It comes as no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed our way of life. In an instant, the way that we had done things seemingly forever were altered forever. This includes the way we work.
In fact, once the pandemic took foot, I never again returned to an office environment to work. And I'm more than okay with that.
In fact, here are 8 reasons why I'll work from home for the rest of my career.
Reasons to work from home
I work from home, and I am never returning to an office. Here’s why.
1. My mental health is better
Corporate America is a necessity for me and for millions of Americans. But let’s be honest. The environment can be toxic. Everybody knows the extent to which politics plays a role in corporate decision making every day. And while I work at home, I still know that this is the case, but I don’t have to be immersed in it all day long.
I’m not ignorant to the fact that my colleagues and my superiors probably talk about me, but there is something about not being physically in the location where that happens that is refreshing.
To me, it’s no different than the relief of ending a tough day and walking downstairs to my living room instead of driving home.
2. I save money
That you can save money by working at home is not a novel idea. But the savings are more pronounced than you might think. Not only do I not have to pay for gas for my vehicle, at least to commute, I also don’t have to pay to park, buy/prep lunch, and go to awkward happy hours with colleagues.
Others may also be able to save money on childcare expenses and their wardrobes as well!
Sure, the counter argument is that my electric costs at home are higher, but I do my best to keep my heat and air conditioning at the same level stay were at had no one been home.
Plus, my employer pays for my Internet. Another win!
3. I waste less time
Some Americans use working from home as an opportunity to sleep in on work days, and for some people, this is an awesome perk. I actually still wake up nice and early. Without wasted time in my day getting ready for work and commuting, I find myself with a couple of extra hours in my day.
I use this time wisely, and I oftentimes use it to help write for my blog and grow my business. Someday, my business will be ready for me to work full-time, and it will be largely because of those couple extra hours I've found each day.
I also waste less time while I'm working. There are no distractions, office chit-chat, or constant interruptions.
4. I spend more time with my wife
Instead of succumbing to annoying office distractions, I repurpose this time to help me get a couple of things done during the day. I'm oftentimes able to do the dishes, put a load of laundry on, or prep dinner while my wife is at the office, which saves her time when she gets home and allows us to both spend more time together at night.
Getting to enjoy stress-free dinners at night at the end of the day is probably my favorite reasons to work from home.
5. Meetings are minimized
I'm a big believer that many meetings could have been handled by just sending out an email, instead of wasting time in peoples' days. And when I began to work remotely, I noticed that this became more of the norm.
The result? I was able to get more work done each day and meet my deadlines and deliverables earlier than usual.
Plus, even when I do have meetings that I need to attend, it is easier to multitask and answer emails if I don't need to be an active participant.
6. I feel trusted
I don't take that I can work from home for granted. I do, however, feel trusted by my employer, which is a good thing. I have the freedom to structure my day as I see fit without being supervised in person.
Sure, I'm still held responsible to meet deadlines and produce my deliverables on time, but I also have the autonomy take ownership of my own work and control many aspects of my career in ways that I did not get to previously.
It has led me to find more satisfaction at work.
7. I feel more satisfaction in my work
One of the top reasons to work from home is the satisfaction I find in my work. There is just something refreshing about getting paid to be in your pajamas that just doesn't wear off, no matter how long you do it for.
And this feeling carries over to my work. I find myself wanting to go above and beyond more often as some sort of thank you to my employer for allowing me to do all of this from home.
Cons to working from home
Like I've made clear, I love working from home. In fact, to this point, I’ve painted a rosy picture about the remote work life. But is it right for everyone?
Well, not everyone will like working from home. But others, like me, love it! I am strongly introverted, hate small talk, don’t enjoy being in groups of people, and don’t like commuting.
But a couple potential cons for others include:
Trouble staying focused
Trouble finding a good work/life balance
Lack of networking opportunities
I'll visit these in more detail.
1. Loneliness and isolation
I can see how extroverts, like my wife, need and thrive off of social interaction each day. When working in an office, you have that opportunity, even when you’re not sitting in meetings. But when you work from home, these options are fewer and further between.
Sure, I always talk about how nice it would be to call a colleague rather than sending an IM or an email, but I rarely ever do. All this said, if you need your day to be filled with social interaction, the remote work life may not be for you.
2. Trouble staying focused
While I feel like I do a good job overall making sure that all of my work gets done, I can see how others may have trouble, particularly if they have children at home during the day.
The allures of getting all of your house chores done during the day may prove to be too large a temptation for some contemplating the remote work life in 2023.
3. Trouble finding work/life balance
When I first started working at home, I was still living in a 750 square foot apartment. My desk was set up in the same living room where I would watch television, spend time with my wife, and play video games in. And while I still worked an eight-hour workday, I still felt that the lines between my work and my personal life were blurred somewhat.
If you don't have the room for a dedicated office space in your home, I highly recommend you keep this in mind. Since then, I've moved into a house where I have a dedicated office with a door that shuts. I do my best to only spend time in this room while I am working to set boundaries the best that I can.
4. Lack of networking opportunities
If I was not as focused as I am on growing my own business, I'd be more focused on the lack of networking opportunities you have when you work remotely. But it's true.
If you're at home and others are in the office, you will miss out on some level of facetime with your boss, as well as building connections with others over coffee or a quick lunch in the cafeteria.
However, if the rest of your organization works remotely from all across the country, like mine does, this con and risk can be almost completely mitigated.
Is working remotely for you?
At some point, you'll need to balance the pros and cons of remote work to decide if it is for you. To help you make this decision, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you have interest?
How would your life change?
Can you handle the distractions?
1. Why do you want to work remotely?
Really ask yourself what it is about remote work that appeals to you. I recommend that you make a list here to help you. For example, I want to work remotely because:
It puts time back in my day.
I can spend this time growing my business.
It allows me to put a quick load of laundry on or empty the dishwasher during the day.
It helps my mental health.
As you do this, though, it is wise to consider those elements about the remote work experience that you may perceive as negatives. Reference the cons I mentioned above to help you get started.
2. How would your life change?
Next, ask yourself how your life would change in the event that you find yourself working from home on either a full-time or a hybrid schedule. Once again, think through the positives and negatives here.
Can you save money? On the flipside, will being confined to your home all day drive you crazy? Only you know the answers to these questions.
3. Can you handle the distractions?
I'll be the first to admit it. Sometimes, working remotely can be hard because of the potential for numerous distractions. And for whatever reason, they always seem to surface when I'm at my busiest!
Just make sure that you're able to resist the temptation to pass that lawnmower, clean the pool, or clean the kitchen when you have lots of work to do.
There are so many great reasons why I think workers should really consider working from home on a daily basis. But it does not come without its potential drawbacks. Still, for me, it is still a far preferable way for me to work Monday through Friday.
Now, I want to hear from you.
Do you have any other reasons why you'd like to work from home? Have you ever worked remotely full-time before? Tell me below!
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