Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Picture this. I am 22 years old and starting my career in healthcare. I am single. No kids. I want to make a name for myself. I work as much as I could. There was nothing at my house waiting for me or relying on me. I guess you could have called me a workaholic. Fast forward 8 years. I am married. I was still a semi-workaholic. My husband and I would hang out after work for a few hours. Binge-watch some Netflix, chit-chat over dinner and then go to bed. Fast forward 2 more years. We have our first baby. At this point, working in an office and hearing that people worked from home, I was disgustingly jealous. I did not want to be anywhere, but home. The family unit was much different. I had someone that relied on me and little did I realize at the time, I relied on him. After maternity leave, I returned to the office 9 – 11 hours a day. Given that I had worked so much and stayed when asked for so long, I think I set too high of an expectation. It was hard for me to leave to get home. I never wanted to let my boss down. But this time, I needed to put my family first. I never got to see my son. My husband would have put him to bed and by the time I got home, he was already in his crib asleep. He was not one of those babies you could “keep up.” I sat down for a while and realized I only saw my son 1.5 hours a day!! 1.5 hours a day out of 24 hours!!!
One morning at the office, I just so happened to walk past a good friend’s desk and she said her old coworker was looking for someone just like me for a FULLY REMOTE work-from-home job! And wait, get this – MAKING MORE MONEY!
Needless to say, I interviewed. They loved me. I loved them.
It has been 6 years of working remotely. I have a separate home office so there are no home-life distractions. I actually get work done much quicker because of fewer interruptions. Some people may not have the willpower to work from home and not be distracted, but I quite honestly am the opposite. If I am in my office, I am not “at home.” While I do travel from time to time and see my employees and coworkers, a part of me is missing that time away from home. Meeting someone for lunch. Meeting someone in the kitchen / coffee area for 5 minutes. Is there a happy medium? Can you do both?
Right now, while I miss a lot of things, I could not imagine working in an office again. So, while I write out this pro and con list, I would like to be clear that I totally want to have my cake and eat it too.
(Thanks to friends who added to this list to help me out with the most comprehensive list possible).
Let’s start with the cons so we can end on a happy note, shall we?
- it may be hard to concentrate seeing the many undone chores around the house,
- it is impossible to work if one of your kids’ is home sick. If I do not have anyone to watch him/her, I will take off that day because I KNOW I will get nothing done,
- snacks are always readily available (in my personal experience, I have gained a little work-from-home happy weight),
- could feel like the workday never ends, because you cannot shut it off,
- if you work from home, it could be a con if your spouse does too (this one makes me giggle),
- could feel like you are always at work, even nights and weekends,
- having trouble separating home and work life,
- ensuring you or your staff are self-motivated to produce results,
- lack of personal connection with co-workers and employees (trust me, seeing someone on video is not the same as seeing someone in person),
- missing out on the free food that is brought in for lunch meetings, or sales reps bringing in donuts, etc.
And now for the pros:
- feel more relaxed in your home,
- do not have to worry about what to wear (unless you are on a video call in that case just put on a pretty top and keep your PJ pants on),
- can catch up on housework if you are a good multitasker – laundry while listening to sales updates or team statistics,
- flexibility during the day,
- no commuting expenses – parking, gas, etc.
- no traffic or road rage,
- no before or after care expenses for children to be cared for,
- the efficiency of work getting done due to fewer distractions,
- healthier options for eating throughout the day,
- you can start working before the “office” opens if you want.
If you have the option to work from home and you also have an office nearby, I am hearing the hybrid schedule works out the best.
Happy working! Happy hustling!