Before you decide to stay remote after quarantine or to start a business out of your house, you should consider which type of person you are and what perks and perils you can handle in either situation. You might enjoy the freedom of setting your own schedule, or you might take advantage of that freedom and become less productive. You might prefer having your boss just a few doors down, or you might hate it when your boss micromanages your work.
Regardless of where you end up — at home or the office — determine what you can live with and what you can’t live without.
Your work/life balance is better off when you work remotely. You can use your flexible work hours and schedule to add hobbies to your life, take up an afternoon sport, walk your dog several times a day, and take regular breaks to unwind, sip tea, and read a book. With fewer schedule restrictions, you can balance your work time and relaxation time the way you need it.
One of the best perks of working from home is that you lose your commute. This is especially huge if you live in a city or suburb. Commute times are notoriously long and frustrating. Rather than sitting in traffic, you can wake up later, take your time getting ready, and enjoy your morning.
You have the freedom to set up your home office the way you want. Add fun decorations, a comfortable swivel chair, or maybe some fresh flowers to keep your spirits up while you work. You don’t have to worry about any restrictions you might face in an office.
Time with the Family
Spend as much time as you want with your family and less time worrying about work or traveling during a commute. Throughout the day, you can keep tabs on your family, help care for a baby, check in on your elderly parents, or pick your kids up from school.
You might have a harder time communicating with your coworkers or team when you work remotely. There are currently tons of options for video conferencing, but a video chat isn’t always the best way to explain big ideas.
Let’s face it; there are a lot of distractions at home. While you have a flexible schedule that lets you spend time with your family or pick up a hobby, those activities can become distractions. You can balance your work and life, but you also need to continue your work and keep up your productivity.
Working from home can get lonely. Most people need communication throughout the day to keep them motivated and in good spirits. If you don’t have family members who are also at home during the day, you might find that you’re lonelier and more isolated.
It’s great to decorate your home office the way you want, but if you don’t already have the basic necessities of working from home, you might end up with a costly move. Most people need a laptop, desk, chair, monitor, keyboard, and other accessories.
Working at the office means your time management is tighter and more streamlined. It’s easier to stay on task when you’re in a professional work environment, and everyone else in the office is working hard.
There are a lot of networking opportunities when you work at the office. You never know when a new client or prospective customer might wander into your office, and if you’re not there, you’ll miss out on that opportunity to introduce yourself. Networking is essential to any business and not going to the office can limit your chances of meeting new people and getting your name out there.
Going to work in an office can provide a much-needed structure. Not everyone can stay on task or stay motivated when they work remotely, and working in an office environment can solve those issues. If you have somewhere to go every day, you’ll wake up earlier, go to an office, work normal hours with scheduled breaks, and head home at the end of a hard day’s work.
Generally, there are fewer distractions at the office than at home. You won’t have your family, roommates, or pets taking all of your attention during work hours. Working an office can help you focus on your job and not random tasks in your house if you're the type of person who struggles with conditions like ADD or ADHD.
Less Time at Home
You’ll inevitably spend less time at home when you work in an office. If you just had a baby or adopted a child, you won’t spend as much time getting them settled if you’re working at the office. You also won’t have as much time for your hobbies, catch up on the latest thriller, or binge-watch the next big Netflix series.
Many offices come with an element of micromanagement. Your boss might be the type of person who keeps tabs on what you’re doing every minute of the day and have questions or suggestions for you. You can get away from some of this if you work remotely.
You might end up with more interruptions at your office. Your coworkers and teammates will check in with you throughout the day, which can interrupt your work and thought process. If you get distracted by interruptions, working in an office might not be for you.
Most office jobs lead to a sedentary lifestyle because you spend most of your day sitting at a desk. In contrast, if you work from home, you have more opportunities to get up and move. Sedentary work life can put stress on your body and lead to health problems.