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Online Jobs: Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Last updated: June 25, 2019
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More and more people are flocking to the idea of finding an online job that allows them to work from home or anywhere else they’d like in the world.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, the upsides of work-from-home jobs are plentiful, however, there are surely a few drawbacks you should consider before taking the leap of faith into your remote job search.

We’re going to discuss all of the pros and cons that online jobs bring along so you fully understand what you’re getting yourself into. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the different types of online jobs, where you can start looking, and if the lifestyle is right for you.

Types of Online Jobs

Before we get into all of the pros and cons of having an online job, you should first understand the types of positions you can find online.

Depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of jobs ranging from entry-level positions for college students to part-time and full-time job opportunities for the experienced professional.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what job is right for you, here are a few job titles that are perfectly suited for entry-level candidates:

  • Data Entry
  • Social Media Manager
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Freelance Writer
  • Graphic Design
  • Call Center Support

If you’re interested in freelance job postings, like freelance writing jobs, then you can also look at a few of the best online job boards.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the advantages of landing a remote gig.

Advantages of Online Jobs

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Let’s start with the easy part — the advantages of having an online job. We’ll try our best not to be biased since the team here at Gig Worker fully embraces the remote work lifestyle. Let’s give it a shot.

Work Flexibility

Having an online job allows you to set your own schedule and work when you’re most productive.

If that’s at 5:00 a.m. then that’s great for you. If you’re a night owl, then you won’t feel guilty for putting in hours at night rather than waking up super early in the morning.

As long as you’re hitting your deadlines and not holding up anyone else on the team, then take advantage of your freedom of working whenever you’d like.

Autonomy

Similar to having a greater sense of work flexibility, you also don’t need to worry about your bosses or co-workers breathing down your neck.

Typically in work-from-home roles, there is an understood sense of responsibility and trust that everyone takes on. You’re able to make more of your own decisions and structure your work day around yourself.

This is a great feeling and can definitely boost your confidence since you have more responsibility and a feeling of empowerment.

No More Commute

“Wait a minute — so I won’t have to worry about rush hour traffic or crowded trains anymore?” That’s exactly correct.

The days of waking up an hour earlier just because you want to beat the 8 o’clock rush are long gone. No more traffic, no more crowded subways, and no more rushing into the office a few minutes late, hoping nobody saw you slip into your cubicle.

Without the commute, you now have a hefty amount of time that’s freed up. What will you do with all that extra time you get back? For starters, you can start taking back control of your work-life balance.

Better Work-Life Balance

Without the commute, you’ve been given back a few hours of your life. Online jobs are an excellent way to obtain a better work-life balance.

This means you can spend more quality time with your family, take control of your fitness regimen, and maybe even start eating healthier since you won’t be tempted to go out and grab lunch if you left it in the fridge at home.

Also, if you have young ones in the house, this means that you can work while still being close to your children throughout the day. It’s perfect for all those parents out there who want to pick up some extra hours on the side.

Save Cash

Since you won’t be driving into work every day, putting miles on your vehicle, draining gas, or spending money on subway passes, you’re bound to start saving some extra money.

And what about a babysitter? You might still need one on speed dial since you’ll need to have some productive hours without the distraction of children, but at the very least you won’t need a babysitter nearly as often.

You also won’t need to worry about the expenses of going out to lunch all the time since you can cook your own food at home. Plus, all those shopping trips for nice work clothes will slow down a bit.

Say Goodbye to Work Attire

What’s more inconvenient than waking up early to beat traffic? Waking up even earlier to make sure you have enough time to shower, do your hair and makeup, and then iron your clothes.

No need to worry about wrinkled garments at the office since you can work in your comfy clothes right at home. If you want to wear sweats, then wear sweats. If you want to relax on the couch in your comfiest yoga pants, then, by all means, you’ve earned that right.

Work From Wherever You Like

Since we’ve already talked about all the perks of having an online job for those who decide to work at home, we figured we’d finish off with the fact that you don’t even need to work at home at all if you’d prefer. In many cases, you can work from wherever you want in the world.

This opens up the doors to so many possibilities. Your previous notion of what a vacation is will drastically change. No longer will you have to rush home to get back to your office job.

You could instead stay where you’re at — perhaps a beach somewhere in the world — and set up shop with your laptop. As long as you have a solid internet connection you can knock out some work hours. That’s pretty hard to beat.

Disadvantages of Online Jobs

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Now that you know all the splendid perks of online jobs, take a second to think about some of these less desirable inconveniences that come with the territory.

Your Social Interactions Are Limited

Working an online job can get lonely in a hurry. Since you’ll be living where you work, your co-workers will be far away and you won’t have anyone to interact with.

There may be times where you get through a majority of the day without even saying a word — unless you had a meeting or have a friendly pet companion who you like to chat it up with.

Some people might like this seclusion, but others prefer to have a work environment that’s social and collaborative, which leads us to our next point.

Collaboration Is Lacking

A challenge many remote companies face is maintaining a healthy level of collaboration. While nobody likes to be inundated with meetings, it is often helpful to bounce ideas off one another and collaborate.

Some people thrive in this type of work environment and prefer being part of tight-knit teams. In many cases, collaboration is stifled through the computer screen if the right tools aren’t being used.

Now, we aren’t saying collaboration is impossible, it’s just more difficult to maintain and stay on top of when everyone is located in different regions. You’ll need to make a conscious effort to effectively pull this off.

There Are a Ton of Distractions

Being at home is great and all, but be careful as it opens up Pandora’s box to a slew of distractions. Just think about it — you’re working in the place where you relax, eat, do chores, and interact with family members — what could go wrong?

Distractions easily make their way into your workday if you aren’t diligently avoiding them at every turn.

Want to cook a nice lunch? Be careful because this could mean you need to set time aside for cleanup. Eat too much for lunch and feel sleepy? The couch is right there calling your name for a post-lunch nap. Not tired? Since nobody is home, maybe now would be a good time to catch up on that Netflix series you’ve been binging.

Should we go on? You probably get the point.

Tremendous Discipline Is Required

To avoid the distractions we just mentioned above, you need to be extremely disciplined. This goes beyond just warding off distractions and also includes being responsible for maintaining high productivity.

Your online job brought you the luxury of not having a boss around to micro-manage and tell you what to do all the time. That’s now your responsibility to make sure your work is getting done in a timely manner and that you remain productive and efficient.

Sometimes You Can’t Turn It Off

The same way you must stay disciplined to maintain your work output, you must also be able to tell yourself when to turn it off.

Since you technically never leave the office, it can be easy to let the work hours drag into the evening and even up until the wee hours of the morning. You must keep an eye out for this because it’s a slippery slope that leads to you working endless hours without even noticing it.

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, you should schedule time when you’re dedicated to only work and also time when you shut down the laptop, avoid doing work, and stop checking emails. You’ll thank us for it.

At Times, It Can Be Unhealthy

Without a commute means that many days you’ll stay buttoned up inside. This eliminates the little exercise you may have gotten walking into work and getting out and stretching.

In order to combat this, you should make sure you maintain a healthy level of workout activities throughout the week. At the very least, you should be getting up and stretching and maybe taking a walk around the block a few times.

Also, you should be wary of your work setup. Just because the couch is a comfortable place to sit and watch television doesn’t mean it’s a great place to work on your laptop. This can quickly lead to back pain and discomfort, so it might not be a bad idea to invest in a nice work chair or stand-up desk you can use.

People Don’t Take Your Job Seriously

This is one of our favorites. If we had a dollar for every time someone asked us what we do or when we’re going to get a real job, we’d be rich.

Many people just don’t understand the concept of remote work and having an online job. They think that just because you work from home means that you either aren’t making any money, you’re unemployed, or you have some mythical job that’s too hard to explain.

The lack of awareness from family and friends also makes you vulnerable for favors, like “Hey since you’re at home can you do a few things for me?” This is a common occurrence that must be stopped at the source to manage expectations with your work-from-home job.

Take Control of Your Work

Work-from-home opportunities provide an excellent means for you to take control of your work-life balance and find happiness in the work you’re doing. The remote working lifestyle is a hard one to return from since there are so many upsides. However, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows so make sure you remember to always consider the downsides mentioned above.

Good luck landing your next side-hustle or full-time online job.

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