Whenever I tell my friends my kind of work nowadays, the most common reaction I would get is envy. When I say I work from home, they would immediately think how flexible my hours are and how much time I’m saving from not having to commute daily.
While those are true, working from home still has its disadvantages. It’s not a “the grass is greener on the other side” kind of thing because believe it or not, there’s still a trade-off.
Please note that I am writing this from an introvert’s perspective and you will understand why at the end of this post.
- While people spend 2-3 hours a day in traffic, I spend 0 hours. So that gives me 780 hours (32 days) in a year to spend in whichever way I want to. Also, since I don’t get tired from commuting, it gives me the luxury to do more things — things that I love to do, things that could earn me extra income.
- Since I don’t need to spend time in traffic, I get to have more sleep hours. And that is something I would willingly bargain for.
- No office politics and drama. This is something I cannot stand when I was still in the corporate world. There’s so much ass kissing and drama that can bring your energy down. When you work from home, even if you work with a team, there’s much less drama involved.
- I get to save money that I would normally spend on clothes and transportation. When you’re in the corporate world, you always have to dress to impress, hence, the need to go shopping on a regular basis. But when you’re working from home, no one would know if you’re still in your pajamas.
- Home could also mean anywhere in the world as long as you have a decent internet connection. That being said, I can go on vacations and bring my work with me. Plus, I don’t have to worry about finishing my paid leave credits because I am working while traveling. This, I believe, is the best part of working from home.
- Working from home pays me an hourly rate. So if I need to work long hours, then my total monthly pay automatically increases. A much better deal than having a fixed rate.
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- Lack of human interaction. Because you work from home, you’d be in front of the laptop most of the time. You will have no colleague beside you to chit chat or have lunch with. When working from home, you are pretty much on your own. It can get lonely especially if you are an extrovert or someone who likes to be surrounded by people all the time.
- Lack of mentors to inspire and guide you. Being mentored is one of those things that I appreciate when I was in the corporate world. These mentors willingly share their knowledge and wisdom and you can really learn a lot from them. When you work from home, you rarely have that and your best bet is to be self-taught. So you have to keep yourself motivated to continuously learn about new things and trends. You alone are responsible for your own growth.
- Pay could be much lower and benefits offered could be minimal compared to what you would normally get in a corporate setting.
- You need to take care on your own acquiring health insurance and filing for your income tax and other government fees. Online job employers rarely offer these kinds of service to their employees. It’s not much of a big deal but it could cost more to pay for an individual’s health insurance than for a corporate account.
- Online jobs are notorious for being unstable. Most of the time, there are no contracts involve so when employers decide to let you go, you can’t do anything about it. But it goes both ways because of thousands of online jobs available, employees can easily find a replacement and quit their jobs without even giving a week’s notice.
I have been working from home and remotely for 2 years now and the good and the bad that I presented are based on my experience. As mentioned earlier, this is written from an introvert’s perspective so the lack of human interaction and mentors are something I can easily live with. The ‘lack of’ can be compensated with my passion for continuous learning. I constantly educate myself on current events, with everything happening in the world, with new trends, etc.
On the other side, the pay I am getting now is much lower but because I don’t spend on transportation and clothes, I don’t just get to save money but also time so that’s a good enough trade-off for me.
The verdict? I see working from home as a lot more beneficial than working in an office.
Frankly speaking, nothing can make me go back to the corporate world again. Not even if I am offered double or triple of what I am earning now. Corporate setting is such a high stress environment, which is why at any given day, I would choose my peace of mind over monetary gains.
Don’t get me wrong, money is money and it still makes the world go round. But at one point in our lives, we will realize that there’s so much more valuable in life than money.
When a choice is presented, no matter what you choose, there will always be a trade-off. So ask yourself this – is climbing that corporate ladder and earning a lot of money my long-term goal? Or living a stress-free life more important?