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21 Work From Home Pros and Cons – The Surprising Truth Behind Remote Work

by | Last updated Jul 5, 2020

It is about time to have a comprehensive look at the real work from home pros and cons and see what is behind the popular job trend.

Some people love the idea of working from home, others hate it. There are so many prejudices involved when it comes to this working style. The result is that people either desperately try to score a remote job so they can stay at home, or refuse to telecommute because they only think about negative consequences. Let’s find out who is right.

Potential Remote Work Segments

Before we look at the advantages and disadvantages of working from home, let’s just quickly have a look at what KIND of remote jobs you can do. This helps you to understand that not every telecommute professional enjoys the same advantages or has to struggle with equal disadvantages.

1. Remote Employee

You are employed with a company as usual but don’t have to come to an office. Instead, you can work from home or literally from anywhere you want.

Since you are a fixed part of a team, you often (but not always!) have a given working schedule you have to stick to, which can include start and end time of your daily working hours or scheduled meetings.

You might not be as flexible as the following two options, but you enjoy the job and income security.

You can find the best remote jobs with reputable companies at FlexJobs. This platform is very popular for its flexible, part-time and full-time online job selection.

2. Freelancer

You offer a certain service to clients and are free to work from anywhere you want. It is up to you what kind of project you do and how much you work. You can negotiate with your clients when you work, when your deadlines are and if/when you want to schedule meetings.

Although you have a lot of freedom in terms of working routine, your income is hardly ever secured as you have to constantly look for new clients and/or do your best to keep existing ones.

3. Your Own Business

You are your own boss and don’t have to work for anyone. You can work from where you want when you want and as much as you want. Start your own dropshipping business, try your luck with affiliate marketing or come up with a totally new business concept.

Although you enjoy a maximum of flexibility, you also have to find a way to generate income. You often have to invest much money to get started and, at some stage, need to get a business partner, freelancers or employees on board to help you grow.

Need some more inspirations what kind of work from home you can do? Check out this guide with many remote job ideas and get inspired.

Work From Home Pros and Cons, Home Office, Remote Jobs, Laptop Lifestyle, Digital Nomad

Working From Home Pros and Cons

Now that you have got a rough idea of what you COULD do when you wanted to screw the office, we can look a bit deeper into the work from home pros and cons.

Please bear in mind that I won’t talk about things like no paid sick days or such because that isn’t necessary due to remote work but due to the nature of your job in general (i.e. being a freelancer or business owner).

Pros of Working from Home

Luckily, there are plenty of advantages to working from home. This is what you could look forward to:

1. No Commute

No more crowded buses or trains. No more annoying traffic jams. Back in my office job I always hated this part of my day the most. I found it very stressful and depressing.

You are surrounded by the tired, frustrated and stressed out faces of all the daily commuters first thing in the morning, especially on a Monday morning. How are you supposed to keep up your good mood?!

This is not the way I want to start my days. Working from home is a brilliant way to avoid those threaded daily commutes.

2. Save Time

For one, you don’t spend ages in the bathroom to get ready in the morning. And since you don’t have to commute anymore, you also save a lot of time.

If you are not in the lucky position to live right next to your office, you will have to spend what? 30 minutes, one hour, two hours?! Every day on commuting. That’s insane!

Just think of what you could do with that time. Sleep a bit longer, go for a run, have a long breakfast. I sure know many better things to do with my time.

3. Save Money

And, of course, you also save money when working from home. No public transport tickets or gas bills. Maybe you won’t need your car at all anymore? That would save you a whole lot of money for sure.

You will also save money because you won’t need to buy business attire anymore and you can prepare your own food instead of going to pricey cafeterias. This really adds up!

4. Comfortability

Goodbye suit and tie, hello joggers and jumper! No need to do your hair or put on makeup. If you have a bad day, maybe feel a cold coming, just wrap yourself in a blanket and work from a comfy chair.

But beware, your productivity might suffer from too much comfortability, so don’t get too cozy too often!

5. Flexible Working Hours

If you are a freelancer or a business owner, you will most likely get to choose your own working hours. Even many companies allow their remote employees to decide on their own when they want to work.

This means that you can work when you feel most productive. For some people that’s in the morning, others prefer to work until late at night. You finally get to work in your own rhythm.

Of course, you are also more flexible in terms of private appointments. A doctor’s appointment at 10 am? No problem! Hairdresser at 2 pm? Sure thing.

6. More Time With Family

Since you don’t have to waste your precious time commuting anymore, you can also spend it with your family or friends. If you have a flexible work schedule, you can also watch the kids in the morning and shift your work to the afternoon, if there is no other way.

You might also be able to attend school events, that you had missed before because of your work. Or you can meet your friend who has to do shift work and is thus hard to meet.

Laptop in the kitchen

Working from home means you have more time, e.g. for your family or for a healthy lifestyle.

7. Own Working Environment

This is one of the biggest advantages for me: No uninspiring office atmosphere anymore. You can create your own working environment that works best for you.

And you don’t even need to work from home if you don’t feel like it. Grab your laptop and work from a lovely park, your favorite café or a coworking space near you. This way you will also meet other remote working professionals and get to chance to connect.

New environments like this can do wonders for your creativity.

8. Reduced Stressed

PGi revealed that remote working can even reduce stress. It’s not only the annoying commutes to work that you can skip when you work online. You also don’t have to deal with stressful working environments anymore.

No boss standing behind you, waiting for results. No keyboard-hammering, phone-call-yelling coworkers anymore and no bullying or infighting. In the long run, this will save you a lot of nerves.

9. Autonomy

Especially when you work in a big company for years you are often caught up in given structures and routines that you might not even like. When you can work from home, you are finally able to make more decisions on your own.

Even when you are still employed, you have more responsibility for your performance. This is a great feeling and can boost your confidence a lot.

10. Food Preparation

Also a very big advantage of working from home: You get to prepare your own meals every single day. That means you can eat fresh and healthy whenever you want to and are not dependent on the food options at your office.

Of course, you can prepare meals and bring them to work with you. But maybe you don’t have a fridge at work to keep your food fresh during the day or there is no possibility to heat it up. And fresh is just always the best.

A study conducted by CoSo Cloud confirmed that 42% of all questioned remote workers eat healthier when working from home.

11. Time for Workouts

In my experience, people work out a lot more when they work from home than when they have to go to an office. First of all, you have more time now because you don’t have to commute anymore.

And second, when you sit around at home all day, you naturally feel a greater urge to move your body a bit more. Maybe it’s just walking the dog a bit longer than usual, maybe you start enjoying yoga or running.

But chances are that you will exercise more when you are at home.

12. Work/Life Balance

Many remote workers find they have more time for themselves. They can spend more time with their family and are responsible for their own work performance.

Even though you spend just as much (sometimes even more) time working from home than you would in an office, you still feel like you are closer to your private life than before. The work/life balance improves a lot.

13. Health Increases

No more daily commutes and a reduced level of stress can result in more and better sleep. In addition, you will eat healthier and exercise more. The increased work/life balance makes you happier and more satisfied than ever before. Of course, you will be healthier!

Studies have even shown that remote workers don’t get sick as often as their in-office colleagues. Not only because they live healthier, but also because they are not exposed to countless germs and bacteria you will find in a closed office environment.

14. Tax Advantages

This one depends a little bit on your personal situation and residency. But if you are truly location-independent, i.e. never have to go to an office, and don’t have any close family members who need to stay where you are at the moment, then you are free to live anywhere you want, right?

Just like many digital nomads do you can make use of that situation and go to countries where you don’t have to pay taxes on your foreign income.

This is a very complex topic. If you want to find out more about it, check out this article that explains how to legally reduce or avoid taxes by applying the Flag Theory.

Woman working from home

One of the pros of working from home is the comfort it brings.

Are you convinced that remote work is the right thing for you? Check out this blog post that will give you the best tips how you can work from home as a beginner!

Cons of Working from Home

As with everything, working from home has its disadvantages, too. See what you might not like too much about it:

1. No Human Interaction

Although you will have calls and online meetings with your clients or team members every now and then, you will be home alone most of the time.

No quick coffee breaks, no lunch together, no exchanging weekend plans with your colleagues. The lack of social interactions can be really hard for some people.

2. Hard to Switch Off

You sleep at home. You work at home. Sometimes it’s hard to separate private life and business life. You are not dependent on office hours and can literally work from early morning until late at night. Your whole life revolves around your work.

If you like your job, you might not see that as a disadvantage in the beginning. But soon you could burn out because your work and private lives became one. That’s why it is important to set up a dedicated home office and to establish work routines. You can learn more about that in my online course “Rock Your Remote Job“.

3. Many Distractions

Just quickly do the laundry, go grocery shopping, clean the house, and maybe watch the newest episode of your favorite Netflix series? Potential distractions are everywhere when you work from home. It really takes a lot of discipline to focus on your job and actually get things done.

However, there are apps like Time Doctor that help you stay focused by reminding you to keep on working as soon as you want to use Facebook, YouTube, and such. Super helpful!

4. Lack of Productivity

Along with the issue of distractions goes the reduced productivity. It is great when you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder all day long. But some people won’t be able to get much work done without that bit of pressure.

Either there are too many distractions or a lack of motivation or the missing feeling that this is actually a working day – productivity can be a huge issue when working from home.

Learn how you can improve your productivity in a remote job immediately with these awesome tips!

5. Unhealthy Lifestyle

On the one hand, working from home does wonder to your health and can increase it a lot.

On the other hand, it can also be harmful. Most companies provide offices with ergonomic chairs or even standing desks. When you work from home you might not want to invest that much money into proper home office equipment.

Even worse: Some people love to work while lying on the couch all day. Sooner or later this will surely cause you terrible back pain.

Plus, as already mentioned, if you work all day and don’t leave your house, you are not doing your body any favor.

6. Collaboration Suffers

Of course, there are emails and video calls and stuff like that. But some things are just easier and quicker to explain when you are sitting right next to the person. Limited communication options can make collaborations harder.

And when your team members are all in an office and you are the only one working from home, you might miss important things that they talk about on the fly.

7. Bad Reputation

*Sigh* This is one of the most annoying cons of working from home to me. People just don’t value it as much as an in-office job.

I can’t even count how often my family and friends asked me “So, when will you finally get a REAL job again?” or “Could you do [insert any random 3-hour long task] today? You’re at home anyway and have time.”

Although you might be working way more hours now than you did before, people just don’t see it as work. Very frustrating!

Laptop on table with chair

Unfortunately, working from home still has a bad reputation.

Is Working From Home The Right Thing For You?

As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons of working from home. It is up to you to decide which ones are more important to you and have a bigger impact on your wellbeing and happiness. If you want to go for remote work, you should have most or better all of the following characteristics:

  • You need to have A LOT of self-discipline.
  • You need to be able to stay focused and not get distracted easily.
  • You need to be great with time management.
  • You need to be organized and structured.
  • You need to be able to work on your own without constant supervision.
  • You need to be ok with working alone and spending most of your day alone (or go to coworking spaces).

Another thought on it: The good thing with remote work is, you can easily start it part-time. Give it a try and work a bit during the weekends or after your normal work to see if it is something that you could do full-time. There is nothing to lose, only experience to gain.

If you want to learn how you can make money online and work from home, too, check out my brand new online course “Zero to Remote Work Succes.

Do you see any more work from home pros or cons? Anything that comes super handy for you or that you absolutely hate about working at home? Let me know in the comment section below!

Work from home pros and cons, Remote Job, Home Office, Work at home mum, Make money online, Make money from home (1)

About the Author

Denise Mai

Denise Mai

Founder of Digital Nomad Soul

Hi, I’m Denise – a travel addict and remote work enthusiast. I have been traveling the world since 2008 and explored, worked, and lived in more than 80 countries. To me, there is nothing better than the freedom and flexibility that comes with a location-independent lifestyle.

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot, Suresh! As of now, studies show a significant increase in productivity when working from home. I’m excited to see what the future brings :)

  2. Thanks a ton for well written article on pros and cons of WFH. The compulsion with which it was implemented has become a new norm. While writing reply I heard on TV that Google has declared WFH till July 2021…..I would be happy to hear some success stories of productivity improvement post WFH scenario…..Thanks.

  3. Thank you for sharing these effective pros and cons of work from home.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Mike! I absolutely agree and love your daily goal. There are good days and there are bad days. It’s important to keep in mind that this is completely normal.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post. Really Like it.

    One thing though I would like to ask you regarding the distractions.

    The thing is I also work from home (I create content on my website) and I have my “good” days and “bad” days. Meaning sometimes I am more productive sometimes not so much.

    But I have set a goal for myself, that no matter what I have to write at least something each and every single day.
    So my worst days are like 200 words, my best days are 2,000+ words.

    I also work on my self-discipline but I think it is normal NOT to be concentrated all the time and thus to have bad days, right?

    I mean we are not robots and sometimes it is OK to be not so productive.

    The most important thing is that the number of good days must equal or be higher than the bad days :)

    Anyways, I wish you a lot of success with your website/business.
    Have a good one
    Mike :)

  6. Thanks a lot, John!

  7. An extremely comprehensive post! I don’t think enough people get the full picture when it comes to pros and cons…they tend to think along basic stereotypes like no commute, no variation in your schedule, etc. I created a website to help make some progress there!

  8. Very helpful information for optimising effective work from home.

  9. Thanks for your kind words, Chris! Yes, I totally agree and think it’s important to make a point to connect with others, either through regular work meetings or get-togethers or working from coworking spaces or cafes. Leaving your personal work bubble every once in a while is crucial to stay happy and balanced in the long-run.

  10. Congrats on the great post, Denise.

    Do you worry working from home accelerates the silo-fication and stratification of society? More time at home means less interaction with people outside of our circles, so we’ll learn and understand others’ perspectives less. Our co-workers may annoy us, but we somehow need to keep in touch with the rest of the world and learn how to live with each other.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Kathy! I’m glad you managed to find a routine that works for you! :) You are absolutely right – it’s easy to slip in very unhealthy ways to spend the working day. It really takes some discipline and structure to be productive and happy when working from home.

  12. I struggled with the lack of structure, working through lunch and into the evening initially. I also gained 5 lbs from not getting enough exercise. I did learn to limit my hours to a normal business day, and remembered to eat.
    I also missed the social interaction of the office. Now I reach out to my other coworkers who also work remotely during lunch or if I need advice.
    The pros do out way the cons. Thanks for reminding me of all the positives aspects.

  13. Thanks a lot for your comment!

  14. Very true, staying focused and time management are two of the biggest things you need to learn to be successful with it! :)

  15. With more prospects in the freelancing field, it has become quite evident that work is more about activity and not a place. This is the very reason why working from home has proved to be a great option for every person who wants to set his career while being in his comfort zone.
    This post is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Good points here on some of the advantages of working remote.

    No commute, saving time, and saving money are all positive.

    You just need to be focused and manage your time appropriately.

  17. Many people does not love office jobs and they want to do something from home. These content are really helpful for me. I also love to work from home and this content is very helpful.Thanks

  18. Thanks a lot! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  19. home base work become more popular and it can give us more time to stay with family and we can enjoy the work. these are useful content. Thanks

  20. Remote work is definitely a great way to skip the commute and spend more time with your family. You only have to make sure you can still be productive while the kids are around and don’t get distracted too much ;)

  21. Working from home would be great for my wife. She wants to be more productive, but she also wants to stay home to care for our kids. Like you said, she would be able to watch the kids whenever she needed to, and still get work done too.

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