The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

2020: The year that the world stopped.

Working in pyjamas with Netflix playing in the background? Sign me up!

This post comes at a time when most of us have had the experience of working from home, starting new hobbies and re-evaluating what our ‘normal’ will look like going forward. While I truly appreciate this experience, it goes without saying that being able to access my office systems in the cosy comfort of my pyjamas as not always as pleasant as would seem. For those of you that have seriously considered working from home, I have put together a few pros and cons experienced during my 5 month stint at home, half of which was spent with a busy toddler begging for attention. If you are considering making the switch from the typical office job to working from home, here are just a few observations I made from my own experience.

Pros:

You can wake up later than usual

This one is most definitely a plus. Who wouldn’t want to spend an extra hour or two snuggled up in their cosy bedding? I personally used to wake up at 4:30 am to fit in my daily workout before having to rush out and brave the traffic. For those of you who value themselves enough to avoid such a painful schedule, traffic is most likely the pain factor here. Well, if you work from home, you have the flexibility to wake up as late as possible and quite literally roll right into your ‘office’.

You don’t need to spend time getting ready

Everyone’s job is different, but if you are considering working from home, then this most likely means that you had a desk job (I don’t quite see how you can be in construction from your kitchen table!). Most offices have both a dress code and hygiene standards that we need to adhere to, but the perk of being in your living room is that no one can tell if you showered, brushed your teeth or even changed your holey t-shirt. This is added time that can be used to sleep, watch an episode of your favourite TV show on Netflix or fit in a power workout.

Access to healthy food

This may be a double edged sword, because access to your fridge not only means that you have a vast selection of greens to pick from, but you also have an unlimited supply of food. When my husband does our groceries, I know that I will be snacking on biscuits and fruit. When I do the groceries, salads and fish become the go to. While it may sound exciting to be so close to your fridge, make sure that you stock it with healthy options and restrict yourself from mindless snacking otherwise this pro becomes a con.

You have the flexibility to determine your working hours

By show of hands, who actually works the full 9-5 (or in my case 8-5) without breaks? In the office it is quite easy to get more work done because you either have supervisors watching your every move, or you are just in a hurry to finish up and head home. Working from home provides more comfort in that you do not need to worry about ‘looking busy’ and work can be done as early or late as you like. Another perk is that there won’t be people speaking to you or adding extra tasks when it is ‘focus time’. As an introvert, this is a win!

Mid day workouts are a possibility

At the beginning of the pandemic, this was actually a thing… My peers and I were sticking to exercise routines because being at home magically added an extra four hours to the day. Well, six months in and all I can say is that exercise has become a chore. After all, we are all wearing baggy tees and sweatpants so the added weight doesn’t count, right? You’re probably wondering why I have put this in the pros section if I’m not actually doing it myself. The answer is simple; the option is there.

Cons:

Working hours tend to be longer

We discussed the benefit of being able to make your own schedule, but this flexibility comes with a pinch of salt. Personally, I had never been one to bring work home pre-pandemic. There is something about leaving the office that provides a satisfactory breath of relief and allows for a change of mindset. When you work from home, your kitchen table, couch, bed (or toilet for those daring folks) become your office. This makes it almost impossible to switch from ‘work mode’ to ‘chill mode’. I have personally found that my working hours have now shifted to 7am – 8pm.

Your kids get in the way

As schools reopen, the likelihood of having kids around during your working hours is limited to the brave few who have chosen to continue with homeschooling. My little one has gone back thankfully, but with more babies in the pipeline, working from home is something that I need to consider carefully. If you have ever been locked up in a room with young kids then you know exactly what I mean when I say that you will be signing up for a second labour intense job to complement your desk job.

Distractions Everywhere

Please tell me that I am not the only one who struggles to focus for extended periods of time? Being at home has been rather difficult with all the gadgets and devices all around me. One thing I never truly appreciated about the office are the cleaners. Being at home has been a battle as the urge to put the dirty laundry in the machine, pick up after the kids, watch an episode or two of my favourite TV show have definitely become a problem. For this reason, I would recommend that anyone planning to work from home should have a proper schedule to avoid being led astray.

Limited movement/exercise

Unless you intentionally pencil in a slot for exercise, working from home will definitely add some fluff to your waistline. We all know that when you are in the office, dropping down into a squat wouldn’t be well received, so doing burpees is definitely not in the cards. What does happen in the office is the walk to the cafeteria, walking to meeting rooms, climbing up and down stairs when the elevator is full, the long walk to the common washrooms, etc. What makes being home worse for movement is the fact that we can create junk food fortresses in our cosy little corner, limiting our movement to the occasional bathroom break.

It can get lonely

As an introvert, this definitely does not apply to me. I actually get a little more face time with my colleagues than I would prefer with the gazillion video conference calls that have been set up to ensure that we don’t forget each others’ faces. That being said, I do recognise that some people thrive off their peers’ energy which makes working from home negative for their mental health. It is really important to identify where you sit on this spectrum, because in this current economy, switching jobs isn’t that easy!

One more thing!

Whether your work from the office or your home, please make sure that you cater for enough ‘sun time’. I’ve mentioned the importance of Vitamin D for our physical and mental health, so before making the decision to work from home, make sure that you are able to cover the basics and take the necessary breaks!

What are some of the things you have experienced when working from home?

In case you missed it, do check out The Rant of a Working Mom

29 Comments Add yours

  1. Olivia says:

    Loved these points! There some major pro’s but major con’s for me too. Im still working at home and it looks like that wont change for a long time. It can get so lonely, and you’re right about the distraction thing. Everything distracts me😂 its a lesson for us all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Oh, Olivia. I could’ve guessed that this would be relatable to you LOL What are you doing to make it easier to work? I need all the advice you can give 😀

      Like

  2. I am working from home 3 days a week and am in the office 2 days a week. I like having a mixture of both working in the office and working from home, I don’t think I would enjoy doing 5 days a week working from home or 5 days a week in the office. There are certainly both pros and cons!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      That seems like a very logical split! Are you working from home part time because of the pandemic or just because that’s the nature of your job?

      Like

  3. Hilary Tan says:

    Do you plan on having more kids? Are you currently expecting?

    I have a hard time focusing at home and need routine. That’s why I fare better with a job where I am forced to get out of the house. Otherwise I live in sweats 24/7. During the pandemic, I gained the COVID-15 😕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Yep I def want two more, but not right now. When I do it I’d like to be more available for my little one though.
      I completely understand needing structure. I think the lack of structure played with my anxiety and messed with my sleeping patterns 🙈 but I still prefer being at home.
      Covid15?! Lol I think we gained weight!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hilary Tan says:

        COVID15 like freshman15 😂 I want more kids as well….we are finally ready for another. I had to wait 3.5 years due to school and other things. I totally understand the need to have time to be with your baby. Tbh I resented school because I felt like motherhood was being taken from me. I’m finally in my final semester…. it’s the last stretch!

        After having a year off and then the pandemic, I really do think that being at home all day, every day wrecks havoc on our mental health. Balance is key! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shelly DS says:

        Congrats on making it this far and still staying sane! If you want a kiddo, definitely go for it, they are such a joy when they aren’t being monsters lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. beth says:

    you’ve raised many good points here, definitely two sides to this coin. as a teacher of young children, we have just gone back and i love it, i hope that we can sustain it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Ah, as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters 😊 forget about what next month or year will be like – no one could’ve guessed we were about to have a pandemic right?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) says:

    I have been half-time work-from-home for almost 10 years. I love the flexibility but it takes discipline and I can see how it’s not for everyone. When we first switched to full-time work-from-home in March, I thought I could do it permanently. Now I am not sure. I miss seeing people. We don’t have a date to return to the office but it won’t be before 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      You seem very disciplined, Michelle. If anyone can do it, you can 😅 I do envy the fact that you can stay home till 2021… my boss has started hinting that the office is open and in need of human occupation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) says:

        Yes, I think some companies are very anxious to get people back in the office, and others seem to be making work-from-home more permanent.

        The company I work for has embraced remote work for many years so it was a pretty easy transition for us. I think that’s why they’re not in a big hurry to get us all back in the office.

        My husband, on the other hand, has continued to go into the office through the whole pandemic. Other than a couple of people, he pretty much had the office to himself. His company is now requiring everyone to return.

        It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. Now that the genie is out of the bottle… LOL

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post, tricky business this home working…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Working from home is not the future of work.

    We love people.

    We believe in collaboration, teamwork and culture.

    Technology is a benefit for humans to love and be with humans.

    We love, dream, build and love working together.

    Apart is not the future.

    Together we thrive.

    #covid-19#workingfromhome#technology#future#work#love#human

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Thanks for sharing Richard. I dunno if I agree with you completely though. That is very true for extroverts, but I do prefer being in my little corner with my family.

      Like

      1. Loving your family is everything.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. PoojaG says:

    I definitely agree with the distractions- when I first started doing online classes I got really distracted. I agree with the access to healthy food too- I’ve been eating out a lot less and snacking less too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelly DS says:

      That’s great! I find that I’m only good with snacking when there is nothing but veg to snack on lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PoojaG says:

        Lol yeah I stopped buying junk food because I have zero self-control so that’s why I’m eating healthy and not snacking a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shelly DS says:

        There’s self control right there!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Lol your starting, I hope 2021 is the year the world continues. 😅

    I think while working there’re times people get in a mood I’ll like to call the god zone. In this state, they’re greatly infatuated with the work in hand and may even forget the time or lunch breaks because of this.

    You know the advantage of working in the office? Thing is, when you enter the god zone, you’ll automatically switch back at closing and even if you had intentions to continue, a simple discussion on your way home can make you push it to the next day.

    The major disadvantage of working at home is when you get in the god zone, you won’t switch back, at least not in time. You’ll keep working, changing positions (parlour to bedroom) and even play loud music and this makes you enjoy working more.

    On the long run, you peek at the time, it’s seven p.m. and you haven’t eaten. Darn! 😤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Lol you are absolutely right! I rarely enter that zone anymore though but I do get sucked into different anxiety building tasks and keep telling myself “once you finish this you can eat”. I suppose that zone comes with inspiration, and lately I have been lacking!

      Like

      1. Lol. We’ll get better with time I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. annmary0723 says:

    great article! I personally like working from home, as it is more comfortable for an introvert like me 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Same!!! Thanks for reading 💖

      Like

  11. Daria says:

    So true! Just one con I could think about is that it is harder to get motivated at the time, especially if our progress isn’t controlled too often 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. conjdonovan says:

    Great article! Working from home is not an easy task, but Piccles might be something your company can use! Check out my article for some more info on it! https://blogs.umass.edu/clojek/2020/09/29/piccleshr/ #humanresources

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kally says:

    I think this is a really awesome list of pros and cons especially many companies are thinking on letting more employees to work from home. Well, at least partially. May I reblog this and link it back to your website, Shelly?

    Like

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