Pros and cons of working from home from an employee perspective.
For the past year and a half, most of us have become remote workers whether we wanted to or not, and everyone has had a different experience with it. Here's my perspective as a new remote employee.
Personally for me, I actually really enjoy remote work and prefer it over going into the office everyday, though it was a very difficult transition in the beginning. Overall, I've found there to be more pros than cons with working from home and here's why.
Pros of Remote Work
Remember when we used to think a 30 min commute was short? At least it was in comparison to the 1 - 2 hour commute some of our colleagues had to endure every day. By the time they would get home, they'd be so exhausted and wouldn't have much time left in the day to do anything for themselves. That's why it's so great not having to commute anymore. No commute means people get time back during the work week to decompress, pursue their passions, and just get more sleep. I certainly appreciate being able to sleep in an extra 30 minutes.
There's so much more flexibility with my schedule now. Since I don't need to go into the office, I can adjust my start and end time as needed as long as I get my work done. For example, if I know I need to log off earlier I can start my day earlier and vice versa if I have something to take care of in the morning. Since our team is distributed across different time zones, we also get to set our own working hours so long as there's overlap where we can still communicate and collaborate. This allows people to set their own schedules instead of having to live according to someone else's timezone.
I've found that I'm actually more productive when working from home because I can take short mental breaks to clear my head when I need to. When I feel like my brain is fogged up, I can go for a quick 15 minute walk that leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to work again. Whereas, at the office, there's this pressure to always be at your desk and taking a break might be perceived as "being lazy" when it's actually better for your mental health and productivity.
Better Work-Life Balance
One thing I'm super grateful for is better work-life balance. If I need to go run an errand like getting my car fixed or going to the post office, I can do so during business hours where these locations are less busy instead of allocating time on the weekends to get these tasks done. This allows me to actually relax and enjoy myself on the weekends - which is what they're meant for in the first place!
Being Able to Work From Anywhere
I love to travel, and being able to work remotely has given me the opportunity to be able to travel within the States without having to take PTO. For the past two months, I've actually been on a solo road trip where I lived in a new place for a month at a time. This allowed me to go explore new places on the weekends while still working during the week without having to take vacation time. I've also been able to reconnect with friends and family that I haven't seen in a long time because we've always lived in different place. But because I can visit them and still work (safely of course), I've been able to renew those relationships.
Cons of Remote Work
When the pandemic first hit, I really struggled with the feeling of loneliness. At the beginning, the sudden drop in communication and interaction with friends and co-workers definitely affected my mental health. However, after using Pragli I don't feel as lonely anymore because it's easier to casually chat with anyone. You don't have to set up a meeting to be able to call or video chat, and there are a lot of cool rooms (lofi and trivia) that we can be in together. Plus, now that more people are vaccinated and things are opening up again, I can get that social interaction by working at a cafe or getting lunch with a friend or co-worker.
Difficult Without A Good WFH Setup
I know this is something others also struggled with when they first started working remote. Not everyone has a good office setup at home and that can affect your ability to work from home. For me, I lived in a converted living room with 3 strangers in an apartment (because SF prices), so there was often background noise during my meetings that would really frustrate me. Unfortunately, at the time there wasn't anywhere else for me to go so I had to invest in some noise-cancelling earphones, which made the situation better. Luckily, now that things are opening up, there will be a lot more options for those that were stuck in a not so great situation to work somewhere else if need be, like at a coffee shop or cafe.
These pros and cons are based on my personal experience. What has your experience been like with working remotely?
What is Pragli?
Pragli is a team communication platform that makes remote and hybrid work more fast, fun, and inclusive.
Our product is currently completely free - try it out at https://pragli.com/