Imagine your sofa as your office, your hallway as your commute and your kitchen as your cafeteria. Sounds perfect right? Although remote work comes with many pros, there are also a lot of cons which should be taken into account before making it part of your process.
What is remote?
Before we get into detail on why remote work is a blessing – or a curse – lets quickly go through what remote work actually is.
If an employee of a company is not required to physically be in the office they are considered remote employees. As they are most likely still part of a team, they often still have to stick to a certain schedule. This can mean set times during which they are reachable or the attendance to set meetings.
Freelancers offer their services to clients based on individual projects. This gives them the freedom of choosing the time, scope and location of their work, however, project-based work always comes with the risk of not having a steady income.
Your own business
If you have your own business, you are your own boss. You can work from wherever you want, whenever you want and as much as you want. Although being your own boss allows you to have maximum flexibility, it also comes with the highest risk.
A blessing or a curse?
You have flexibility to take care of appointments and errands.
One of the biggest struggles of having a 9-to-5 job is the fixed time table that comes with it. Following a routine dentist appointment can be a farce if it overlaps with working hours. Working from home allows you to work around other necessary appointments without having to jeopardize your job by not being present.
There is no physical separation between work and leisure time.
Often, people who work from home tend to find themselves working 24/7 since there is no given time table. Leaving the workplace physically also functions as a switch to post-work relaxation mode. Staying in “the office” after work takes away the division between professional and personal realms.
There are fewer interruptions from meetings and chitchat.
When a person is not physically in an office, colleagues tend to think twice about whether they really need to involve them, or if it might be unnecessary. While it might be a little bit more complicated to join important meetings, it probably also spares time by eliminating others.
Distractions and lack of productivity
Although some time is saved by avoiding unnecessary meetings and conversations, working from home provides many other possible distractions. Quickly doing the laundry, cleaning the kitchen or watching “only one” episode of your favorite series – It takes a lot of discipline to stay focused when your home is your office. Along with the issue of distractions comes the issue of too little productivity. Not having a boss is great, however, this also means that there is no one who looks over your shoulder throughout the day. Many struggle to stay motivated and focused without that little bit of extra pressure.
Save time, money and nerves
A lot of money, time and not too rarely nerves are spent commuting to and from work. Stressed out faces around you in fully packed trains – For many this is not the way to start the day. The threaded daily commutes can be avoided by working from home.
Additionally, having to physically be in an office also requires some kind of getting ready in the morning. Not having to meet people in person can save time and money spent on physical appearance too look presentable.
You have to make the effort to get a change of scenery
The blessing of staying at home all the time can also easily become a curse. Many remote workers emphasize how important it is to set lunches and other meetings to make sure that you do not spend all of the time indoors.
Is remote work the right thing for you?
There are obviously many more pros and cons of working from home and everyone needs to decide for themselves which side outweighs the other. We summarized the most pressing topics you should take into account if you are thinking about working from home:
- Self-discipline is key
- Time-management, organization and structure are also key
- There is no direct supervision to fall back on
- You will have a lot of alone-time during the day
- You have to actively separate personal and professional life and make sure to also have some time off after work
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