Ahhh work from home, or the more professional term — remote working. It’s a perk that many enjoy and more would love to have.
With so much technology in our hands now, working remotely should be more widely accepted as a common practice.
It seems glorious and such a treat to not have the pressure of being monitored physically as one would in the office.
I too, felt the same way until recently, I’m forced to work from home. Indefinitely. As heavenly as it may seem, it does have its downsides.
Fewer distractions, more productivity
Let’s start with the pros, shall we?
Remote working is perfect if you’re one who’s very accountable at work.
For those already used to working from home, you should know that remote working pushes you into “higher productivity mode”.
Why, you ask? No distractions! Simple.
You have fewer distractions from people in the office, you don’t go over to your closest colleague and chat or go for coffee runs. Everything you need is within your reach.
I know for me, I have food delivered to me – that includes coffee. Or sometimes I have home-cooked meals. Hearty, simple and fast.
So I have shorter lunch breaks, giving me more time to bounce back to work and ultimately, get more work done.
Cutting daily commute and gaining more sleep
Everybody loves sleep and you can get that extra 1-2 hours of sleep.
You cut the morning commute to the office every day. No waking up early, no getting stuck in traffic and no road rage.
You start your morning fresh, well-rested and with the right state of mind.
Man! It’s already starting to sound so good!
Spending less money
Don’t even get me started on this. I did the difference in the amount I spend when I go to the office and when I work at home.
The deviation is unthinkable! By simply breaking it down, when working remotely, your expenses cover mostly food (and coffee if you must)…and electricity at home.
Electricity bills may spike but even that is significantly lower than what you’re spending on outside.
When you’re based in an office, there’s petrol, toll charges, splurges you make on lunches, coffees, snacks or drinks in between hours and sometimes, even those needless things on sale that you see when you’re going for lunch.
Working from home should be able to save your monthly expenditure by 40-60% – that is substantial!
Everything just sounds amazing right?
Now that I’ve sweetened it up for you, remember I said ups and downs? Yeap! Here comes the downside.
You may start slacking off
While most people would be diligently completing their work, some would take advantage of remote working to slack off.
You have to know that not everyone is accountable as the other and these few rotten apples can spoil the entire bunch. It could have the remote working perk revoked from everyone else in the company.
And then you’ll be public enemy numero uno.
You’ll miss human interactions
For most people, we can’t go for too long without proper human interaction. You can text and message people all you want but it can’t beat meeting people face to face. You’ll get lonely.
It’s the physical touch and physically being with other people that you’ll miss. And you need to get used to that.
Once you start working from home, you can’t afford to take time from work to go to the office just to socialise with people to save your sanity.
The alternative to this would be to have video calls with people from work or friends to ensure you have that constant communication with people.
As the saying goes, no man is an island, will seem so true at this point.
Your mental health may suffer
Due to this lack of human interaction, you could be thrown into depression. You’ll feel like crap because when everyone’s busy, you can’t text as much as you talk like when you’re in the office.
In the office, you could do your work while still talking to someone but you can’t be doing your work and still text incessantly right?
Texting takes effort and time, which you can’t spare when you work from home. The amount of work remains the same, and so are the deliverables.
So the lack of human communication will put you in a dark place, most of the time. If you’re worried you might be having depression, this article will help you see the hidden signs. Here are some small ways to cope.
To conclude, working from home can seem like a sweet deal (which it is), but it’s not without a price to pay.
Working from home isn’t as easy as it looks, there’s a lot of responsibilities and accountabilities involved.
So how can you navigate through the stress?
Working from home means you’ll need to be more attentive to calls and texts from your colleagues who otherwise don’t know what you are working on.
Update your boss daily to help them keep track of your deliverables. And if you are in doubt, they’re only one call away.
Keep in touch with people through video calls. It also alleviates the feeling of loneliness when you hear another person’s voice.
Lastly, don’t stress out over the tone of a text — most likely, your colleague isn’t angry, that’s just the way they come across over text.
Before you realise it, you will get used to working from home.
I hope my experience will shed some light for you guys and how you can navigate through remote working.
For more stories like this, read: Advice From An Introvert: 5 Tips to Survive Social Distancing and How I Learned to Deal with the Crippling Loneliness of Being a Freelancer.