Working from Home: Ten Advantages and Disadvantages

Working from home work space
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Written by Frankie Cameron

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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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

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