With the World Health Organization elevating the coronavirus outbreak from an epidemic to a pandemic, millions of businesses are now forced to contend with the prospect of managing a completely remote workforce. Major companies like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google have already implemented remote work policies for many of their employees. We revisit one of our most popular work from home articles here:
Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that: working.
So, should you work from home or work from the office? It honestly comes down to what environment you’ll be most effective in, along with what industry you’re in. (And how nice your home office is.)
One person’s productivity booster can be another’s distracting disaster.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the classic benefits of telecommuting!
Top 10 Pros of Working from Home
- Flexible schedule. You can take breaks at any moment, feel no rush to hang up on your family members when they call, and eat lunch at any weird time you want.
- Custom environment. Setup your noise level just the way you want it — somewhere between insanely quiet to being at the front row of a Flosstradamus show.
- Cozy clothes. You get to wear those sweatpants from college with the letters peeling off, or the leggings your friends don’t know you own. (And hopefully never will.)
- It’s easier to make calls. You won’t have to scramble to find a conference room or deal with a particularly chatty co-worker. (Granted, kids and pets at home can make this tough for some remote employees.)
- Knock off some weekend to-do’s. That Mt. Everest laundry pile waiting for you? That thing you set a reminder to get from the store 11 weeks ago? Cross. It. Off.
- No office distractions. Avoid co-workers debating the merits of cryptocurrency, sirens wailing outside your window, the AC kicking in as you hide your icicle tears.
- Zero commuting. From bed to … bed? Hey I’m not judging, it’s nice.
- Save money. Lunch is expensive if you work in a city or downtown. In San Francisco, it’s not crazy to see a $15 sandwich or $4 coffee. At home, you can save big time by going to the store and preparing food.
- Forget crowds and traffic. No stuffing yourself into a rickety transportation tube, having people scuff your new shoes, or walking behind agonizingly slow people who apparently don’t know what a straight line is. (Am I bitter? No … not bitter … )
- More time with loved ones. Take care of a sick significant other at home, be ready for your kids earlier in the day, get some extra snuggles in with your doggo, or simply get some quiet time to yourself!
Top 10 Cons of Working from Home
- Willpower. Gotta get jamming on this new project, but Netflix just dropped season 3 of Love …
- Difficulty sticking to a routine. The order you do things at work is almost never the order you do things at home. It can be tough to mirror your schedule and processes once outside the office.
- Missing important calls or pings. Oops, my phone was on do not disturb and I missed a meeting! Or my boss slacked me and asked to prioritize something else and now it’s 4:45pm …
- Calling UberEats anyways. You thought you were saving money, didn’t you? Blam-o! $20 minimum and a $5 fee for the higher rated Thai place. Should’ve remembered to buy bread …
- Power naps. This could arguably could be in advantages … unless it accidentally lasts 45 minutes after your delivered double entree Thai lunch.
- Boredom. Those office convos? Kinda missing Susan’s cat stories, eh? How long can you go without seeing another living human being?
- Working slowly. Sometimes the office has an energy. Sometimes your home does not.
- No second monitor. How did I ever work without two giant screens looming above me??? All 74 of my tabs are essential!
- Iffy WiFi. At home or in a cafe, when the wifi start to spaz and you switch locations a couple of times but honestly spend more time parking and ordering a 6-shot mint mojito coffee with coconut milk and 16 grains of sugar than doing work.
- Waiting for an answer. You need to ask a super quick question, but it’ll impact how you do something for the next hour or even the rest of the day. And there’s no response. (Cue “The Waiting.”)
FOMO at Home: FOMO at Work.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
When you’re at work, nothing sounds more amazing than a toasty day indoors with your favorite blanket. When you’re at home, you reminisce about making jokes with your co-workers and wonder if the coffee machine made good coffee that day.
Either way, it’s important to choose the environment you’ll be most successful in. As you begin to work longer and build more experience, learning to focus in any surrounding is a valuable life skill, and will only help your professional career in the long run — especially as remote-first companies are gaining traction. If you’re still newer to the workforce, start by simply finding out where you do your best work and why.
To Thine Own Self Be True
Some important things to consider are what environment you stay focused in the longest, how long it takes you to get back on track, and how you best communicate. If you’re self-motivated, adhere to a routine well, and enjoy minimal distractions, then working from home is the right choice for you.
If you thrive on social interactions, feel inspired by seeing others working, and stay on track best if others see you, then working from the office is the way to go.
Occasionally there are projects that require more quiet time or more collaboration and resource planning. It’s important to be able to mix it up, depending on where you think you’ll be most productive!