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You may be wanting to work remotely and become a Digital Nomad to see the world. Before you make such a huge decision it’s very important to know the Pros and Cons of Working Remotely. A universal truth about working remotely is that it’s different. I remember when I came back from South Korea I was super stressed about job hunting. It took me quite a while to build up additional skill sets but luckily I was hired by a former mentor of mine to work for his UX Consulting company. I was ecstatic! There were some awesome benefits and one of them was the ability to help babysit my niece and nephew during the day while I worked. (Thank you Netflix and Disney+!)
Landing a remote job is not easy. You’ll need to network like crazy, upgrade your skill sets, and showcase a portfolio to be considered. Remote positions are highly competitive and coveted so you can’t be complacent! Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working remotely.
Pros of Working Remotely
- Make your Own Schedule: Nobody is watching over your shoulder. You can stay up and binge-watch the latest Netflix release and sleep in a bit more. Nobody will judge you. So long as you get your work done on time and communicate properly (Don’t sleep through meetings of course), you have the freedom to spend time however you’d like!
- No Commuting: No fears of falling asleep at the wheel and no mind-numbing commutes to work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.” If you don’t commute, that’s a risk you no longer have to worry about!
- Work Anywhere You Want: You can work in your pajamas while lying in bed or in a treehouse in your backyard. You can work anywhere your heart desires. You can even work in a different country as a Digital Nomad!
- Time with Family: You’ll have time to spend time with the people you care about most. Your family. You can take care of your aging parents or take care of your kids to ensure that they grow up happy and full of memories with their parents (or uncle in my case!). In modern society, people pride themselves on how long they work and “sacrifice”. But it’s great to see people nowadays prioritize “Family Time” because that’s what matters most!
- Save on Expenses: No need to buy expensive energy drinks and Starbucks coffee to wake you up! No more gas wasted on a commute and your car maintenance costs will decline sharply. You can make all of your food at home and have cheaper meals….and it might even taste better!
- No stress from co-workers at the office: Nobody will knock on your cubicle doors and interrupt your work. Did I forget to mention that there’s no office drama? Nobody will mean mug you from across the room anymore. *sips tea (lol)
This all sounds great, doesn’t it! But let’s not forget, that I’m talking about the Pros and Cons of Working Remotely. So now we’ll have to talk about the Cons… sorry!
Cons of Working Remotely
- Overworking: It seems like if you work remotely that underworking would be a problem right? That’s actually not the case. When you don’t have the rigid structure of a 9-5 job that you would have had at the office…it’s very easy to mix your work life with home life. It’s going to be very tough to divide your time unless you’re very disciplined. When there are big projects and deadlines to meet, you can easily have a “never-ending workday” if you’re not careful.
- Loneliness: When I used to work in an office, one of the most cherished moments that I had was bonding with coworkers over lunch. When you work 5 days a week at home it can get pretty lonely. For some people, escaping from home to chit chat with co-workers can be a release. When you work at home though, it’ll be tough to talk with anyone because they’ll be working and busy themselves.
- Underworking is a real problem: Humans are funny. It’s very easy for us to be complacent. Remember when you had Summer Vacation every year as a kid and just wanted to play every day? The temptation will always be there. Modern Conveniences make it easy to “take it easy”. If your personality and work ethic is lacking in any way it’s going to be tough to maintain high levels of productivity. You’ll need to develop positive habits to stay on top of your game.
- Less Creativity: When you are surrounded by awesome co-workers, you can feed off of their ideas. My mentor and boss once told me that “It’s good to have many eyes”. Not only can your co-workers catch your mistakes, they can also inspire you to push yourself by questioning your beliefs and encouraging you to think in different ways. How many of us have had co-workers say, “You should check out _______”. Working remotely sometimes feels like a bubble of isolation and it’s easy to get trapped in our own thoughts and stuck in our own ways.
- Limited Chances to Strengthen Bonds: Some companies are only partially remote. Those that work at the office will be 100 times closer to each other than to you because they interact on a more personal level than with you. They’ll go to Happy Hours to joke around and have a good time. If you live too far away as a remote worker, tough luck. There are new telepresence technologies that are out right now but they are still a bit primitive. There are robots with screens where somebody’s face would be but…it’s still a bit weird. Maybe in a few years, things will improve!
Did You Learn the Pros and Cons of Working Remotely?
I really enjoy working remotely and I think that you’ll enjoy it too. It’s important to know the pros and cons of working remotely because it’s not for everyone. If you’re disciplined and hardworking you’ll feel a lot of fulfillment knowing that you’re in charge and in the driver’s seat as a remote worker. If you’re not comfortable with time management and the loneliness that comes along with remote work, you may be better off working a 9-5 job for the structure and camaraderie with workers. There are pluses and minuses to everything but overall I think that working remotely is a great opportunity for those that want to be more independent and try something new. I hope you all enjoyed reading this article and good luck!