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Are you wondering if permanent work from home is right for you, but you are unsure of its impact in the long run? Then we’ll help you make up your mind by articulating the factors you should consider before making that choice. Thankfully companies are offering numerous flexible arrangements, like flexible hours, remote work, compressed work weeks, etc. to help them retain top talent and enhance employee productivity.
The ball is in your court now, you have to identify your priorities clearly before deciding if permanently working from home is right for you. In order to make that decision, you need to consider various factors. Reports suggest that 70% of the working population wants to continue working from home. This is due largely to the flexibility and many other benefits that remote work offers.
Working from home saves you commute time and cost. It also promotes better work-life integration especially for women since they manage work, children, and household chores altogether. But there’s a flip side to it as well. You might lose out on networking opportunities and the motivation to work that an office environment offers.
Take stock of how well you can set up the work atmosphere at home. Even if you don’t have access to a separate office room, you must have adequate space to set up work equipment like an office desk, an ergonomic chair, a laptop, and other work-related equipment. It can be costly to have a work-from-home setup, although many organizations provide a laptop and compensate for office furniture. You can also claim internet bills. Make sure you are aware of the company policies in this regard. You can always ask your manager or HR department about it.
Another question you should ask yourself is if you’ll be able to work without distraction in your home-office setup. Will you have the drive and motivation to work alone in an enclosed space while sitting in your pajamas?
It takes strength and willpower to set up fixed work hours, have meals at fixed times, and create a sustainable routine while working remotely. Once you define your work hours, clearly communicate to your family and friends that you won’t be available at that time.
Remote work is indeed a great opportunity to integrate work and personal life, but there has to be a system in place. Your time management skills, the ability to set clear boundaries, and how well you can focus in the comfort of your home are crucial factors in deciding whether working from home is fitting for you or not.
Are you in a phase of your life where you need to network and collaborate with your peers to learn and get growth opportunities? Then going to the office is probably the right option for you as we learn a lot from our seniors and colleagues. You can also establish fruitful professional relationships by having informal conversations during breaks.
If you are planning to have children, get married, or need to take care of a family member due to health reasons then working from home will give you the flexibility to take care of those needs without giving up on professional growth. Foresee your 5-year life goals and the milestones you’d like to achieve (both personal and professional), then decide if returning to the office is right for you or if permanent work from home will serve you better.
The daily commute to the office, especially for women, can be rather stressful. They face harassment and unwanted attention while using public transport and even from male colleagues sometimes. Reports suggest that 80% of women are unwilling to return to the office as compared to 59% of men. Safety and security are the primary reasons for that.
Generally speaking, long traveling hours and the cost of transportation are significant aspects in deciding whether you want to work remotely or not. Working from home also gives you the flexibility to choose a job irrespective of your geographical location and the ability to work on multiple freelance projects.
It’s great to be ambitious and go after professional achievements, but you should also focus on your mental and physical health. Analyze how being in the office and working from home impacts your overall well-being. If you are too lazy to work out and going to the office gives you some physical activity, then being in the office might be a good choice for you. You also might feel lonely and miss office friendships, after all, human connection is vital for mental well-being.
On the contrary, if your work environment is toxic and you find peace while working from home, then remote work might be the right choice for you. You can also save extra time by working from home and devoting extra time to activities that benefit your health such as going to the gym, taking time out for meditation and journaling, or pursuing your favorite hobbies.
Just like everything else, working from home has its pros and cons.
Get your priorities right and set clear boundaries with your colleagues and family members. If you decide to stay at home, ensure that you follow a routine and that your health is not compromised.
Before making a permanent work-from-home decision, you can have a trial-and-error period. Explore combinations of working 2-3 days remotely and other flexible work arrangements to understand what works best for you in the long run.
Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.
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