The WFH situation is here to stay. Even with society getting a grasp on how to live with COVID-19, working at home is still a reality. It may sound sweet and nice to be able to work in the comfort of your own home. But not all are sugar, spice, and everything nice. Sometimes some bitter bits come when you are working at home.
So let’s see what are the pros and cons. This will help you get the most out of the situation should you be encountering problems.
What makes it a great setup?
It does have a lot of benefits, let’s elaborate on all of them.
Saves money and time
Traffic jams can be a killer, both on time and money. If you’re working in the city, you all know too well how traffic can drain not just time, but your energy as well. White in your home office, you can save about 4 to five hours worth of traveling. This means that you have more time to do other important things or catch up on your sleep.
And since you do not have to drive yourself to work or catch the bus or train, you can save up on fares and gas money. You can make this a vacation and too so that you can see tangible things that come from saving on transportation
Oh, it also saves you money that you have to spend on new suites, dresses, or bags. And you have to admit, sometimes you just wear pajamas and pair them with a nice blouse or blazer, nobody’s gonna know right? On Zoom, people won’t even notice how often you wear your favorite shirt.
And the bags, you don’t need to bring them!
It can also save you money since you do not have to buy expensive lunches, So you’re really making a lot of savings here.
More quality time for the family
Oftentimes stressful corporate situations can drain you and take away your time from your family. This can lead to an unhealthy situation at home and can even lead to arguments. Sometimes, it can cause you to miss PTA meetings or soccer games. You would have more opportunities to go to school activities. Especially for those who work flexible hours, this can mean a lot of time for quality bonding with your family.
Eliminate work distractions
Are you one of those people who have this exhausting colleague who creates a distraction in the office? Everyone might have experienced this at some point in their corporate life. And the good news is you don’t have to deal with people like this if you work from home.
You can have increased productivity
Given all the things above that you no longer have to bear with every day, this can make you more focused at work. No more traffic jams that can ruin your day and no more gossiping in the corridors, you will have more work done.
You get to wear what you want
Well, if you work with the cameras on, you have the liberty to wear whatever you want. You can wear pajamas or the most breathable fabric without anyone judging you. And if you have Zoom meetings and need to look corporate-ready, you can still wear shorts or whatever you want.
You become more independent
Working from home often rids of micromanaging. This makes you more accountable for yourself and for the things that you do. This will make you more independent and this can serve you well in the future.
Improved technical skills
Now there’s no excuse not to be good at using digital tools and communication platforms. You will be able to learn all of these once you start working from home and this can help you become more tech savvy. And in this digital world, it pays to be in the loop on the latest tools people use on the internet.
Better collaboration across locations
With a lot of digital communication tools, this opens up the opportunity to work with other office locations from around the globe. This creates an exciting avenue for business development.
You can do household chores during your downtime
You can make use of some downtime to get the laundry done or press some clothes. This can free your weekend for more social activities. And personal development. You will be able to go out more often during your days off work.
Increased flexibility and satisfaction
Most are given liberties on how they spend their work day, provided that deadlines are met. And having more flexibility can mean better satisfaction on your end. You will feel happier, stress-free, and more accomplished.
And here are the not-so-good things
While there are a lot of benefits, there are also setbacks. That’s the reality of life, you cannot have all the nice bits, you have to be able to deal with the bad bits as well.
So here are the cons of working from home. It pays to acknowledge each so you will be able to make the necessary changes to make it an even more gratifying situation.
- Challenging to separate life at work and home
Since you basically work and live in the same address and space, it might be challenging to separate work from life. There is an increased risk of being overworked since you don’t have to spend time traveling. Might as well make use of the extra time to work on additional loads right?
While this can look productive from the outside, it can drain you and you might start to despise having to work at home. This happens more when you are on flexi time.
What can you do? While having more flexibility can mean more freedom, you still have to allocate a specific time on when you will work at your desk. Say if you plan to work until 5 pm, once the clock hits 5, it’s time to park your suit.
It also is a wise idea to allocate a specific space in your house where you’ll work. Doing your job in your bedroom, the kitchen, or dining table may look practical, but it can blur the lines between work and life.
- Setting up a home office entails cost
Some companies sponsor chairs, desks, and equipment their people need to make WFH successful. But if you’re not one of these, you have to shoulder the expenses of setting up your own home office. That means buying our own work desk, office, chair, computers, or any relevant equipment. There is an initial investment.
What can you do? You can look for a cheaper alternative for a standing desk or an office chair. If space is an issue and you don’t have a spare room that can serve as your home office, you can make use of a nook instead and just use blinds or separators so there is still a clear distinction between where you work and where you sleep. If all else fails, you might want to check out co-working spaces.
- Domestic distractions
While it can get rid of corporate distractions, it can open up to a different type of distraction. And if you have kids, this becomes even more challenging. From crying kids, and dogs barking, to noisy neighbors, this can affect how you work. There is also the temptation to turn on the TV as you work.
The best thing to do is to shut off the windows and ensure you work at your home office and not elsewhere. Locking the doors can also help, you can let your housemates know that you cannot be disturbed while you’re working.
There is also such a thing as pet distractions. You might even tend to let your cat or dog lounge by your desk while you work. While this may sound sweet, this can also distract you.
- The feeling of isolation and loneliness
Working from home isolates you from your friends at work and colleagues. You still see each other during weekly meetings on Zoom, but other than that, there is a reduced instance of face-to-face interactions. While this can be sublime for introverts, it might be the opposite for a lot of people.
You can start to feel lonely and isolated. This can take a toll on your mental health,
What can you do? Maintaining a healthy social relationship with your colleagues is still important for your overall well-being. And with the lack of face-to-face interactions, you can still spend a decent amount of time catching up with each other online, it can be via chat groups, Zoom, or Facetime. Setting up a weekly team workout can also help prevent the feeling of loneliness.
Make the most of this flexible setup
While there are a lot of benefits, the tradeoffs can still affect your performance at work. You have to be disciplined to be able to make WFH more enjoyable than it is draining.