Just this month, President Duterte has officially signed the Telecommuting Act into law, which ensures that those working from home or remotely will get the same benefits as those working from the office. If you’re looking forward to this kind of arrangement and if your company is offering it, then good for you. But consider its pros and cons which we will discuss below.
1) No traffic
Probably one of the most significant benefits of working from home is that you can skip all the traffic. There’s no need to immerse yourself in pollution or battle it out with other commuters to get a ride. For car owners, you also, in a way, contribute to improving traffic conditions since your car is staying at home.
2) More time for yourself or family
Since you don’t have to spend time commuting, you have more time for yourself or your family. You can now allocate the extra time to exercise, cook, enjoy your meal, and prepare yourself for the day ahead. If you’re a parent, you now have more time to take care and watch over your kids.
3) You’re less stressed
Working from can make things less stressful as you don’t have to worry about commuting or getting late. And although stress will always be present at work, it could be easily managed at home. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or tired, you can lie down and relax for a few minutes, play with your pet, or do yoga or whatever exercise you have in mind or play music — things that you cannot always do in the office.
4) No office distractions
The office, even though designed for productivity, it will always have distractions like your office mates or other social events. Working from home eliminates those kinds of distractions so you can focus on your work and be more productive.
5) You save money
You save a lot of money working from home as you don’t have to spend on public transportation, gas, and parking fees. If you already have food prepared at home, you don’t have to eat out. That should add a big chunk to your monthly savings.
6) You can work anywhere
Telecommuting doesn’t always mean you have to work at home. As long as you have a laptop and a good internet connection, you can be productive. So it can be a coffee shop or a friends house, the location doesn’t matter as long as you can finish the job.
1) You’re more prone to distractions
Although you have eliminated office distractions, you’re still exposing yourself to other distractions. Based on my experience (more than six years of telecommuting), your home is more distracting because you have the TV, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, your smartphone, noisy neighbors, the heat if you don’t have air-conditioning, games, and your bed. If you don’t have the discipline, these things can easily take you away from productivity.
2) Internet problems and power outages
The stress taken out by working from home can easily return ten folds if you’re experiencing internet connection problems or power outages because you need those to do your job remotely. When that happens, you will need to quickly find an internet cafe or anywhere with a good internet connection. Imagine that happening during the rainy season. So yeah, there’s a reason why companies spend a lot on high-speed and stable internet and why offices have emergency power generators.
3) Limited interaction with office mates
You might say that you’re not fond of your office mates anyway and prefer working alone, but as a human being, you’ll still need some social interaction especially with those from the office. It is imperative if you work in teams. Skype calls or video conferences can also do the job, but from my experience, nothing can replace the effectiveness of face-to-face collaboration.
4) No access to office equipment
The office is for productivity, so it usually has things like ergonomic chairs, capable PCs, printers, copiers, scanners, air-conditioning, fast internet, power backups, and other equipment that you probably don’t have at home. So if you’re telecommuting, some of those things might be out of reach.
5) Negative perception
You know what they say, out of sight, out of mind. If you’re mostly not in the office, you will risk being alienated by your office mates and think that you do not belong. There’s also a chance that you will miss out on a promotion because you’re not always visible in the office. To prevent these things from happening, make sure to maintain communication with your superiors and teammates, and continue to make regular visits to the office.
And there you have it. The point of listing these pros and cons is to help you decide if working from home will work for you and to find that right work-life balance that everyone wants to have.