There are many reasons to consider working from home. You may suffer from social anxiety that makes it difficult to interact with the world on a continually daily basis. You may qualify for a job out of state, or country, that allows for long-distance employment. You could have a growing family of young children who require your attention and care. Or maybe it’s just the environment you feel most comfortable and focused in. With our society constantly changing and adjusting to events happening in the world, at-home careers are becoming more popular and available.
There’s a wide selection of at-home jobs for all kinds of people with a variety of skills. Some require more qualifications than others. Examples include freelance writers, graphic designers, in-home child care, animator, baker/caterer, and blogger.
Freelance writers typically work entirely from home and their most common form of communication is online messaging, so you won’t have to worry about receiving pesky phone calls. The same can be said about the other examples, although you may be in a position where you’ll have to take some calls once in a while. All in all, it beats going to the office.
As most would argue, working from home is the preferred option over working in the typical work environment. In 2022 a nine-month study done by Stanford, consisting of 16,000 workers, researchers found a 13% increase in productivity in those working from home. The study attributed the increase in productivity to the quieter work environment, the convenience of working from home and decreased exposure to germs, resulting in fewer sick days.
Another seldom-discussed benefit is the surplus of job opportunities for those suffering from anxiety and those who are easily overstimulated. People suffering from anxiety and sensory issues often struggle in crowded public settings and environments/people they aren’t familiar with. A lot of workplaces don’t cater to mental health conditions and sensory sensitivities, making it a nightmare to focus and properly function. Working from home allows those affected to flourish and thrive without stressing their conditions.
There may not be a lot of cons when it comes to working from home, but not everybody sees it that way. For some, working from home creates too much of a meld between work life and home life, making it difficult to feel motivated and productive. It can also create a more quiet and lonely environment for the highly extroverted who thrive in social settings.
Although statistics say otherwise, some argue working from home decreases productivity and places employees in a setting that is too comfortable. There are bound to be instances where working from home can become problematic for some and they are just as valid. So before you decide if working remotely is right for you, think about your wants and needs, and what the job offers, and try to find ways to engage in social activity outside of work to create a healthy work/play balance.
Experts Weigh In
A lot of companies have fought back against working from home for various reasons. The main reasons are the properties that are already rented out by these companies and being able to manage with a more hands-on approach. For the most part, though, employees returning to the office are likely to hear something along the lines of employers wanting to see their employees’ “smiling faces.”
“The most reluctant to face the new reality (of working from home) are going to have to experience significant pain to catch up,” said economist Julia Pollak. However, experts also note that those who work in person are more likely for career advancement. “There is a risk that those people who get more fact time are naturally at an advantage to advance faster than others,” said Julie Whelan of CBRE.
As the years go on, it’s expected that more jobs will become fully remote or hybrid between WFH and in-office. The exact percentage remains to be seen, but this is a new era for work in the post-COVID world.