Is Working From Home Right For You?
Published July 9, 2020
Many people think that working from home means lazing around in your pajamas all day and only doing work when the mood hits you. It’s no wonder why it’s often portrayed as the answer to all our corporate employment woes.
While working from home might be a dream come true for some, it’s not for everyone. And, unfortunately, that pajamas thing is a complete myth. You’ll learn why later.
If you’re contemplating permanently leaving the corporate office set-up in favor of a home office, here are some things you need to consider.
What Does “Working From Home” Mean?
Just as its name suggests, working from home means doing your work from the comfort of your own abode. Or wherever else in the world you want to work from. For this reason, it’s also referred to as “working remotely”.
Some companies offer a blended working environment where half the work can be done at home. While other businesses allow their employees to work from home full time.
For this set-up to work, employees make use of technology to connect with each other. Communication is done via emails and instant-messaging tools. Meetings are conducted on online video conferencing platforms. For companies with full-time work from home set-up, all business operation activities are usually done online.
Do You Have What It Takes to Work From Home?
As mentioned, working from home is not for everyone. Here are some of the things you’ll need to successfully work from home.
When you’re at the office, you usually have no choice but to do your job. Yes, there might be distractions. But when your boss is just around the corner, it’s not difficult to get some work done.
When you’re working from home, however, there’s no one who keeps you on your toes. Not to mention the ton of distractions that you’ll have to contend with. If you don’t have enough self-discipline, you won’t be able to get any work done.
Ability to Work With Minimal Supervision
One of the perks of working from home is there is no one breathing down your neck telling you what to do. But it can also be one of it’s greatest pitfalls.
To be a successful remote worker, you must be able to get your job done even with minimal supervision. You must have a clear idea of your company’s operations and how you should do your job. So you won’t have to ask directions from coworkers or your supervisor all the time.
Since you’ll be working on your computer most of the time, it’s important to have a certain degree of technological aptitude.
At the office, when a program crashes or your computer breaks down, one call to the IT Department can solve it. At home, you have no one to rely on for these sort of things but yourself. If your computer loses connection in the middle of a video conference, you must be able to get it back online.
Reliable Internet Connection
Obviously, you can’t work from home if you don’t have an internet connection. And be sure to get a reliable one. Bad or slow internet will not only ruin your meetings. It can also ruin your mood and even cause you to miss important deadlines.
Tolerance to Boredom/Lack of Social Interaction
If you’re someone who is outgoing and works more effectively when around people, working from home is probably not for you. Home office set-ups do not offer the same level of social interaction as a traditional office. Office gossips and those watercooler talks might be mundane but it connects you with coworkers in a way that instant messages can’t.
Pros and Cons of Working From Home
To further help you decide whether you’re fit for remote work, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working from home.
Endless traffic and endless subways will just be a thing of the past. You won’t have to worry about getting late or catching the bus. You can literally work right out of your bed.
You Can Wear Whatever You Want
Those incredibly uncomfortable heels that have been giving you leg cramps? You can finally get rid of it. You won’t have to worry about makeup or combing your hair unless you have a meeting. Being able to wear whatever you want is one of the greatest perks of working from home.
A study from Stanford University found that people who work from home are more productive than their office counterparts. If your pay is productivity-based, you’ll probably earn more if you work from home.
Less Physical Interaction
In times where keeping a physical distance from others can save a life (like a pandemic), working from home is a huge advantage. It reduces physical interaction with other people thus limiting your risk of getting sick. If you have anxiety problems, lesser physical interaction will also be more beneficial.
Not All Jobs Can Be Done From Home
Of course, working remotely can only be successful if your job can be done at home. If your job needs you to be physically present at your place of work, you can’t work from home obviously.
Lack of Social Interaction
As mentioned, working from home does not give the same level of social interaction as a traditional office. If you’re not comfortable working on your own, then this set-up is not for you.
You Might Stay on the Clock
A common misconception about working from home is you can just work whenever you want to. That is definitely not true. In fact, it’s the opposite. You see, when you clocked out of the office, your work usually ends. You don’t have to worry about answering emails, submitting reports, and the like.
If you work from home, answering emails outside of your working hours might be unavoidable. This is especially true if you and your coworkers have varying working hours. To avoid this, make sure to clear it up with your coworkers beforehand. Remind them that you will only answer emails during working hours.