The 21st century has helped create a plethora of new jobs in the workforce, as more and more positions continue moving to the digital realm.
From mobile offices to bringing your own laptop to work, the innovation and creativity in which today's employee accomplishes their work is seemingly endless.
One of the biggest advantages the advancement of technology has brought to the workforce is the added ability to work from home. This allows businesses to save money on office space, and has shown to increase productivity and overall happiness in employees. If you are considering allowing your employees to work from home, or if your boss is giving you the option to do so, here are a few pros and cons to be aware of.
Pro: Eliminate Your Commute
Whether you work the traditional 9-5 shift or vary it by going in at 7 a.m. or working late, it can be difficult to wake up each morning and make your commute to work.
With the ability to work from home, you don't have to take your car, bike, or form of public transportation to the office each morning. This can be an excellent perk as it will save you money on gas and even things like purchasing lunch on you break. It can also help reduce stress as you don't have to sit in the dreaded 5 o'clock rush hour traffic at the end of your day.
Con: Added Distractions
While you may be out of the office and away from your traditional coworkers who can distract you with noise and small talk, the distractions from working from home can outweigh those at the office if you are not careful.
As hard as you may try, it can be very easy to become distracted with things you need to take care of when you are home. From paying bills, cleaning the kitchen, doing some extra laundry, and more, the distractions can quickly pile up and take away from the amount of work you get accomplished during the day.
Ask anyone who works from home on a regular basis and they will likely tell you one of the biggest positives to working from home is the flexibility it gives them with their schedule. By not having to go into the office, you are free from a set, 8-10 consecutive hours during the day to accomplish your work in.
Perhaps you want to sleep in a little later before taking on the day. Or maybe you want to break your workload into multiple sections with lunch breaks and other times you can take care of personal tasks. By working from home, you have the flexibility to take care of your work on your own time throughout the day.
Con: Sitting Disease
Many modern offices today provide workers with desk options for their workspace in the form of sitting or standing desk choices. Studies have shown the standing desk option can drastically increase overall health in both the short term and the long run.
By sitting for more than just a couple hours a day at your home office, your risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases or cancer can raise significantly. Thankfully, this Sitting Disease prevention guide outlines numerous opportunities to combat this issue - suggesting utilizing standing desks and focusing on being more active throughout the workday.
Let's face it, sometimes we wish we could just wake up and stay in our sweats and pajamas like we did going to morning class back in college. Your place of employment likely has a more strict dress code, forcing you to get ready and look presentable each morning before heading off to work.
With the flexibility of working from home, however, you are able to wear your pajamas or whatever you find to be the most comfortable option and not worry about your boss calling you on it. Just be sure you don't have a video conference scheduled the day you don't worry about your hair.
Con: Less Collaboration
One of the biggest downsides to working in your isolated home office is not having the ability to bounce ideas off of coworkers and superiors. By working with those around you, getting out of slumps or thinking of new ways to solve problems is much easier than if you are alone at home. While you may like the overall isolation at times, it can be a negative when you come up against a bigger problem.
In the end, the decision to work from home should come from a careful balance of the benefits you can receive from it. Be sure to weigh your options carefully and find out what scenario will work best for your schedule and productivity level.