Is Working from Home for You?

November 28, 2018

Working from home is both a great opportunity and a challenge. When you work from home, you no longer need to travel into the office each day and so can save a lot of time.  However, you may need to adapt the way you work.

If you are working in an office today and are wondering what it would be like to work from home, you will need to consider both the benefits and the drawbacks.

Benefits of working from home

Work from any location

When you choose a remote job, you can work from any “office”. One day you can work from a coffee shop, the next day you can visit your mom in another town and work from there, and another day you could even be abroad.

Working in the online marketing and IT, you no longer need to look for a job in a specific city or your hometown.

Today, you could even live in a little shack on a mountain, or in a house in a national park, and still do your job.

After all, working in the IT area requires only:

  • A reliable laptop
  • High-speed internet
  • Dedication and passion to complete the job well

In fact, you can work remotely from anywhere in the world.

Saving commuting time and cost

Obviously, the greatest and most obvious advantage of working from home is that you get back all that time you wasted traveling to and from work. A study from Dalia shows the longest and shortest commutes by country with the longest commute in Israel at 1 hour and 37 minutes. Staying at home or setting up an office near your home also saves on travel costs.According to the BBC travel costs in London are the most expensive in the world with  average cost per month of travelling within Central London is £135 ($174 USD).

Working without any distractions of the office environment

When you work from home, you have complete control over the noise around you. Do you need silence to focus on your work? No more noisy gossipers around you.  Do you like listening to music? There’s no need to ask anyone for permission -so you can play heavy metal to your heart’s content.

Enjoying healthy home meals

When you work in an office, it’s always a rush getting ready in the mornings. You barely have time to make that same bland sandwich for lunch. Working from home means you have time to cook whatever you want every day. If you love experimenting with new recipes, you now have time do it. And you can eat it wherever you like. All you need is an internet connection.

You can also save money by eating at home instead of buying your lunch every day.

Being always at your favorite desk and with the equipment of your choice

Say goodbye to assigned desks and chairs far away from any window with natural light. When you work from home, you decide where you want to be and what you use to get your work done. Even if you travel a lot and work from a coffee shop, you decide where you sit and which shop you work in.

Spending less on clothes

I know that, for some, buying fewer clothes might go under “drawbacks.” Nevertheless, the dress code is a lot more casual when you work remotely. And the prep time for getting out of the house shrinks to zero.

You can read more about the benefits of working from home from this survey by Forbes.

Working from home—challenges

At this point, you might be fantasizing about living on a remote island, eating coconuts, surfing and working as the wave cycles permit. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the case.

Do you have what it takes to work from home?

Challenge #1—Discipline and efficiency

When you work  from home, you need to know how to manage household distractions. For example, for those you live with, the fact you are at home in your shorts on your laptop means you’re not actually doing anything. They might ask you to clean the house, mow the lawn, clean the garage, etc.

Would you take a break from work, leave the office, and drive home to clean the garage? Probably not.

When you work from home, you need to establish a routine and boundaries. This is the number one challenge for anyone switching from office work to home work. Set your working hours and rest hours and stick with it. Let your family and friends know about this arrangement and get them to respect and support it.

Challenge #2—Maintaining a social life

For many of us, a job is not only a place to earn money, but also a place to connect and meet people. When you work from home, you use Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and email to connect. You get to interact with your colleagues throughout the day, but it’s pretty difficult to go to a game together on a weekend, especially if they’re living around the world.

We all need friends and a social life. When you work from home, you must remember to spend some of that time you’ve saved from commuting on  relaxing, having fun and seeing friends and family.

This is what some of our team members do to maintain a good work-life balance while working remotely:

  •     Tai Chi classes
  •     Sailing
  •     Playing on basketball teams
  •     Dance classes
  •     Cooking classes

These are all great ways to expand your social circle. The fact that you’ve saved 2 or 3 hours every day on travel, prep, and office meetings and chats lets you dedicate that time to the things you love.

Challenge #3—Missing casual chats with colleagues

In a regular office, you can easily speak with your colleagues in a more informal matter, such as over lunch/ a coffee or even just by stopping at their desks for a chat.. You can talk about work and non work related issues, starting to form closer relationships with your colleagues. When you work from home, it’s much harder to have  small talk with your colleagues and you cannot meet face to face every day.

When you work online you need to be more proactive and show some initiative to communicate with your colleagues. The good news is that your teammates miss those casual talks too, and will be more than willing to join you. After all, in this day and age, celebrating your birthday party online is also possible.

Is remote work for you?

If you managed to read this far and you want to give remote work a try, we might have an opening for you.

OnTheGoSystems is one of the companies that offers fully remote positions as Forbes mentions on this post. And we are always on the lookout for exceptionally skilled software developers and WordPress advanced users for our support forums. Our core competence is PHP, MySQL, and Javascript. We develop WordPress plugins (WPML and Toolset), so if you have experience with WordPress API, that’s a huge plus for us.

Come Work With Us

Are you interested in working with a globally distributed team that encourages growth and advancement? Are you ready to harness the power of technology for a better future?