The Ups and Downs of Working from Home

working from home ups and downs

Working from home is something many people aspire to. And while it is great to have this possibility, there are ups and downs as with any job, at any workplace. When you work from the comfort of your place ,you get to wake up whenever you want, go to sleep at whatever crazy hour in the night, have time for home errands, go shopping when the malls aren’t packed and have time for any activities you couldn’t do while being at the office. But there is one aspect that people don’t consider, being lonely. Because most of the time it’s just you, your computer and a never ending routine.

But let’s get into this “working from home” experience. After all, it can be both comfortable and uncomfortable to spend your days within the same walls while staying focused on the job you need to get done. And among the advantages and disadvantages, here are a few which are resonating with me the most:

The good parts of working from home

woman working from home

  1. Not having to commute. As I live 14km from the city, it takes quite a bit to get to town and then, having to endure the stress of driving in busy, crazy traffic, twice a day is tiering. In addition to that, I spare 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to do something else, rather than being stuck in the hustle and bustle of the city.

  2. Not having a stressful or incompetent boss, or unreliable co-workers. While I have worked with amazing people and great managers, in my nearly 10 years of working experience, I also had the “pleasure” of working with incompetent superiors and lazy colleagues. For me, there is nothing worse than that. When your superior is narrow minded or has no idea what to do, when your co-workers spend more time chatting or browsing the internet, in coffee breaks or wasting time, you become unmotivated and feel like you don’t belong.

  3. Making the rules as you go. While I do appreciate guidelines and structured work, I find it difficult to follow strict rules at any job. After all, circumstances are different, your collaborations are different, your tasks might be similar but not exactly the same so, you have to adapt. When you work from home, on your own, you get the opportunity to improve things on the way. You get to use your knowledge and imagination to refine the way you work and the tasks you are doing, in order to achieve the best results.

  4. Spending more time with your family. This is the most compelling argument for people who want to work from home, and I totally agree. Being able to be close to your loved ones and having more time to engage in activities with your spouse, your kids or both, makes all the difference in the world.

  5. More time for you. When you work from home and have mastered the discipline needed to be productive, you get more time for new hobbies, learning a new language, improving your knowledge, read and more.

  6. You can take the day off when you feel like it. Without asking for permission or letting somebody know about it, 3 days beforehand.

The down sides of working from home

lonely working from home

  1. Being lonely. For me, this is quite unpleasant and most difficult to bear. While there are people who don’t mind loneliness, for me it’s troublesome and, I believe it’s not just me to feel this way. Others don’t realize that you spend most of the time in your own house, with little contact to the outside world. You don’t get to ask a colleague how was their week-end, request some advice from a peer or simply enjoy the little things working in a team and being part of a group bring.

  2. Poor social life. You know, no dinners with your team mates, no making new friends and meeting new people, not being part of a tiny community, simply not having contact with other human beings. And sometimes, when you do go out, you feel like you need to practice before diving into a conversation with another person. Not to mention, you don’t know which are the best go to places to have a good meal or where is the best coffee in town. You can search that though, on your own…

  3. Research and learn by yourself. There is nobody there with you to share useful insights on a topic or another, help you through tasks you have never done before or simply smile and say “you can do it”. It’s all up to you. You have to research and learn a lot by yourself, sometimes from scratch, sometimes with little to start from.

  4. Staying focused and getting the job done. When you work from the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of distractions you don’t have when you work in an office. Maybe you are thirsty, for the 10th time in the past half an hour; you need a snack, have to cook for lunch, are in a mood for shopping, and why not walk your dog? And many, many more. All these tiny thoughts and distractions can keep you away from being productive and efficient. While if you go to work, you know you have a limited amount of time to finish your tasks and, you have to make it.

  5. Staying motivated. When you feel like you’re not productive enough, don’t see the results of your work as soon as you expected, customers complain, you have no moral support and nothing seems to go right, as it sometimes happen, you need to find motivation within, in order to keep going. You are the only one who has to boost your energy and lift your spirit to go and give it another try and make it worthy.

  6. You don’t get to go home and forget about it. You are already there and it’s much harder to disconnect.

 

For me, these are some of the things I like and dislike about working from my own place. And even if I can do it in my pajamas, getting pretty and ready for a new day is one of the things I sometimes miss.

For all of you who want a home based job, you need to take into consideration all the ups and downs it implies. Are you comfortable with being on your own or do you appreciate being part of a team? Can you stay focused and comfortable at the same time or do you need an environment which helps you stay productive and motivated? Are you a self-learner or do you learn better by communicating with others? Think well about all of these and make a wise decision based on your answers.

I have friends who believe I am lucky that I am working from home. I am. But a home based job requires you to be your own teacher, your own leader and your own motivator. For me, being home based is sometimes pleasure, sometimes pain. But that’s the way it goes with any type of job.

There are both advantages and disadvantages whether you work in an office or at home, with a team or on your own and, whichever you choose, you need to adapt and feel comfortable about it.

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