Finding a job that allows you to work from home may seem like a dream come true, but it’s not without its challenges. There are some things you can do to ensure you remain happy and productive working from home. This guide explores some of the benefits and disadvantages of working remotely and how to make the most of this opportunity.

pros and cons of remote jobs

When considering whether to seek out a remote job or not, it’s important to explore both the advantages and disadvantages of this type of work schedule. Below is a look at the top pros and cons of working from home.

pros of remote work

  • healthy work-life balance – A remote job, especially one with flexible scheduling, can make it easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance and give you more time to spend with your family.
  • more job options – Since remote work doesn’t require you to leave your home to get the job done, you can literally accept a position with employers from around the world. Even with hybrid jobs, you can consider working for a company that is located further away, since you only have to make the commute a few times a week.
  • reduced commute time – Eliminating the need to commute back and forth to work every day is a significant advantage of remote work. This factor can help you save both time and money.

cons of remote work

  • less face-to-face contact – If you’re a people person and enjoy connecting with others, having a remote job may be difficult for you because it reduces the amount of face-to-face contact you have with your coworkers.
  • dedicated home office space – A home office, even if it’s just a portion of one room, can take up a lot of space in your home. Additionally, if the employer doesn’t provide all the necessary supplies and equipment, it can be quite costly to set up a home office.
  • home distractions – No matter how you set up your home office, you’re likely to face a variety of distractions when working from home. This can impact your productivity if you’re not careful.
Man leaning against the counter top, while working on laptop.
Man leaning against the counter top, while working on laptop.

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tips for making the most of remote work

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of working from home, but there are also a number of challenges that you must overcome. Understanding these potential obstacles and how to overcome them can help you make the most of your remote work opportunity.

Here’s a look at the top tips to make the most of working from home.

get organized

If you’re going to take a work-from-home job, organization is key. It’s vital to have a dedicated space for working. Depending on your specific job duties, you may not need an entire room, but you should at least have a dedicated desk area where you can work and store your office supplies.

When creating your workspace, look for an area that has good lighting, offers easy access to a power source and can minimize home distractions. Also, make sure you have a secure internet connection and the necessary office supplies, such as notepads, pens, a laptop and a charger, right at your desk, so you're prepared for the day. Check with your employer to determine if they offer any types of home office subsidies that can help to offset some of these costs.

stay connected

Efficient communication is a must for remote workers. Make sure you fully understand the various forms of communication your workplace uses, as well as what the preferred methods of communication are for your managers and coworkers. It’s highly recommended to connect with your boss at least once a day unless you’re instructed otherwise.

One of the biggest complaints of remote workers is feeling left out of some of the interoffice communication. First, be sure to read all emails and newsletters to ensure you’re doing your part to stay connected. Second, if lack of communication continues to be an issue, be sure to talk to your manager to develop a strategy for keeping you up to date on all relevant information.

If you still feel disconnected or miss face-to-face communication with your coworkers, consider starting remote coffee breaks or schedule a time to meet with your work friends outside work hours.

maintain balance

Working from home can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, it can also throw your schedule into total chaos if you’re not careful. While remote work does often come with a high level of flexibility, it’s up to you to develop a schedule that allows you to take care of your personal responsibilities while also completing all your work on time. Depending on your specific schedule, you may need to set a work-life schedule on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Keep in mind that you won’t have a supervisor or managers right there to hold you accountable. So, you must hold yourself accountable for sticking to your schedule. Otherwise, you risk falling behind on your 

workload and being forced to extend your workday to complete all your duties. Without a set work schedule, you could find it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

don’t forget to take breaks

Your overall physical and mental well-being must remain a top priority whether working at the office or from home. Even with all the comforts of home right at your fingertips, it can be difficult to remember to take breaks during the day. When setting your work-life schedule, be sure to set specific times to take breaks throughout the day, such as a coffee break or lunch break.

There are lots of studies dictating how often you should take breaks during the day, but most agree that a break every 60-90 minutes works well, with a longer 30-minute break after no more than 5 hours of work. What works best for you, however, depends on your workload and personal preferences. The important thing is to make sure you're taking breaks to allow your body to rejuvenate. Consider taking a walk around the block or doing some short exercises during these scheduled breaks. This step can improve your productivity and ensure you're taking care of your physical and mental well-being. 

For additional reading on remote jobs, check out these pertinent articles:

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