Let’s talk about both the positives and negatives of work from home:
Work according to your own schedule: This is perhaps the greatest advantage you have in home-based work. You can make a flexible schedule according to your comfort level. You start or stop work whenever you like. If you feel a bit need to have rest, you just shut down and take a break. Some people like to work in the late evening or night hours. They will be more than happy if they get a work at home opportunity. You can have lunch, dinner, tea, and coffee whenever you feel like to. Just relax, make your own timetable and work anytime or any length of hours round the clock. Manage time as you feel comfortable.
Be your own BOSS: Unlike office-based jobs, you don’t have a BOSS. No one will come to your desk to check whether you are working or not. No reporting to and scolding by BOSS at all. ‘No sword is hanging over the head’ is one of the most relaxing thoughts for many people. Therefore, no or less stress than office work.
Can be managed on weekends or part-time: Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of work from home. If your work is not too much stretched out, you can manage it on weekends and as part-time along with a regular job. If you are working with a company that allows working as much as easily manageable, you must take the advantage of work from home. It would be a great source of making money, though may not be very highly paid. However, with a few hours of weekly working, you can make some extra bucks.
Decorate your office place as you like: Not only time, space is also yours in work from home. You can fix a corner for your table and computer system wherever you like. Decorate it with flowers, photos, colors and things of your choice. If and when need, you can change the place also. If your work is mostly computer-based, you can sit with your laptop on the lawn, roof-top, balcony etc. Not bound to a single space.
A lot of saving: When you join an office, you need to go to the job 5 days a week. You have to maintain a proper wardrobe as well as taking out a chunk of money for monthly transportation and food expenses. Sometimes, your office is located far away and reaching there is no less than a hassle. Or you have to rely on outside food which you don’t like. Some of the companies offer to give pick and drop and food for the employees for a reasonable cutting from their salary. But that way, they get a great facility. Wardrobe, transportation, and food expenses eat up a great portion of your paycheck. Work from home totally minuses the expenses of wardrobe and transportation. Then remains the food only which you enjoy in the form of home-made healthy and low-priced meals.
No frustrating co-workers or workplace issues: One of the biggest and stressful problems of office and a regular job is the presence of unpleasant and non-cooperative co-workers. Harassment is also a great workplace issue for females especially. Work from home saves you from these frustrating things which can have a negative effect on your health and career growth also.
Above were a few positives of work from home. Now, let’s have a look at negatives also:
Laziness: Work from home gives you the advantage of time flexibility but it also demands a great self-discipline. If you are lazy, you can’t meet the deadlines. You must have to make a timetable and set daily working hours to run it smoothly. Postponing the work for the next day will hurt your progress.
Working alone offers no competition: Presence of co-workers offers a competitive environment and motivates you to work better and better. Work at home has nothing like that. You are your own competitor there so performance comparison is also not involving. Competing with, and defeating your own self is not easy for everyone.
Providing a space at home: If you have plenty of space at home, well and good. But if you are living in a tight space, taking out a room for home-based work may be difficult. Additionally, you may have to tolerate the noise and disturbance by kids and family.
Lack of communication in-between the team: If you are working for a remote or out-of-country employer, you feel a lack of communication with other teammates and employers. Online meetings and chat can’t produce the results as the face-to-face and office-based jobs offer. Time difference between the countries also matters. You may need to wait for the meeting or chat for long hours.
Work ethics and culture: Ethics and culture matter a lot if you are working for an out-of-country employer. If an African is working for an American company, he/she may have to face cultural and behavioral issues. Some cultures don’t like to hear NO from the employees; some encourage to express their opinion. So work from home may also be stressful due to cultural differences.
So these are the positives as well as negatives involved in work from home. If you like it, you must keep all these aspects in mind. Take into account all the facets before plunging into home-based work. It is not suitable for everyone. If you are ready to take on and fulfill the demands of work from home, go ahead. If not, prefer an office based job instead.
Rizwanaa Shaikh is fond of reading and writing on general topics and issues. She believes in bringing awareness and positive changes to the public through writing. She can be found on Twitter: @Rashwriter.