Working from home is a dream to many although the majority do not see its downside. I should know because I’ve been there, which somehow made me go back to the “outside” world in 2009, worked 8 hours a day outside my comfort zone. Let me highlight the advantages and disadvantages of working from home, based on my experience.
Savings. By working from home, you get to save on many hidden charges i.e. transportation fare, fuel, parking and wardrobes which we don’t feel sometimes, thinking that we can get it back when payday comes.
Flexibility. Majority of home-based jobs allow you to work on your flexible time. Meaning, for as long as you meet the required number of hours, it is no big deal whether you do it when everybody is asleep when everyone seems to be enjoying their me time off during wee hours. In short, you can actually work within the timings that suit you best and makes you most productive.
Environment/Surroundings. You can also set-up your workplace in a way that you are most comfortable with. It is your choice whether you want to work on your bed, sit on the floor with your computer on your lap, or play music in the background. Unless otherwise, your job requires you a video call, where you need to be in a quiet environment. I had this problem when I was doing a home-based online English tutorial. Sometimes my kids would forget that I am on duty and scream as if they had received the biggest surprises in their lives. However, it was very minor because most of my students didn’t mind, and in fact love to interact with them.
Nearness to home and family. The very reason why I left my office-based job was that of the convenience of being at home whenever my kids need me, especially the youngest. My youngest often fall sick. My attendance suffered a lot during that time which has also affected my work. Of course, for a mom like me, working from home can be especially pacifying to know that I am very near to my children and always available should there be urgent meetings and events held at school.
Better health. Commutes, long or short can really be exhausting if done daily, twice a day. By working from home, the commuting time is saved and enables you to reserve the energy to something else. During breaks, you can actually lay down and relax.
Seclusion. You will lack contact and socialization with people. Although some home-based jobs have outbound tasks lie calling the office, telemarketing, and the like, still, these are not enough to actually put you in a manner where you see yourself enjoying and mingling with colleagues.
Separating home from work. The urge and temptation to engage in household chores sometimes become a problem. In my case, when I was working full time from home, graveyard, made me decide that the said schedule was not for me. My eldest was only 2 years old that time and still adjusting, as we lived abroad since she was born. In short, she was too clingy to me and won’t settle with new people. Out set-up was kind of odd. By the time I would fall asleep, she wakes up resulting in not achieving the real reason that I wanted > to be with my daughter 24/7. It was like just spending time at home literally but not actually spending time with her. Until one day, my brother knocked our bedroom to tell me that my almost 2 years old daughter was trying hard, making her milk. That made me realized, okay, I gotta do something. I need to balance my time and decide. I left the job and went back to the real world.
Dressing-up. For a woman and a mom, reaching her 40s, it is a big deal to not be able to dress up even once in a while. Well, at least for me. I sour grape at times. I feel down. I feel low. I feel ugly. For-not-being-able-to-dress-up-fully. My last home-based job was online teaching where tutors are required to do a video call unless the students do not want it. So meaning, we need to be presentable and actually pretend that we are in an office set-up. I conduct my lessons with video on, wear my make up, and a decent top paired with pajamas or my favorite torn shorts. Hahaha! For someone like me who have worked in a corporate world for years, fully made up, will understand me.
Self-discipline. You see, working from home is not for EVERYONE, especially if you are adventurous. It takes a lot of discipline and dedication. What would you do if your bed calls for you to sleep when you only have a 15-minute break? You need to highly discipline yourself. Laying down for 15 minutes with no discipline could result in falling asleep and take you to dreamland.