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What are the pros and cons of working at home?

Remote work has become common among the former office workers, so what has your experience been like?

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Dana’s Answer

Hi there! I have been working at home in the past 2 years. Here are some pros and cons for me:

Pros
- flexbility of schedule - this really depends on your job, but for me, it was okay to wake up anytime until 10AM in order to start the work day. I could also work in the evening if I had something to do during day time.
- I had time to cook for myself or do other chores that otherwise I had to do in the morning/evening when I'm usually in a hurry or I can be tired.
- 15 min nap break has never been easier.
- No more commute - this helps immensely depending on the distance, and on winter days or rainy days
- depending on the job, you can choose to work from different locations, and it can be amazing to travel and work from anywhere :)

Cons
- you need discipline, so that you do not postpone work too much
- talking face to face is so much better than video-calls, especially during meetings when we need to take decisions
- if you get lazy at the office, you can do some things as a break and then go back to work, but if you get lazy at home, there are so many possibilities... so, again, discipline matters a lot :)
- depending on how many people live with you, it can be hard to find a quiet space/to create a workspace

Concluding, I would choose remote work over office-work, but I would sometimes go to the office in order to meet up with the team face to face.
Hope this helps :)
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Ashley’s Answer

I've worked from home for the past 15 years. I will drive in to the office for meetings, training, Exec presentations, and other moments where it matters to make a connection, but mostly I've been at home!

Pros
- You are less likely to quit. Having autonomy over your schedule is a key factor in job satisfaction.
- You are less likely to take off personal time because often you can just shift around your schedule to go to an appointment or pick up a kid, etc.
- You can create blocks of time for concentration and REALLY not have distractions. This lack of context switching will make you more productive.
- No commute means that you are truly "off" when you get off. You can set up limits on devices to restrict the temptation to work all the time and truly enjoy your down time with your family and community.
- Much of what many office workers do every day can be accomplished with emails, chat apps, and video conferencing.
- Home is QUIET and great for introverts who are drained by too many people.

Cons
- Your workplace must support you with tools to collaborate. Communication and collaboration tools must be used by remote folks AND folks in the office so that no one is left out. If the workplace is not set up to collaborate, you won't be reachable by your colleagues. In most cases, the pandemic solved this problem for you.
- There are some meetings that must be done in a room without the distractions of email, chat, and competing projects that sometimes occurs when all the participants are remote.
- There are some people that can accelerate your career if they know you and can put a face to your name.
- Social events with your colleagues creates more engagement with them - so that must be created intentionally. [During pandemic, we had virtual happy hours and played Kahoot games.]
- You can overhear information about new strategies, projects, opportunities in an office setting.
- You need to set up space in your home that is conducive to good work. I ended up moving houses so that I could have my own office. This can take time and resources to accomplish.
- If you are an extrovert, it can get lonely. Find work friends who will text you and make sure you leave your house to get energized at some point during the day.

Working partially from home and partially from the office is what I'd recommend. See below study from Stanford.
https://stanford.io/3je2FVS
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Karen A.’s Answer

With the pandemic the past two years, my entire team was almost 100% remote. While I did not miss the daily commute, I did miss being around people. Working at home, I was able to concentrate and get through my required tasks quickly and efficiently. As of April 4, our group at work is back in the office two days a week. While it is taking a little while to adjust to the new routine, it is nice to see and interact with everybody again, especially while retaining the ability to still work remotely three days a week. If you are considering a 100% remote position, I would suggest asking about whether there is an office or set days when you can go in to interact with your peers. Good luck!
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Kelly’s Answer

Hi Kelvin,

I agree with the answers previously provided. I've been remote for about 11 years and before that worked in an office environment. I love the flexibility that working remotely provides; however, the biggest challenge for me has been lack of face-to-face opportunities with peers and leadership. There is an advantage to networking, hallway conversations and team-building events like luncheons that you don't have in a remote setting. That was the biggest adjustment for me. I had to be more intentional about creating opportunities to engage with team members and leaders to maintain visibility with them. I joined some employee resource groups at work such as Women in Action, participate in team fitness challenges and make sure to join any virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, etc to stay connected.

Hope that helps.

Wishing you the best!
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Luis’s Answer

Well it depends on your home life..

If your home life is hectic, this will spill over into your work life because you'll be accessible which will cause you to stop your work activity and take care home activities..

If you can separate yourself from home responsibilities while at work then all the mentioned pro's of working from home will apply.

If you are a very social person that feeds off others then working from home might give you an isolationist feeling that will make you feel left out of the normal office environment.

I would suggest trying working with others first to develop good team work skills before locking yourself up living and working 24 hours out of one place.
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Jen’s Answer

Working from Home Pros and Cons
Pros:
No Commute! This is one of my favorite pros because I despised rush hour traffic.
Flexibility - You can shower and log on with your hair soaking wet. You can heat up any leftovers you want without worrying how the office will smell. You have the ability to let your dogs outside and back in.
Being in the comfort of your own home: I feel much more relaxed working from home than I would in an office setting.

Cons:
Self Discipline: This is a very important skill that needs to be utilized or you could become victim to procrastination, distractions, and lack of efficiency. Many times if an Employer is offering remote positions, they have very in-depth processes for keeping track of your production and involvement. Keep this in mind as you should be completing the same (if not more) quality work from home that you would completing in office.
Exercise: You need to make it a habit of getting exercise, whether you are going outside and taking a walk on your lunch break, using a desk bike/elliptical, or just going up and down the stairs. You no longer walk to/from your car, up and down any stairs to the office, etc. so you need to make sure you are still getting fresh air and the daily exercise needed.
Training: Training can be tough when it is being provided virtually. Especially if you are brand new to the career field, and have little knowledge of what the job entails.
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Jolene’s Answer

Hello Kelvin!

So here are the pros:
- Flexibility. When you're at home, it takes so much less time to get ready for the day. No worrying about being late, or making sure your dress code is up to par
- comfort. It's much more comfortable to be in your own space
- commute. There isn't one! Unless you count walking to an office space or to get coffee.
- quietness. Unless you possibly have animals or another person in your space, this is the quietest you will get.
- music! You can play your own music if you want to. Music typically causes higher productivity

And the cons:
- Your concentration can be difficult. Keeping yourself focused when you're at home is hard, because of all the things you may think about other than your work
- procrastination is higher. Being alone when you're at home means there's no one to be there to motivate you to do your work... other than yourself
- isolation. It gets boring and lonely! Being around people, for me, keeps me more upbeat. But sitting alone at my computer can be a lonely time.

Honestly, it's up to you how you want to work. If you're more introverted, working from home will be great! If you're in poor health, or you have health risks, this is the safest option right now. But if you work best in a high, fast-paced, and bustling environment, working from home isn't going to give you that.

Jolene recommends the following next steps:

Figure out how you work best
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Helen’s Answer

Pros:
- Saving time and money by not commuting.
- You own your environment; you can create a space that helps you be your most productive/creative/efficient self.

Cons:
- You lose a bit of the comradery and connection with the people you work with. It will never be the same as sitting next to the same people for 8 hours a day.
- You own your environment; you have to be discipline in creating that space that helps you be your most productive.
- Sometimes the perception from people that don't work from home is that because you're home all day you have unlimited free time to do everything else; you don't, you're still working a full day!
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Madi’s Answer

Hi Kelvin,

I currently work from home and I've noticed there are both pros and cons. Pros include: no commute time, flexibility of your schedule, being able to wear comfortable clothes, being able to handle personal items like laundry during your lunch break, more time with family, etc. Cons include: feeling disconnected from your team, lack of natural social interactions (like saying hi to someone in the hallway vs. crafting out an email to say hello to them), meeting people randomly, watching how others work, etc. Personally, I like working from home and going into the office to connect with my co-workers every once in a while. It's like having the best of both worlds.
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M’s Answer

Hi Kelvin! This is a great question. Remote work definitely has its pros which include things like flexibility and saving time by not having to commute. Cons to working from home are that you may feel like your home space has now become your workspace, meaning you might catch yourself working longer hours, or the opposite slacking off but catching yourself working odd hours to catch up. Additionally, depending on your work space you may feel a disconnect to your team.
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Racheal’s Answer

Hi Kelvin,
This is such a great question and discussion given how much society has changed and impacted us.
The following pros and cons stand out for me, as I am a licensed marriage and family therapist that does EAP counseling:
Pros:
- No driving to and from work. I live in South Florida, and traffic is the worst in city limits and I-95.
- I save money on gas and car repairs because I do not have to drive
- I have all the equipment I need at home to do my work
- I lead with an introvert personality; so it works well to not have to be around many people throughout the day
- I am at home, and do not have to leave my house to go get food, I cook well and I can just use my own kitchen and not have to share or worry about "who touched my food."
- I just love being able to relax in my home and do work; I feel less stressed
Cons:
- Nothing I can think of

I have been working from home since 2018. I did not plan to do it at that time, however, I am a follower of Christ and I do believe that I was turned away from jobs 3 months after I had my daughter, so that my plan could start sooner than later. It has been a blessing for my family.
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Jaya kishan’s Answer

Pro: Remote workers feel less stressed and more focused.
Pro: No daily commute.
Pro: Remote workers have flexibility in their schedules.
Pro: People who work from home have a better work-life balance.

Con: Working from home can be lonely.
Con: Communication and collaboration can be a challenge.
Con: It's challenging to build a remote company culture.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. It is really subject to the nature of the work whether there is pros and cons.
Perhaps I can share what I have observed :
Pros:
1. More flexible to arrange your own time especially you have a family
2. Safe the travel time
Cons:
1. Less collaboration with you colleagues and client
2. Challenges in case physical documents would be involved
Also, working from home, you have to be self discipline. It may have other things (e.g. noisy, kids, etc.) to distract your attention.
Hope this give you some insights on how work from home works!
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