In this post-pandemic world, remote work is no longer a stopgap solution. Just based on the recent numbers and statistics worldwide, it looks like work from home, pros and cons notwithstanding, is here to stay.
The Reality of Working From Home in Numbers
- Worldwide, 16% of companies have gone fully remote. (Owl Labs)
- The total number of fully remote workers increased over 4x between 2018 to 2021. (Zippia)
- In an early 2022 survey, 60% of workers say they want to work from home most or all of the time. (Pew Research Center)
These numbers are but a confirmation of what we already know: remote work works. However, in this social media age, perhaps we’ve over-glamorized the whole setup a tiny bit. But are the pros of work from home jobs enough to outweigh its cons?
In this article, we’ll look at the reality of working from home — both the advantages and disadvantages of remote working — so you can decide if WFH is for you. We’ve even added a few tips on how to have a healthier WFH reality should you decide it’s the right setup for you.
Table of Contents
Advantages of Working from Home
Work from home, with its advantages and disadvantages, has been a true game changer, as many office- and desk-bound workers have found during the pandemic. In fact, in some countries like Germany and Portugal, labor laws are being reworked, offering remote work as a legal right — based on actual clamor from citizens, so clearly many of them benefited from the pros of work from home jobs. Here are the advantages remote workers enjoy about the setup:
1. Flexible schedule
Working from home allows for a more flexible schedule, which means you can now carve more time for family, friends, errands, and even your hobbies and passions. Generally speaking, the most vocal proponents of a WFH reality are parents keen to provide for their children while still having enough time (and energy) to spend with them.
2. Less time, energy, and expense spent on commute, less carbon footprint
Not having to deal with rush hour traffic is one of the biggest pros of work-from-home jobs. Not having to travel to work saves time, energy, and money spent on either gas money and frequent car maintenance or commuter fare. An added bonus: not commuting to and from work helps you lessen your CO2 emissions.
3. Less interruptions, more independence
If you can’t help but be distracted by office chit-chat or worse, office politics, WFH will be the ideal work setup for you. Many remote workers have also cited that bosses are much less likely to micromanage when working online.
4. Greater comfort
Working from home means you can wear whatever you want and worry less about your general appearance.
5. Better productivity
Former office-based workers who’ve gone remote attest to the fact that working from home has made them much more productive. This is probably because the reality of working from home offers less distractions compared to the office.
6. Flexible location
Now that we’re easing our way out into the post-pandemic world, we can now safely reinvent the WFH reality and work from anywhere — whether it’s a co-working space or coffee shop in your neighborhood or in another country like Australia or Japan.
Disadvantages of Working from Home
While remote work can indeed be the ideal scenario for many, some of its pros can actually be double-edged swords. Here are just some of the disadvantages of remote working.
1. Unpredictable work hours
The flexible reality of work from home jobs can be both a pro and a con. It can lead to ever-shifting work hours, which can have varying effects if not managed well. For people who need a routine to thrive, it can lead to lesser motivation, while for workaholics, it might lead to working beyond your regular 8 hours.
2. More stress solving device and internet problems on your own
The independence you enjoy from working remotely can quickly tip the work from home pros and cons scale once you have to manage device and internet problems without the convenience of in-house tech assistance.
3. Solving device and internet problems on your own
The downside of enjoying more independence at work? Having to manage your own device and internet problems without the speedy assistance of tech support.
4. Too much time spent on online meetings
Monitoring remote workers’ performances is one of the cons of working from home for most managers. That is perhaps why so much time is spent on online meetings, to help them bridge the gap that they would have no trouble navigating in the office setup.
5. Spending too much on the perfect home office setup
One of the most over-glamorized aspects of the WFH reality is the Instagram-worthy home office setup, which has peer pressured plenty of remote workers into spending more than they should on office decor and miscellaneous items.
6. Less office chit-chat = more loneliness and isolation
The ugly reality of work from home jobs is that it can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sure, the lack of obligatory water cooler chat is good for your focus and productivity, but even the biggest introverts need human interaction once in a while.
7. Better productivity can lead to overwork
Of all the work from home pros and cons, heightened productivity seems to be the hardest to navigate. If you’re not careful, your productive mode might teeter close to overworking, which can lead to burnout.
Tips for a Healthier WFH Reality
We’ve established some of the most common work from home advantages and disadvantages. Now, here are a few ways you can help handle the disadvantages of remote working so you can still enjoy some work-life balance within the setup.
The reality of work from home jobs is that there’s no clear boundary between work life and home life. So it’s up to you to create it. Unplug, set a work routine, and if you can, have a dedicated workspace. Leave it once your 8 hours are up. Same goes with your office email and group chats.
Fight isolation by making time for human interaction
One of the biggest cons of working from home, even for those who actually enjoy it, is the feeling of isolation. Don’t let this feeling turn into cabin fever. Make time for some face-to-face interaction with friends and co-workers. Even a casual monthly meet-up can make a world of difference. You can even schedule a co-working date for a change of scenery.
Make time for healthy habits
Take advantage of all the time and energy working from home has helped you save, and use them towards healthier habits. One of the worst cons of working from home is the prolonged hours we spend sitting hunched over our devices. It can’t be helped, so instead offset those hours by inserting a 30-minute cardio in your weekday routine or squeezing in some yoga stretches on your 5-minute pomodoro break.
No work setup is all sunshine and rainbows. Onsite, hybrid, or work from home come with advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, what’s important is that you’re doing a job that matters to you while ensuring your overall work-life balance.
Focus on finding a meaningful job that you will enjoy no matter what the setup, anywhere in the world. Joblu protects your well-being as a job-seeker while helping you find the right match, with global opportunities at your fingertips. Download the Joblu app today.
Frequently Asked Questions About WFH Reality
Q: Is work from home effective?
A: Work from home has advantages and disadvantages like all work setups. It can be effective for most desk-bound work. However, some people have a harder time acclimating to the level of isolation it entails.
Q: Why is work from home more productive?
A: Majority of remote workers say they are able to focus more at home compared to the office, where there tends to be a lot of distractions that are largely out of one’s control.
Q: Are employees happier working from home?
A: Based on a recent mental health survey done by Tracking Happiness, WFH employees are 20% happier than those working onsite full-time.
Q: Is work from home the future?
A: It could very well be, considering that many European countries are making remote work a legal right. It’s only a matter of time before other countries follow suit.
Q: Will work from home be permanent?
A: For 16% of companies worldwide, work from home is already a permanent reality. But big companies, especially those that have invested in massive real estate, might still push for onsite work.