Here’s the truth about remote work: there are plenty of perks and significant advantages to a work-from-home lifestyle—many of which you may have heard and read about before. But, there are also some disadvantages, too. Like any and every job, you’re likely to experience some pros and cons in a remote position.
Advantages of Remote Jobs
Depending on your remote role, you’ll likely find that you’ll have more flexibility in your schedule when you work from home. Unlike working in an office building and punching a time clock, a work-from-home position often allows you the flex time to run errands, make appointments, or attend to your personal needs. Remote workers are also sometimes able to work hours that suit their personality—night owls can work late, when they’re most energized, focused, and productive, while early birds can rise to catch the proverbial worm. This coveted flexibility is also key to achieving that elusive work-life balance.
Anyone who has slogged to the office in bumper-to-bumper traffic or experienced a white-knuckle drive during inclement weather will appreciate the time saved and stress by eliminating a daily commute. Working from home can save hours per day that would otherwise be spent on the road to the office. Now that extra time can be spent with your family, going to the dog park, fitting in yoga, or any other activity to which you’d like to devote more time.
Along with the time you’ll save no longer commuting, you may also find that you’re saving on a variety of costs each week, including gas or public transportation expenses, wear and tear on your vehicle, eating out, professional work attire and dry cleaning, and child-care expenses.
More Productivity, Fewer Sick Days
Sharing a workspace in a traditional office setting directly exposes you to others’ germs, but if you work from home, you’ll have much less exposure to others and their illnesses. On the flip side, if you come down with something, it will be much easier to care for yourself and still get some work accomplished while working from home, which means you’ll likely log fewer sick days.
Disadvantages of Remote Work
Reduced Human Connection
If you’re extroverted and the sort of person who feeds off interactions with others, working from home may feel isolating. Sometimes interacting with others by email, phone, instant messaging, or video conferencing can alleviate this feeling, but it’s no substitute for direct communication. Some remote workers find that working from a library or a public space, such as a coffee shop, satisfies their need to interact with others, but some prefer an office setting over solitude. Consider working from a coworking space, which will allow you to still work remotely while achieving the benefits of working in an office environment.
Blurred Work and Personal Life
When you work from home, you can’t always turn off your personal life while you’re working or block your work responsibilities once you’ve clocked out. Creating a separate workspace from the rest of your home can help, but some remote workers find it challenging to stop working when they know it’s within reach.
Difficulty Presenting Your Achievements
When it comes time to have a review or check-in with your supervisor, working remotely can cause challenges in how you present your achievements. Doing so can be important when you’re asking for a raise or vying for a promotion. To counter this problem as a remote worker, you may want to keep a log of your daily workload and the milestones you’ve achieved over the year so you can showcase this information during a review. Also, opt for some face time with your supervisor on a regular basis so you don’t become an “out of sight, out of mind” employee.
Different Set of Distractions
While you won’t have the traditional work distractions, such as the elevator door opening and closing a million times a day, or coworkers stopping by your desk and interrupting your work flow, a remote office presents its own set of distractions and temptations. You’ll need to have good self-control to stop yourself from spending the whole day catching up on TV shows, doing laundry, etc. And it may be hard sometimes to focus with your doorbell ringing or the dog barking. But if you’re able to create a home office space with limited distractions and temptations, you should be alright!
At FlexJobs, our goal is for job seekers to find jobs that offer professional satisfaction, whether they work in an office or work from home. If you’re thinking about a remote job, it’s important to analyze yourself and factor in the pros and cons to determine if it’s right for you. If you’re ready to launch your remote job search, check out our remote job listings today. Good luck!