Is Working From Home Permanently Right For You?
Given the current climate, working from home permanently is arriving on everyone’s radar. Many companies are seeing productivity equal to or greater than what they saw in traditional office settings. As a result, some, including Twitter and Microsoft, are allowing employees to work from home permanently. But working from home on a permanent basis might not be right for everyone.
Make sure to take these six important factors into account before you start searching for your perfect work-from-home job.
Space to Work
Many prospective work-from-home employees fail to account for their space to work. Homes are often shared spaces, whether that’s with spouses, kids, or roommates. Inadequate space to work can very quickly lead to frustration and slow down your process.
Setting aside a dedicated workspace in your home is key to a successful work life. A modern home office should include a printer, personal computer, and any resources you may need to get your daily workload taken care of. Some employers provide the necessary equipment, so make sure you have room to set it all up!
Working from home on a permanent basis is a great way to save money, right? After all, you don’t need to pay for gas, lunch, or coffee. You may even be able to get a discount on your car insurance since you aren’t driving as much. It sounds like a dream come true – until it isn’t.
The fact of the matter is that while working from home seems like it would save money, you might end up spending money on other necessities. Working from home requires using more utilities, like electricity, water, and gas. Remember that, like in the office, comfort is still a factor when working from home.
You might end up spending money on equipment as well. Your printer needs ink, computers need software and hardware upgrades, and you might need extra equipment, like a microphone or camera, down the road.
Another common misconception is saving money on childcare costs. Someone still needs to take care of the kids. If you’re seeing to their needs, you probably aren’t paying as much attention to your work as you should be.
Keeping track of your personal finances, budgeting, and handling everything home life has to offer is a breeze in theory. In practice, it’s a different story.
Oh, and your healthcare costs may rise, too, but we’ll get to that later on.
Major Life Changes
How well do you handle the stress from major life changes? To get an answer, ask yourself a common interview question: where do you see yourself in five years?
If your answer involved marriage and children, think hard about working from home permanently. More importantly, consider the type of work you want to do.
Taking care of children can impact your work goals. Marriage often involves combining assets and can make handling personal finances more difficult. Traveling, while more achievable working out from your own computer, can simply lead to a daily work routine with a different background.
That’s not to mention adjusting to a death in the family, the addition of more children that need to be taken care of, or goals your spouse may have.
Think hard about how and why you want to work from home permanently. It isn’t all butterflies and rainbows.
Lack of Social Interaction
One of the most difficult challenges for those working from home is a lack of social interaction. When you work from home, you aren’t sitting right next to a coworker you can physically turn around and talk to. While video chats are a convenient way to share information, you can’t be on them all day long.
With many people stuck at home, it can be hard to get out and see friends and family, too. Kids running around might be an annoyance at first, but you might find yourself thanking your lucky stars after a few months working from home permanently.
Before you start working remotely on a permanent basis, make sure you can handle a lack of social interaction in your daily routine.
Fact: Not everyone is great a time management, even in the workplace. And if you aren’t great a managing your time in the office, how will you work efficiently from home?
Working from home permanently brings more potential distractions and less supervision. Combine that with working on the internet all day, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
If you find yourself on and off social media multiple times throughout work hours, heading out to grab a coffee, and doing other non-work activities, remote work might not be right for you.
And that’s ok. Some people just need to separate their work and home life.
Working from home requires effective time management. You still need to get your work done or you risk losing your job entirely. Stopping to manage young children, taking long lunches, and dealing with other aspects of home life often aren’t compatible with working from home permanently.
To more effectively manage your time, block off hours for work and let family and friends know you need to be left alone during these hours.
If it isn’t clear by now, working from home permanently isn’t exactly the walk in the park as media depicts it. Taking care of your home, meeting work deadlines, and caring for any children can be exhausting and stressful. That’s not good for your overall health.
Every factor before this one can very quickly lead to a decline in your overall health. That can lead to rising healthcare costs, whether they’re for doctor visits or prescription medication.
Working from home permanently often means sitting for a good portion of the day. Improper posture can lead to back and joint pain, weight gain, and more. Managing your finances, space, and time could stress and strain other parts of the body.
Mentally, a lack of social interaction can lead to loneliness and depression. You may have more trouble dealing with major life changes, like a death in the family. Being around your kids and spouse/significant other/roommate all day can be exhausting.
If you want to work from home permanently, make sure to exercise and step away from your computer every now and then. Take a short walk during a break, get some fresh air, and make sure to exercise regularly. In other words, stay healthy!
Working From Home Permanently
There’s plenty to consider before you accept a permanent work-from-home position. Working remotely presents new challenges for everyone, whether they’re at home or traveling around the world – and we’ve only covered a few of them. One of the major considerations (and consequences) of looking to work from home includes updating your resume so it presents your ability to work from home. Before you start looking for a work-from-home job, make sure you’ve covered your bases!
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