Like most, you have been forced to work from home or offered the option because of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic. Opinions on working from home range from, “this is awesome!” to, “I can’t stand it.” No matter what you think about working from home, it is essential to keep a positive mindset to help everyone get through the next month and back into normal life. The coronavirus pandemic will pass, but it is going to take time.
Is Working from Home Right for You?
Although it is not a requirement for everyone to work from home in most places, it is still the best option because of how fast COVID-19 spreads. In the US alone, there is a total of 85,356 cases (as of March 27th). And that number is climbing both in the country and around the world. The WHO and the CDC are advising people to stay at home as much as possible and suggest working from home as the best option right now.
Of course, not all businesses have the option to work from home because of the types of goods or services they provide, but there are some jobs available online that you can start. What is available to you job-wise greatly depends on your skills and knowledge of certain computer applications.
Let’s look at the pros and cons that come with working from home to see if that is the route you want to take. It may also ease your mind a bit if you do not have a choice.
PRO: No Traffic
The worst part about getting up to go to work every day is the commute. Getting stuck in traffic and listening to incessant car horns is exceedingly aggravating, especially if you have a long drive. Jobs are not always conveniently located, but when you work from home, it is always convenient!
Getting to work from home also means that fewer miles go on your car, and it will live longer. Although some driving is good for the car and keeps it running smoothly, too much driving every day can become harmful to the engine over the years.
CON: Not Much Socializing
When you work from home, there are fewer annoying people bothering you throughout the day, besides over email conversations. However, with the lack of bothersome conversations, there is also a lack of casual conversation. Socializing is good for your mental health, even in the tiniest bit. Some introverts may consider this as an advantage of working from home because they can pick and choose who to talk to.
Solution: We are sorry, extroverts. Many of us writers cannot relate, but the best way to rid yourself of loneliness is to pick up the phone and facetime your friends. It also helps to spend time with your family, watch stand up comedy shows on Netflix, and go for a walk outside.
PRO: Flexibility with Hours
This advantage may not apply to all the jobs at home. Some jobs, sometimes even in the freelancing sector, have a software that keeps track of what time you start working and for how long. Although keeping track of hours is beneficial to the employer, it is always nice to have some flexibility where you can sleep in a little bit and work on and off during the day so that you can take care of other responsibilities. However, do not let the flexibility in hours cause you to get behind on work.
CON: Lack of Focus
Many people who are not used to working from home may have difficulty keeping on task because of the relaxed environment. Flexible hours may help with getting more done around the house, but with too much flexibility, nothing that really matters will get done.
Solution: It is imperative that you keep yourself on track. It is understandable to struggle during the first few days, especially if working from home is a new concept to you. However, you must stay self-disciplined. Write down a detailed schedule if you must – include the start and stop times for working hours, a lunch break, and downtime, and treat the schedule the same as you would for working at the office.
PRO: Saves You Money
Those days that you forget to pack your lunch and have to buy food from elsewhere do not happen anymore. You will save money on food, gas, and coffee. Working from home helps to keep you from impulsively buying snacks from vending machines and gas stations, and you will begin to appreciate the change in work setting when you realize that you are saving more money than usual.
CON: No More Restaurants or Fast Food
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most dine-in restaurants have closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus from person to person. This decision is good on the restaurant’s behalf, and it has helped encourage more people to stay home in the afternoon. On the contrary, most drive-thrus are still open, and many people keep going out regardless of CDC recommendations.
Usually, when you work from home, there are more options for going out for lunch, but it is still inconvenient because of having to drive back and forth before even getting to eat, and you end up choosing to make food at home anyway.
Solution: When you stock up on groceries for bearing through the coronavirus pandemic, make sure to grab items that you like and will enjoy eating for lunch every day.
Coronavirus Precautions for Working at Home:
- Wash your hands frequently, even if you have not left the house. Unfortunately, coronavirus can spread through the air, and especially if you live in an apartment building, it can spread to you without your knowledge.
- Wear gloves and a mask if you decide to go out.
- Use hand sanitizer after washing your hands each time and use it before and after leaving the house.
- Avoid having guests over since you do not know if they keep up with the same type of precautions and consider posting a sign on your door to prevent unwanted company.