The Advantages and Downsides of Working from Home

I am grateful that I still have a job. With the huge number of industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s heartbreaking to hear about massive lay-offs, retrenchments, or redundancies. I am thankful that our company keeps afloat amid the global economic crisis.

Currently, I am working as an analyst in a financial data and software company. We provide support to production teams and respond to client inquiries and requests. Our company allowed its employees to work from home while it’s not yet safe to work in confined spaces. It’s a good thing that since I got hired, I was already issued with a laptop that the transition became easy.

After six months of working from home, I’ve collected my own share of experiences of this new work set-up to enumerate the advantages and the downsides. This article aims to highlight both perspectives based on personal experience and is never intended to make assumptions or generalizations about working from home.

Here are the positive things about working from home:

I never imagined working from home. But when I think of it before, this is the number one item that I’ve always wanted. People say that my home is near the office, but that does not exempt me from the hassle of commuting especially that my place is within the central district of commercial and business ventures. Working from home spared me from the hassle of getting stuck in traffic, queueing for a cab, or being harassed by disrespectful drivers.

Staying at home most of the time allowed me to spend more time with the family. Before, I just wake up to eat then prepare for work, go home late at night, then rest. I only get to spend quality time with them during weekends. Since I started working from home, the time spent in traveling was replaced with longer mealtimes and conversations.

Living a low-key lifestyle was something I never thought I’d enjoy. There is no pressure in dressing up nicely, getting a fabulous make-up, or waking up early to choose your wardrobe. I love working without wearing a bra. I can function at work by just wearing my comfy oversized shirt, shorts, and slippers. I also noticed that I stopped shopping for clothes, shoes, and make-up as these are not necessary at the moment.

More time at home means more time for other important priorities. I can attend to our dogs, cook meals for the family, write in my blog, and do other household chores and errands.

I can work anywhere as long as I have a stable internet connection. I can also do other stuff while working as long as my job responsibilities are not neglected. I will also include here the privilege of working independently. There are no colleagues or bosses around to scrutinize my work or how I conduct myself at the office. At the end of the day, it’s all about delivery.

Of course, I would not trade this for anything else. Working at home somehow assured me that I can protect myself and my family from the virus. It’s hard to commute and report to work wearing a face shield, face mask, and signing the health declaration form everyday.

I don’t know about the others, but I was able to allocate my transportation, make-up, wardrobe, and food allowance to home groceries and utility bills. I just noticed that our electricity bill spiked up but I am thankful that our company includes the internet reimbursement allowance in our salary.

In any set-up, you can’t have it all. Here are some of the downsides about working from home:

Sometimes, internet service can really be crappy that my work gets interrupted. You have to face occasional lags in tools and applications which can be resolved either by restarting or by just waiting for a miracle.

Our company provides free monthly snacks and nutrition packages to its employees. Also, we are free to get unlimited soda, bottled juices, and coffee during our working hours. This is one of the things that I miss in our office.

Although I have a fixed working space at home, it took me months before I finally get to organize this. I used to work in our living room, with just a tiny table and a monobloc chair. Sometimes I work on the sofa or on my bed. It was only recently that I bought my own office chair to make my working space more comfortable. I miss the aircon, huge dual monitors, and comfy chairs in the office.

I am working in our living room because our rooms are not spacious for a working area. Hence, I have to shift my audio settings to mute from time to time to avoid the background noise being heard from my end during meetings. Also, you don’t see your colleagues’ facial reactions when you have discussions. It’s always good to have face-to-face meetings so everything will be well-communicated. I am thankful though that through the help of technology, meetings can be recorded in case you were not able to attend it or your connection got interrupted.

I miss the formal, random, and friendly interactions with my colleagues and leaders. It’s easier to collaborate if you have frequent conversations with your teammates. You’ll always learn from them.

Others are lucky to have their working space at home that is free from disturbance or noise. In my case, since I am working in a shared common space at home, there is no guarantee I will not be interrupted. People at home may ask me to do something from time to time.

Here are some of my tips for cultivating a healthy workplace at home:

  1. Establish a routine. Set a daily routine and list your priorities for the day.
  2. Have a quiet devotional time before work. Spend time reading the bible or something inspirational. Offer your work to God so He can guide you throughout the day.
  3. Log in earlier than your shift to set up your tools or to check internet latencies. In case things don’t work, you’d have ample time to inform your team members about technical issues.
  4. Take a bath. I usually do this to energize myself before working. It will also avoid laziness at work.
  5. Inform your family members about your schedule. Let your family members know about your shift, your break time, or if you have an online meeting so they can also adjust their other activities.
  6. Stick to your schedule. Avoid working overtime. I’m guilty of this. I was complacent that since I was just at home, I can log out at any time I wish to. However, you should also know your boundaries.
  7. Take breaks. Take short breaks to rest your eyes from the computer. Hydrate and eat well. Take short naps too.
  8. Reward yourself over the weekend. Working at home is never easy. Reward yourself with little and simple things that will make you happy. For me, it’s milk tea and a new skincare product!

Conclusion

Based on the list, I therefore conclude that working from home is more advantageous for me in terms of convenience, flexibility, safety, and finances. I am enjoying it and making the most out of it because I know this is only temporary. I also realized that although anything is made possible through technology, it can never transcend barriers in communication and it cannot replace the value of personal interactions.

I’ve also realized how grateful and blessed I am to have a stable job in this unsecured time. If you still have a job now, be thankful and do your best always at work. If your company is still providing you the right compensation and incentives, repay them by rendering excellent service in your role.

If you are one of the unfortunate people who have lost their employment, don’t get weary. Strive your best and soon you will find a stable source of income. Be resourceful, patient, innovative, and creative. Go outside your comfort zones and think outside the box to see the other avenues you can earn your income. It’s never too late to start from scratch. There’s always a time and purpose for everything. Use this season to learn new skills, grow as a person, and rekindle relationships.

Remember, this is just a phase and everything shall pass.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:10-11 KJV

17 Comments Add yours

  1. I always dream of working online at home and being with my family! As a nurse, it is far from my reality… Working at home and wiorking outside has it’s good, and not so good side, depending on what is your priority and goal.! For me, if I will be given a chance, I would rather work at home with the same salary I’m getting from working in the ICU. hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. blair villanueva says:

    Working at home has ups and downs, and this is not for everybody and depends on your line of work. My work in basically in consulting and IT (in addition to my blogging career), and these jobs can be done just at home. Hence, we invested in our work setups such as internet connectivity (including our personnel in the Philippines who are also working at home) and dedicated work space.
    Have patience coz this will be a very long ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i love everything im doing now — this work from home thing.. pinaka hate ko lang yung hindi ako tinutulungan. like its just us two adults here. im also working while attending to oour son.. so sana kung me di ako nagawa.. kusa na lang ako. hahahaha sorry rant

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bitethegram says:

    hmm my problem with this work from home set-up is that, as an overachiever, I’m trying to do so many things at once. Just this quarantine, I’ve secured two jobs even as an undergraduate student. Ang dali mag yes sa mga jobs (at least for me) kasi hindi ko na iisipin yung location, kung paano ako magcocommute papunta, etc. Ayan tuloy and dami ko trabaho.. I’m running a blog pa and also doing my thesis online XD

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Isa ako sa mga nawalan ng work dahil sa pandemic. Nakakalungkot man pero nag-focus na lang ako sa ibang bagay habang naghihintay ng mga susunod na mangyayari like eto, more focus sa blog and etc. Isa rin sa mga downside ng working from home ay parang mas mahirap na mag-leave hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Daddy Clavy says:

    For from my experience…. Yung downside. Is yung availability of. Resources especially kapag my mga projects.. Tska yung ambiance iba ung mood at feelingbof working at offuce environment pa rin tlga.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. May De Jesus-Palacpac says:

    been working from home for so long. my full time came in 2013, but been a wahm since before that. and i find that though there are opportunities to spend more time with family and find time for other priorities, it’s really a decision a person has to make. so many times I found myself burning out from my work because I was not being able to find time to be with my kids which is the primary reason i stayed home in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I 100% agree with everything you said. I used to dread the idea of working from home because we lived in a small house and were a big family, but yeah after a few months I learned to adjust. It’s not perfect, but it’s safe. And yeah, your tips are mostly what I would recommend as well. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hazel Salcedo says:

    Hi, Danica! This is such a great read! I’ve been working from home for a year now, and I remember the struggles and challenges I went through during those early days that I was transitioning. It was hard to adjust at first because I used to work in the corporate setup. Haha Like you, I missed the comfort of stable workdesk, internet, aircon, free drinks, etc. and also the face to face interaction with my workmates/ work friends. I agree with all your pros and cons too. Good luck with work from home life! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pia says:

    Tama ka. I was nodding and oo nga while reading your blog. Haha! While I super loving being at home for work, rami ding downsides. Sana sa future kahit mga once or twice a week nalang from office. Hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Aaliziyah says:

    I like the way you stated both the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. The thing is, we tend to focus solely on the disadvantages of it not realizing that there are some advantages. I like the way you shed light on these advantages.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Misskhae says:

    I’m in a phase right now na sobrang nahihirapan ako sa WFH. At first, talagang naeenjoy ko the perks of being able to control my time and the comfort at home pero nung tumagal talagang halos araw-araw gusto ko nalang umalis at pumunta sa ibang lugar para lang maka focus. And this might be too personal for me to say pero parang I’m starting to lose my own value sa family ko especially for the work that I do. Tipong kunyare may ipapagawa sila, parang sobrang dali sa kanila sabihin na “Diba trabaho mo yan, madali lang yan tapusin mo na” without even thinking that I have clients and because they’re family, I can’t say no to them.

    Like

  13. nicolepaler says:

    Yes, you’re flexible and adaptable but when does that end? I always see people being given too much work for too little time to the point that even on commutes they are being contacted to do this and follow up that. Same people now are experiencing it at home, there’s no sense of separation from your place of work vs sanctuary,

    WFH can only be accomplished to its fullest if people have a sense of when to say no and when superiors have more understanding that anything past 5pm or 9pm or wny work hours is not more work hours LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Janella Herrera says:

    Hello! I am a student-freelancer, got hired as a Social Media Manager at this big construction firm. I AM SOOOO EXCITED. While I handled all the pressure well since I started working at home on March. I will meet them tomorrow at Manila. What can you suggest for the adjustment from wfm to office? 🙂

    Like

  15. emborromeo says:

    I totally agree with this! More time to do other priorities, flexibility, safety and security, reduced expenses… I was a working student, i recently resigned sa job ko na hindi pwede ang wfh, mas prefer ko nalang mga work from home ngayon

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Super check lahat ng mga nakalista dito all the cons and pros are relatable. Since the pandemic I started to work from home. We’re on the same page damang dama ko lahat nang to. I’m enjoying the setup but the drawback and yung mismong kalaban is internet connection lang talaga. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy says:

    I am a SAHM since I got married but I can imagine all the points you got in here. I just love it when my husband works at home whenever the company or the Korean government requires them to contain the spread of COVID. I give my husband my children their corners so they can have their own privacy and uninterrupted work (for my husband) / online class (for my sons).

    Liked by 1 person

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