Considering that the average daily commute in the United States is 25.4 minutes, it’s not unfeasible that many people like the idea of working from home. It may seem incredible to wake up when you like in the morning, just put on your slippers, and sit on the couch all day with the breaks and snacks of your choice. But, only 2.5 percent of Americans (not counting those who are self-employed) work from home. And, just with any kind of job, there are pluses and minuses to clocking all your hours via online job. So, what are these ups and downs? From family to distractions to loneliness, online jobs can have the highest highs and the lowest lows.
Pro: Being on your own can be great for avoiding workplace distractions. There isn’t any office gossip, and you don’t have an awkward boss breathing down your neck. Plus, you can set up whatever kind of environment you find to encourage the most productivity. So while an office might be nonstop keyboard sounds or maybe the occasional track of Chopin, you can turn on DNCE and play “Cake By The Ocean” on repeat.
Con: It can be pretty lonely to work by yourself all day. Even if you have conference calls or Skype meetings, the lack of actual human contact can be pretty depressing. If you’re the kind of person who depends on some social activity, you may need to think about investing in a cat. Or, you may find better luck with a different type of job.
Pro: Some people are just early risers and others aren’t, and when you work from home, you can often choose your own hours. This can be incredibly helpful if you need to conform your schedule around something immoveable, like your child’s preschool hours or being a caretaker for a family member. If you’re still quite young, you can probably get away with sleeping in late or leaving work early to spend time with friends.
Con: Sometimes your flexibility can come across as accessibility. If your friends know that your schedule isn’t concrete, they may feel like they can bug you whenever they want. And, if you do act as a caretaker, either to someone with a disability or perhaps a child, you may never quite get in as much work as you would like.
Pro: Companies that let their employees work from home may be incredibly forward-thinking. More and more businesses are considering the model where their employees have more freedom and breaks in order to stimulate creative thinking. This can be a sign of a reliable and progressive place to work, which can be a great opportunity for anyone.
Con: In rare cases, you may want to reconsider the company that’s offering you the job. If you suspect a pyramid scheme or a money scam, then definitely do not take the offer. One of the difficult things about working online is that you may never meet the people you’re working for, and that can mean you don’t know a lot about them. Just be sure that the company is reputable, and you could go a long way.