Working-from-home seems a promising career. You only need a laptop and reliable internet connection, and you can have a thriving career in the comforts of your home. But is it all rainbows and butterflies from here on? Not exactly.
Here are 8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working-from-home
Advantages of Working-from-home
Let’s start with the positives. There are sure signs that remote working might be for you. Here are some advantages of working-from-home.
Safer from the Virus
COVID changed the landscape of how the world works. It’s an invisible but real threat for everyone. That’s why physical businesses are closing down. And operations are brought remotely.
If you don’t want to risk getting infected, especially with the surge of cases in the Philippines, it’s safer to work-from-home. You don’t need to shake hands or mingle with anyone. And the only way you can contract the virus is through online shopping packages coming in or some visitors.
And these are quickly dealt with compared to thousands of possible infectants outside.
Do you want to eat out during lunchtime? How about that after-work bonding with your officemates? Maybe, a little chat in Starbucks during break time? Well, it’s not wrong to do all these things. But what if you’re just pressured to socialize?
How much can you save if you don’t have these extra expenses? And even if you say no to all of these, you still need to spend on food, business clothes, and transportation.
Remote working is the best excuse to save up money! You are more inclined to keep that dough when you’re at home.
Let’s face it. The commute in the Philippines is horrible. Imagine a daily commute of 1 hour 30 min to 2 hours one way on a normal day. And don’t even get me started when events happen in the area. 4 hours might not be enough. Again, one way.
What can you do with all that wasted time? Leave the fast (or very slow) road and work-from-home. With a whopping 3-minute (or even less) commute from your bed to your home office, you can save so much time for the things that matter the most.
Aside from the traffic problem (which again is terrible in the Philippines), how convenient is it to start your day without too much preparation? I mean, yes, you can take a shower before work. But you don’t need to look prim and proper (except during video meetings) when you log in.
Your food can be prepared beforehand. Or maybe you have a family member with you who can cook and eat with you. Remote working can give you the convenience to do all of that without repercussions.
With remote work, you can gain time flexibility in your schedule. Some online work allows you to be output-based so that you can schedule your tasks effectively.
But for some, you might still be required to report on a specific time period. With the saved time from traffic and preparation time, you will have more leeway to do the things that are more important.
You can learn more skills. You can spend more time with your family or even start a new hobby or business! We only have 24 hours a day, and with remote work, you can maximize your time to your advantage.
There are multiple studies that can prove that remote working can lead to more productivity. According to this study from Harvard, knowledge-based workers are more productive working-from-home. It helps the employees focus on the things that are urgent.
And with the remote set up, most companies have lesser meetings that can eat up significant time. Cheers to productivity!
In the office and at home, you will surely have distractions along the way. But if your officemate is your distraction or tons of meetings, can you really control them to stop bothering you?
When you work-from-home, you can control most distractions to stop you from being productive. If your distraction is social media, turn off your phone or do the Pomodoro technique. If it’s your kids, you can hire a nanny and work in a separate room.
There are a lot of creative ways to stop the distractions at home. I’m not sure if it’s the same in your office.
On top of all of these, you can create a career with a better work-life balance. You have the choice to do other things because of the freed uptime. You can excel in your work because you are instinctively trained to be proactive and more productive.
With this, there is certainly growth in both aspects of your life.
Disadvantages of Remote Working
But then again, it’s not all advantages for remote working. There are drawbacks to this setup. Here are some disadvantages of remote working.
Faulty Internet Connection
Do you know how fast your internet should be in the Philippines? There are varying answers. But one thing is for sure. If you live in the Philippines, a faulty internet connection will ruin your remote working experience. And it’s pretty common for all Internet service providers.
It’s a disadvantage. But if you want to make it work, you better have at least a backup internet source.
Initial Cost to Set Up
Some starting remote workers might not have the budget to set up a remote working station. After all, an ideal workspace can inspire you to give it your all. You need a laptop, a dedicated workspace, and more. Where can you get the money for all of these?
Well, starting doesn’t mean you should have all the equipment you need. Just have the essentials like a decent laptop and internet connection. And when you earn enough money, you can invest in additional equipment thereafter.
Isolation from Peers
For most Remote workers abroad, the biggest disadvantage is isolation from peers. It can take its toll on even the most seasoned remote workers. The loneliness and burnout can creep in.
But in the Philippines, it can be mitigated. We are usually with our family in our homes. It’s seldom that a person is just alone in a household. There are your relatives and even extended ones.
But in the case that you’re alone, you can always find a way to connect online through video calls. And some companies even go out of their way to have video call bondings with the team.
It’s surely a problem. But it’s not without a solution.
Working-from-home is a blessing for introverts who don’t want human interaction. Right now, you can earn a living without actually talking to anyone. But sometimes, you need to do video calls and meetings to properly collaborate.
It might be a disadvantage to some because they are shy. And even non-introverts can fall into this category. But it’s quite a temporary disadvantage, and you can get used to video calls in the long run.
It’s Not for Everyone
Yes, as good as it may seem, remote working is not for everyone. There are specific personality types that don’t meet the qualifications.
For example, if you need to be micromanaged, you won’t thrive in remote working. You don’t have a supervisor at the back who can police you. So if you don’t have the discipline, it’s not for you.
And some people just prefer the office life. So if that’s you, you would hate remote working.
Discipline to Follow a Routine Schedule
An office setup creates a structure that people can easily work in. There’s a supervisor that tells you what to do and who can see if you’re doing it.
For remote work, you don’t really have anyone with you. How can you stay productive then? Well, it’s a question of discipline. Are you disciplined to follow a routine schedule?
Sometimes, too much freedom can make us unproductive. That’s why you should schedule your day properly with time blocks. For example, you will work from 8-5 PM. You can’t do any household chores during that time.
If you can manage your time well, you will prosper in this career.
Communication & Collaboration
Communication is key when working remotely. You don’t get any voice intonations and non-verbal cues; how will you know if you’re on good terms with your colleagues? How will you know if you’re all on the same page with your brainstorming?
Collaboration efforts plus communication is a disadvantage, especially for newer companies that adapt a work-from-home setup. But when you practice good communication, it can work well even if you’re not in the same time zone.
Clear Separation of Work and Personal Life
Working-from-home can lead to a great work-life balance. But then, it can also bring burnout due to overworking. After all, you’re working in the same place. How can you separate your work and your personal life?
With this, you have to be clear with your boundaries. For example, when you are working with a client, be clear that you have working hours. Working-from-home doesn’t mean you are on call.
And that goes with your discipline as well. Yes, you can have multiple clients at once. But make sure to have time for yourself and for the things that matter the most.
Do the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages? Only you can decide. If you’re looking for work-from-home opportunities, check out this link for more information. Cheers!