Work-from-Home Pros & Cons
Most people who work from home note that there are both advantages and disadvantages of having this arrangement. While to some it may seem like a dream job, it can be challenging as well. Not all jobs can even be performed from home but many jobs these days are going to remote work. If you’re considering working from home, what are the pros and cons? Below are the pros and cons you might want to consider.
Pros of Working from Home
Advantage 1. Saving Gas Money (and No Daily Commute!)
Working from home eliminates your daily commute (yay!) so this can be a huge advantage. For people that may have longer commutes of 30 minutes to an hour, giving them up to two hours of their day can be a big advantage. If you’re trying to save money on gas, then you’ll be able to do this by avoiding filling up your car as much. Even if you use public transportation, you’re still going to have to spend money on your commute. By saving money at the gas station and your time in the process, you may find that it’s one less stressor in your day.
Advantage 2. Tax Breaks
When you work remotely, you have to have a space where you work. Remote employees as well as self-employed individuals are more likely to be eligible for tax breaks such as home office deductions or the cost of equipment deduction. Taxes can be complicated so make sure that you have an accountant to review your tax breaks or meet the criteria outlined by the IRS. This will help you save the most on your taxes without running into any problem.
Advantage 3. Save on Food and Clothing
Even if you bring your meals in from home, working in an office can increase your chances of eating at restaurants or stopping by coffee shops. While a few dollars here and there that you save may not seem like much, this can lead to thousands of dollars in savings over time. Its not always cheaper to eat at home but this can be an easy way to save money.
You’ll also probably be saving money on clothing. When you work at an in-person office, you’ll have some sort of a dress code. Work-appropriate clothing can have a hefty price tag. If you have to pay to have these items dry-cleaned, the costs are going to add up even more. Remote work still requires that you wear appropriate clothing but will probably reduce your need for formal work attire. You can end up paring down your wardrobe of work clothes and end up saving in the long run.
Advantage 4. Increased Productivity
Depending on your work style, you may also put this in the con category. However, many remote workers report increased productivity due to working from home. In a survey of remote teams, 65% of workers said that they felt more productive at home than they did in the office. If you’re prone to distractions, working from a home office may actually be a huge benefit for you. Many people who enjoy concentrating enjoy their remote work style.
Cons of Working at Home
Disadvantage 1. Poor Social Interaction
When you’re in a more social field or have more of a need for social interaction, working from home can actually impact your mental well-being. Communicating with coworkers and managers through a screen is better than nothing but it may feel as though it’s not quite the same. Video conferencing has improved but you may find that you miss these in-person interactions. If you do work remotely, you may have to find other opportunities to schedule outings with friends and family.
Disadvantage 2. Increased Chance of Overworking
Working from home means that your work is a quick step away instead of being at an office that you leave every day. There is such a thing as being too focused on work. Remote working comes with the risk of overworking and burnout. Getting used to always being available can be a difficult habit to break. However, you can often manage this by “clocking” in and out and setting a firm limit to when you end work at the end of the day. Having this in place will help you to avoid this problem.
Disadvantage 3. Distractions at Home
Most of us enjoy being at home but that doesn’t mean it’s free from distractions. It’s easy on your lunch break to get sucked into pulling a few weeds outdoors or going for a quick errand. For people who have kids at home, it may be even more difficult to stay focused on work and get your tasks done. If you can, try to have a separate area such as a home office where you go to work. By having this boundary, it may be easier to avoid common distractions.
Disadvantage 4. Few Office Perks
Depending on your in-person office, you may have benefits from going into the office itself. Being in the office can come with free meals, access to the office gym, and other amenities that you might find you enjoy. Even non-monetary items such as chats with coworkers can make an in-person job more rewarding and enjoyable. Depending on your own style and work environment, moving from the office to home may make parts of your life more difficult. This is why it’s important to consider a variety of factors when making a choice.
The Decision: Remote (WFH) or Office
You may not always have a choice when it comes to working remotely. Some people find that their jobs can be partially or completely remotely. These are a few of the reasons why it may be a good or a bad idea. Not every person feels the same about remote work and it may not be the optimal choice for you. Before making a decision to move remotely or to take a job from home, consider the pros and cons. These considerations can help you make an informed decision on which option will be best for your optimal career choice.