The coronavirus lockdowns and quarantine changed the world in a variety of ways, but perhaps no alteration was more significant than the influx of telecommuting. Even as the pandemic’s worst days have been curbed by vaccinations and social distancing and people are starting to live more socially again, remote work has remained a new staple of society.
Working from home presents a lot of different positives and negatives and these aspects of telecommuting are often dependent on how certain people react to different things within their jobs. Some people might have a hard time focusing on their work when they have their family and pets around them. Others might really enjoy not having to drive into an office location.
Car insurance since COVID-19 became quite a bit more affordable because people weren’t on the road very often. Insurance companies often give discounted rates to those who drive sparingly. We’ll talk about this aspect and several other factors to determine the main pros and cons of telecommunication in the post-pandemic world.
Pro #1 – People Can Get More Sleep
When you have to get up early in the morning to get to the office, there’s often a lot of extra time that has to be spent on getting ready and driving to work. When you don’t have to go anywhere, you may be able to dress more comfortably and casually.
Jobs in which you do all of your online communication through email or another messaging app are a key example here. If video conferencing is required, consider only dressing professionally from the waist up.
People on the Zoom call aren’t going to see what you’re wearing below the belt. This saves time spent picking out your outfit, and it saves money spent on fancy clothing.
Even if your drive to the office is a measly 10 minutes, staying home will allow you to take an extra snooze before rolling out of bed and going to work. Combine this with the time saved when you don’t have to dress up and you’re looking at a solid amount of extra sleep throughout the workweek.
Con #1 – The Line Between Work and Fun is Blurred
Many people learned how ditching the office and working from home resulted in more of their attention being given to their surroundings throughout the day. While it’s great to see your family or your dog while doing your job, it can also create a blurred line between fun and work that is hard to navigate.
Young kids may want you to play with you, or your spouse may want you to take an extra long lunch to discuss something that happened to them at their own job. Personal items like these are typically prioritized in most people’s lives, but the downside is that these distractions could potentially hamper your efficiency on the job.
One of the ways you can more easily overcome this issue is to pick out a home office room or a personal space where you can get away from the noise and any interference from other members of the household. This will help to compartmentalize your work and prevent this blurring of employment and home life.
Pro #2 – People Who Telecommute Might Drive Less
One of the best parts of not going into an office for work is the elimination of excessive driving every day. The average American spends over 4 hours commuting to work every week. This is over 16 hours a month. We already talked about how you can get more sleep when you don’t drive to work, but you can also save an enormous amount of money.
Gas prices are still very high in large parts of the country. Not driving to work will save you a ton at the pump. Insurance companies will also give you discounts on your policy if you only drive for pleasure and recreation. Some companies will have a drive-by-mile policy you can sign up for. These only charge you for the small number of miles you drive each month.
Con #2 – There Are Fewer Friendship Opportunities
Some people have found out they’re having a hard time making friends when they work from home. Telecommuting makes interactions between co-workers more sparse and less personal. Seeing folks once in a while on a video call doesn’t exactly give many opportunities to learn about each other.
If you miss hanging out with your co-workers or friends you made while going to work, try to find other ways to make new friends. Going to the gym or joining a club at the recreational center might be a good way to meet people who have similar interests as you.
Downloading a dating app and using it only for platonic friendships is another way people have started making more friends in the post-pandemic world.
Pro #3 – More Time For Exercise
It can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation to exercise after a long day at the office, especially if you get out of work late in the evening. Working from home might help you feel more energized and ready to exercise after your shift.
Taking care of your body and working out should present a lot of benefits for you. Getting more exercise has been shown to help lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even diabetes. It may lower your cost of health insurance as well. Not having to commute to an office might even give you the opportunity to exercise in the morning before you hop onto your computer for your remote job.
Con #3 – Too Much Time Spend Online
Working from home has allowed people to make money in a variety of creative ways. People are making a living playing video games, they’re starting entrepreneurial ventures, and turning hobbies into startups. One of the major downsides to spending this much time working from home is that many of these opportunities are being created by working online constantly.
Spending too much time online can lead to things as minor as eye strain from your phone screen to something as major as anxiety and depression. Being out in the real world with other people and interacting with the outdoors and nature can be a really healthy escape from the influx of technology being used by so many people right now.
You can see there are several different pros and cons to working from home. Finding the right balance between these aspects of your work to make sure telecommuting is a success can be a struggle initially. Everybody needs to identify what part of remote work makes them feel the most energized and ready to take on the world, and this is when opportunities will blossom.