The future of "working from home"

By Robert Half on 7 September 2020

While many jobs in the past have traditionally favoured working in a corporate environment, the workplace is changing for the future. Working from home is becoming the new norm in certain sectors.

The reality is this: Working from home has its perks, but basically it’s work. Learning more about working from home pros and cons, know how to get a balance between them.

Pro: It's easier to focus when you telecommute

For many people in administrative jobs, it’s easier to focus with fewer meetings to attend and no co-workers stopping by your desk to chat. You may get more work done in less time.

Con: It's more difficult to manage some tasks

The option to telecommute isn’t for everyone. You need to be very self-directed to be productive. It can take a while to get used to less face time with colleagues, and some people never do.

In most administrative jobs, it’s critical that you be there in person. Managers like to know they can easily talk to admins at their desks, and it’s generally easier to coordinate administrative tasks or projects when you’re on-site. If you screen phone calls, it can get complicated working remotely.

Pro: You're at home

You get to work from the comfort of your home!

Con: Here you are — still at home

You get to work from the comfort of your home. The dishes left in the sink at breakfast are there to greet you when you break for lunch. The family dog who barks at everyone who walks by your house may have you taking conference calls in the quiet of your child’s room.

Pro: There's some flexibility for life needs

You have some flexibility to handle personal demands. For instance, you know you’ll be there when a package is delivered or a contractor stops by to make house repairs.

Con: It may be harder to be available for work needs

When you telecommute, for administrative jobs, this doesn’t mean you can just work whenever it’s convenient. You need to make sure you’re available during business hours. You'll also want your young children at childcare when you're working from home. It’s next to impossible to watch your kids and do your job well simultaneously. Imagine having children making noise in the background when your boss or an important client calls — not good. Most employers will expect you to make childcare arrangements before they will agree to this work arrangement.

Pro: You're already at the office

You can’t beat the ease of going to work at a home office. No commuting!

Con: Friends and family can find you

Your friends and family may not understand what it means to telecommute. Don’t be surprised to receive personal calls during work time or get requests to get together on weekdays — no matter how clear you are about your work hours.

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