Working from home, otherwise known as telecommuting, has become increasingly popular in the United States because it allows for flexibility and comfort; in fact, the number of remote workers has increased by a whopping 80% since 2005. However, work from home jobs are not for everyone and make it difficult for you to mentally clock out for the day. Check out our list of the most convenient, and inconvenient, parts of becoming a telecommuter.
Work from Home Jobs Pro: Savings, savings, savings!
If you pursue a full-time remote career path, you completely eliminate the need for driving, taking public transportation, and going on business trips. Since the average American commutes between 30-60 minutes a day, that adds up to over $1,000 saved on fuel alone, and that’s without the costs of vehicle upkeep. You also eliminate the need for a professional wardrobe, unless you routinely interact with clients or co-workers via video chat, which can save you hundreds more.
Work from Home Jobs Con: It may be almost impossible to fully focus on your children and be productive.
If you’re considering telecommuting to spend time with your children or avoid shelling out for daycare, you may find yourself constantly leaving your desk to clean up messes or intervene in sibling quarrels. Not only is this exhausting, but it makes it that much harder for you to refocus on the task at hand every time you leave your workspace since parenting is a full-time job in itself. It’s also hard for children, especially young ones, to understand the level of space you require to do your job, and may lead to misunderstandings.
Work from Home Jobs Pro: You no longer have to waste sick days when you’re not sick.
Many in-house employees find themselves using limited sick days to get away from office stress, make necessary appointments, or attend to personal or family matters. When you work out of the comfort of your home, office drama becomes non-existent, and you can easily work around a doctor or dentist appointment or run those errands you’ve been putting off. This way, you can save your sick days for when you’re actually sick, and your boss doesn’t have to worry about you taking days away from the office for necessary affairs.
Work from Home Jobs Con: No more socializing at the water cooler.
If you’re someone who absolutely needs to chat face-to-face with your favorite coworkers throughout the day, you may feel isolated or lonely listening to voices over the phone, or contacting others over Instant Messaging. You’ll also miss out on impromptu happy hours or lunch dates, which many workers feel creates a true bond between one another. If you’re an extravert who doesn’t mind the occasional social distraction in the office, you’ll probably do your best work from there as well.
Work from home jobs are worth it, especially in certain subject areas like programming where demand is high and supply is low. No matter what work lifestyle you choose, stay aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each approach in order to maximize the use of your time.