline

There will always be something that needs doing around the house, like laundry and dishes. Can you ignore all those things to focus on your work?

3. Focus

We are all guilty of opening Facebook for a minute and losing an hour. Not to mention if you just have two more episodes to binge-watch on Netflix. Can you avoid the distractions of social media and streaming? 

4. Time Management 

Accomplishing more in less time defines time management skills.  Can you plan your day to complete your daily tasks and hit your deadlines while managing your family or personal needs? Can you keep yourself on track with your projects? 

5. Organization 

Being organized is crucial for working at home. Are you organized? Can you find everything you need at a moment’s notice? Do you know all your deadlines?

Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels

Tips to be Successful Working from Home

The last ten years have taught me how to work at home successfully. Here are some important points to consider:

1. Schedule Work Hours

Set regular hours and stick to them. There will be the odd time you need to attend to something personal inside your working hours, but make it the exception to the rule.

It is tempting to keep working after the designated hours, but stop yourself. It is important to keep work-life boundaries separate.

2. Morning Routine

Create a morning routine similar to the one you had when going out to work.

I eat, walk the dog, shower and exercise before I start work for the day just like I did when I worked outside my home. (Disclaimer:  I didn’t exercise prior to working at home.)

3. Don’t work in your Pajamas

Even though it is more comfortable, change your clothing before work. Even if you change into sweatpants, this will help to put you in a work frame of mind.

4. Have a Dedicated Office Space

Set up an area to use as your office, preferably with a door. At the very least, you will need a computer, printer, and a reliable internet provider.

5. Comfortable Office Chair

 You will sit most of the day so invest in a comfortable office chair. Just remember to get up and stretch every hour.

6. Schedule Lunch and Breaks

It is very tempting to skip breaks and lunch but this is a mistake. Taking breaks increases productivity. Additionally, you can make a nutritious lunch instead of eating bad cafeteria food.

According to Jobillico.com taking breaks is mentally refreshing and helps avoid burnout.

7. Digital Communication Tools

Although phone calls and email will be the primary tools you use, you will probably need ZOOM or Skype for conference calls and meetings.

You will probably also need a working knowledge of Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You may even need to know WordPress and some coding.

New to word press check out this article.

8. Keep a Tidy Work Area

It is hard to focus in a messy work environment. Keeping things clutter-free helps you to concentrate. 

9. Get Organized

Getting organized will help you stay on top of all your projects. Keep a to-do list, a planner or a calendar. There are all kinds of apps online to keep you organized like Google Calendar,  Evernote and Asana.

If you are a writer, Scrivener is the organizational tool you need. Check out this article.

Final Thoughts

I hope this has been helpful if you are debating working from home. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips.

Until next time

Frankie

Feature image by Pexels from Pixabay.