Working from home is becoming more common now that more and more jobs can be done online. But is this the right career move for you? There are a few things you should consider.
1. No Commute
For many, driving is stressful, especially when commuting to work with hundreds of other people. The cost of gas can also add up. And depending on where you live, you might end up having to commute half an hour or more both ways; that’s an extra hour or more added to your workday, without pay.
If you work at home, you don’t have to worry about the commute. Usually you can do your job no matter where you’re located. This also means that you can move without worrying about losing your job and finding a new one.
2. No Dress Code
If you wanted to, you could work in your pajamas. Unless you have a webcam since nobody is watching you. This level of freedom can be great for people who can’t stand wearing suits, khakis, or other more formal clothing. Those kinds of outfits can also be expensive, so it’s a way to save money since you don’t have to have a separate wardrobe for work.
However, just because you can work in your pajamas doesn’t mean you should. The clothes you wear really do affect how you behave. If you wear pajamas, you’re telling your brain that work is done for the day. This will make you less productive. Putting on at least a comfortable pair of jeans and a nice shirt can help you stay focused.
3. Limited Interaction With People
When you work from home, generally, you have no face to face interaction with your coworkers or supervisors aside from maybe the occasional web conference. Introverts might find this arrangement to be ideal, but extroverts could struggle with it.
Regardless of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, social connections are important. If you’re not socializing at work, you need to make more of an effort to get involved with local clubs, volunteer groups, etc. Otherwise, it’s easy to become depressed and anxious.
4. Work-life Balance
Most remote jobs don’t have a formal way of clocking in and out, and they may expect you to be available at any time. Sometimes the people you work with can forget that there is a human on the other end of the screen, or you may forget this as well.
If you work from home, you probably have a home office or at least a desk. Even with this designated workspace, it’s still your home, and the lines between work and home can easily become blurred. If you don’t have to go home at the end of the day, it’s easy to take on more work than you have time or energy for.
It’s important to set clear boundaries in any job, but especially a remote position. Set alarms for when your workday begins and ends and stick to them. Let your supervisors know when you are and are not available.
This is a hazard of any job, but it’s often overlooked in desk jobs. If your job requires a lot of typing or even clicking a mouse, you risk damaging your wrists. If you’re sitting in your chair for hours at a time, you could hurt your back and neck. Sedentary jobs also increase your risk of health problems associated with lack of exercise. Staring at a screen can strain your eyes, which usually doesn’t cause permanent damage but does make it harder to focus.
Ergonomic keyboards and mice can help prevent things like carpal tunnel syndrome. Investing in the right chair and using correct posture can limit back pain. Taking regular breaks throughout the workday to get out of your seat, move around, and look at something other than a screen can help you stay healthy and on task.
There’s no such thing as a perfect job. It’s possible to find a job you enjoy, but there will always be things that will get on your nerves. The important thing is to know what your values and goals are and make sure the job helps you achieve them, or at least puts you on the right path.