Whether you’re a home-based small business owner who works from home full-time or someone who splits their time by work online from home occasionally, there are several advantages and disadvantages to consider before you set up a home office and plan your work environment.
Working from a home-based office is certainly not for everyone, therefore it’s important to consider the numerous advantages and disadvantages before you make it a part of your work process.
Advantages Work Online at Home
By work online at home, you save on many hidden costs associated with going to work. These include costs of commuting, car wear, and tear, road taxes, fuel, parking as well as indirect costs such as expensive professional wardrobes and the dry-cleaning of those. You can also save on older children’s care arrangements although for younger children it is highly unadvisable to forgo the childcare arrangement and try to balance close care and supervision with the demands of the job.
Your Office Can Be Any Kind
You’ll probably work from home in the event you work remotely. But that doesn’t mean you should fill a corner of your living room with a clunky desk, a huge monitor, and an ugly rolling chair. It’s possible for you to fit your office wherever it fits in your life.
Your Office Can Be Anywhere
And you’re not tied to your home, either. That doesn’t mean your only other location will be the coffee shop around the corner: you can take good care of your job while, enjoying the great outdoors (thanks to long laptop battery life and tethering to your phone), or even listening to your favorite band at a live concert.
You’ll Save Money
Of course, you’ll see an immediate difference in your bank account when you don’t need to bear the costs of commuting. But you’ll also find savings in other areas. You won’t have to force yourself into a suit and polished shoes anymore if that’s not your style and no more separate wardrobes for work for the rest of your life! And you may also save on food costs since you’ll easily be able to whip up your own lunch and coffee if you work from home.
Your Schedule Can Be Your Own
A large amount of the work that can be done remotely can also be done on a flexible schedule. For example, if you’re a web developer or a content creator, you can most likely do your coding or writing whenever it suits you if you meet your deadlines. So, night owls, rejoice! You can put in your eight hours without starting at 8 AM.
In case you do need to work specific hours, you’re sure to still have some break time you can use however you’d like! Even if you have just 10 minutes, you can do something that just wouldn’t be possible in a traditional office: bust those samba moves, play several tunes on your guitar, or take a refreshing power nap. You’re guaranteed to come back feeling more refreshed than you would after 10 minutes at your desk surfing Facebook.
You Can Learn More and Become More Independent
Because you don’t have colleagues just a few feet away or a tech team one floor down, you’ll find yourself developing the skill of looking for your own answers and becoming more proactive to find what you need on your own. Of course, you can ask questions and get help if you need. It’s possible for you to keep in touch more easily and maybe have some fun doing it! Most people are afraid that they’ll be lonely or left out when they work remotely. Nevertheless, the opposite is usually true, as there’s a huge range of communication tools for remote workers available now. Some will even let you have a little fun together with features like emojis, chat room bots, or silly effects in video chats.
It’s Possible for You to Keep in Touch More Effectively
Because you don’t have everyone physically around you all the time, you become much more aware of the importance of keeping in touch. So, either in the process of composing your message or planning the meeting, you’ll refine your thoughts and questions and end up saving time for each of you when you do have that discussion.
This doesn’t just relate to timings either although the flexibility to determine your own work hours to some extent is the most important aspect of this. You can also determine your environment, lighting, temperature, setting, mood. Basically, you can work in the framework that suits you and that which makes you happiest and most productive.
Coworkers banter and are distractions. Unnecessary interruptions and unimportant meetings can be avoided if you’re safely at home and sealed off in your own environment that you have barricaded from any possible interruptions.
The stress of commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic at rush hour in several countries is extremely counterproductive and may lead to disgruntled workers that are already exhausted and worn before they have even begun their day. This is especially true where the workplace is far from the office. Other stressors often cited include unfriendly co-workers, a suboptimal work environment, and constant distractions.
Often with long commutes and going anywhere from 1 to 3 hours a day, is taxing for both physical and mental health; the former as the gym hours are usually the first to go and the latter due to the stresses associated with both the commute and the workplace itself. By work online at home, the commuting time enables you to resume physical exercise, to go for a long walk, or anything you basically like.
Disadvantages of Work Online at Home
There are also some disadvantages to employees work online at home, the majority of these relate to those working from home, as opposed to part of their working week:
Often, professionals working from home complain of isolation and loneliness. Thus, it might be very depressing to some. The workplace, after all, provides a location to meet people and make friends for many locations with their colleagues.
Although office distractions are avoided by working at home, different distractions may arise. Interruptions from children, work, neighbors, friends, a family might be very disruptive and special efforts must be made to make it known that you’re working and unavailable for interruption within work hours despite your physical presence at home.
Difficulty Monitoring Performance
There might be difficulty monitoring the performance of workers for managers working at home.
Information Security Risk
Information security problems could be more likely to occur.
Difficulty in Separating Home from Work
The temptation to engage in household matters when you’re at home is very strong. Suddenly, you may start feeling obliged to clean, do the shopping, childcare, cook, etc. You may even do the bills or go out with neighbors, and in the end, you fail to fulfill the requirements of your job. It is essential to draw the line between home and work to avoid suffering both areas.
Work Doesn’t End
Since there’s no one looking over your shoulder enforcing strict hours you may feel tempted to work endlessly. This pressure to work may be compounded by the fact that you simply feel there are greater expectations made of you as a home-worker or by self-imposed pressures to prove yourself and your abilities in this arrangement. Moreover, the lack of physical separation between home and work may add to this pressure to work endlessly.
Relationships are Harder to Form
It’s hard to establish trust and develop relationships with colleagues and clients when you don’t have a daily face-to-face connection.