The idea of working from home is very tempting. Unfortunately, not everyone can have this option due to the characteristics of the profession. For instance, doctors, car mechanics, plumbers wouldn't be able to work from their living rooms. 

Office employees can have the privilege of working from home. To get their job done, they just need to have a laptop and internet access. It doesn't really matter whether they will work in the office or hotel room in Athens. These days, more and more companies allow staff to work remotely (e.g. Amazon, Lionbridge, Kelly Services, VIPKID, UnitedHealth Group, Hilton, Alight Solutions, Cactus Communication,etc.).

Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom has proved that allowing employees to leave their office and work elsewhere can boost their productivity. The recent study has put the dispute on remote work to rest; the Stanford research team discovered that work-from-home employees stay concentrated for a longer time and take less sick days. 

Working remotely might benefit some people. However, it is not for everyone. Just like working in the office, remote jobs have their own disadvantages. Here is what you need to know before you start working on your couch:

The benefits of working from home 

Control your own schedule

Some people are highly-productive at night, while others want to get their work done in the early morning. A lot of employers don't really take into account their employees' energy cycles, so they force everyone to come to the office at the same time. A strict work schedule isn't convenient for people with kids and pets. 

Being able to control your schedule will give the possibility to eliminate stress, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and be more productive. If you work at home, you can also find some time to take extra classes (time management, leadership, foreign language, excel courses, etc.) and grow professionally. 

Going to the office every day takes a lot of energy. After a long working day, most people just want to relax and take some time for themselves instead of learning something new.

More time for yourself

According to recent studies, the average person spends approximately 35% of life at the workplace. Office employees see their co-workers and bosses more often than they meet their friends and relatives. Also, not everyone has a friendly work environment. Conflicts among employees are real.

Working from home can give you the possibility to spend more time with your loved ones.

Avoid long commutes

Some people spend too much time commuting. 

Instead of spending their free time the way they want, employees get stuck in the traffic jams in the morning and after long working hours. This experience can be pretty stressful and tiring. Let alone, high car expenses (for instance, Americans spend around $400 per month on gas). 

The latest research has shown that employees with the longest commutes have the lowest job satisfaction. 

Ability to choose your workplace

It has been proven that changing locations can help boost productivity. This concept was explained by an American psychologist Marvin Zuckerman in 1954.

Most bosses wouldn't understand if the employee takes a laptop and goes to work in the coffee shop in the middle of the day. A lot of employers just don't realize that sitting for eight hours doesn't encourage creative thinking and productivity. 

If you work from home, you can choose your workplace on your own. It doesn't really matter whether you are working in your living room, in the coffeehouse or the office (as long as you stick to the deadlines and deliver good results). 

The disadvantages of working from home

Lack of communication

Working remotely is not for everyone. If you are a highly sociable person, it would be better for you to stay in the office. Psychologists say that chatting with co-workers helps to increase job satisfaction. Also, it's more convenient to discuss work stuff with your colleagues face to face rather than via emails. 

Lack of concentration

Some people can't concentrate when they are working at home due to distractions such as neighbour's contraction, salespeople, Jehovah's Witness, and family members who don't understand why you are not available. 

Also, it can be difficult to concentrate in case you don't have a comfortable chair, desk and other office equipment. 

The bottom line 

Working from home can benefit responsible people who can plan their days and want to be more independent. Employees working from their home office have more time for themselves and their loved ones. Before you start working remotely, take into account your personal preferences since working outside of the office is not for everyone. 

 

Published by Peter Garlow