When I started working remotely on my full-time job my life changed. I had worked remotely before but only on part-time jobs that I worked on at night and I actually wasn’t getting the benefits of it.
Working from home has made me happier and a lot more productive. Although, not everything is always good. Let’s review some advantages and disadvantages I have experienced myself working remotely.
No commute. I mention this one first because coming to the office was my bigger problem. I used to waste between an hour and an hour and a half to get to the office but on a bad day that could become MORE THAN TWO HOURS on a traffic jam. To be honest, I don’t really like to drive and taking this amount of traffic EVERYDAY to get to the office and the same struggle to get back home was making me sick. I always started my day with a grumpy face which doesn’t let me enjoy my day at all.
If more people start working from home, maybe those traffic jams could even disappear. We should always dream big!
Better health. Frequently, I found myself eating fast food and most of the time the reason was that I didn’t find anything else, and I say
most of the timebecause who doesn’t like fast food?
Now I cook my own meal almost every day which let me eat healthier.
Going to the gym has actually been harder since I have to get out to get there and usually get some traffic (did I already say I don’t like to drive?). Before I was subscribed to a gym which was less than 5 minutes from work and I used to go every day after work hours.
However, I still go every day to the gym and sometimes I also wake up earlier and go for a run in the neighborhood.
Improve productivity. Not being at the office reduces the possible distractions you could get from a coworker, hence I get to stay longer in the
You can work anywhere. And for this, I mean for any company and from any place in the world. My current employer is based in the US which wasn’t an option for me before. Also, I’ve done some long trips to different countries and that hasn’t stopped me to keep getting things done.
More money in the piggy bank. Since you don’t need to commute anymore you will save those expenses which usually tend to be pretty high. Also, you don’t have to spend money on office clothes, I really dislike this style.
Sick of being at home. Since I am a home person, I don’t have this problem but I know many people that could go crazy.
However, I practice some things to prevent this, like going from time to time to a cafe or a friend’s house who also works remotely.
Distractions. Even though you eliminate the office distractions, you get others which are even harder to prevent. At home, you have your family, your bed, the tv, the game console, among other things which could easily get you interrupted.
I had to tell my family that when the door of my office is closed I shouldn’t be distracted too much and they learned it very fast. I also created specific schedules to use the amenities of the house so I don’t end up investing the whole day on them.
Lack of routine. On most of the remote works, you have the flexibility to choose when to work and not necessarily have a routine.
This is fatal for me. I have to define a very specific schedule to get work done, if not I could procrastinate very easily. What works best for me is to dedicate 8 hours straight for work. Of course, if I have to go out in the middle of the day to run some errands I’ll do it and then complete my work-day after.
Work/life balance. There’s a very thin line that divides work from life and this could make you work more or work less. It could be hard to stop working since you don’t have to get your things at 5 pm to go home, or to start working since you don’t need to get prepared to go to the office.
Having a specific time to do my job (as I explained before), has helped me not cross this line. I start and finish to work every day at the same time.
As everything in life, working remotely doesn’t work for everyone. I encourage you to try it out if you haven’t so you can feel the differences by yourself and then you have the needed experience to know what is best for you.
If you want to learn more about this, I would recommend you to read this book Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson aka DHH. Please leave in the comments how working remotely has changed your life positively or negatively, I would love to read your story.