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Should You Work From Home? That Is The Question…
●December 8, 2017●10 minute read
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Working from home has been an increasingly popular option in line with the advancement of technology. Of course, in 2020, many companies have had to pivot to employees working from home in line with the recent health crisis. Let’s for the sake of argument though, assume a return to normality without social restrictions. Is working from home a viable option?
Does the efficiency and flexibility of working from home, and not needing to spend time commuting, outweigh its drawbacks? We explore the advantages and disadvantages of this option.
What jobs can be done from home?
Before we look at the pros and cons of working from home, it’s important to look at what jobs you can actually do from your house. Keep in mind, many of the jobs listed below may require formal qualifications. Some, however, are accessible without requiring study or training in a specific field. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular jobs that can be done remotely:
If you speak more than one language, you could consider working as a translator. You could translate anything from legal documents to articles or websites. This is appealing to companies as they can access translators in different geographical locations, especially when those translators may not be readily available in the companies immediate region.
Some companies like to outsource their reception services instead of paying someone to be at the office. This often occurs when businesses don’t have customers physically coming into their offices. Having a virtual receptionist reduces the workload of other employees so that they can focus on the business’s core responsibilities.
Web developer/ designer
If you’re a web designer or developer, this is a great work from home job as it can be done pretty much anywhere. All you need is a computer and access to the internet. Platforms like Upwork or Freelancer are services you can use to find freelance development work.
Customer service representative
Customer service work has become increasingly outsourced. Companies are always looking for people who can help with customer enquiries and issues. If you are good with people and have strong communication skills, this could be a great work from home job for you.
Technical support specialist
This is another customer service job that can be done from home but specifically focuses on helping customers with their technological needs. Depending on the technology itself, you may have to have undertaken an IT or other relevant course. Some companies though will be able to offer training on their tech product.
Virtual tutors are increasingly popular for subjects from Maths, to English, history and more. This can be done from any location with an internet connection. There are many online services that offer work from home roles for virtual tutors, but these may require a formal degree.
Copywriting and editing is a great way to earn money online from home. Not only is it enjoyable but it can also be highly profitable. If you have a strong grasp of spelling, punctuation and language this could be a great option for you.
Alert! Watch out for work from home scams!
Watch out for illegitimate job advertisements. Job scammers are unfortunately common online so it’s important to be aware of them. Although there is still plenty of legitimate work from home jobs, you need to know what to watch out for. Some warning signs of illegitimate work may be:
- The job makes big promises of large amounts of money in short periods of time, or similar
- If they ask for any money upfront
- Bad reviews from people who have previously dealt with the company
What are the benefits if you work from home?
Below is a list of some of the benefits of work from home jobs:
No time wasted commuting
One of the biggest bonuses of working from home is that you avoid time spent commuting. It’s not unheard of to spend two or more hours a day just getting to and from work. This time could otherwise be spent working or completing other productive tasks.
It can be environmentally friendly
The less time spent driving to and from work, the less environmental impact. Even if you take public transport, it’s still contributing to the fumes let out into the environment. Unless you are cycling or walking to and from work, your commute is contributing to pollution.
Not to mention the commute can often be a costly journey. Whether it’s to pay for petrol, parking, tolls or public transport fares, the costs of travelling can really add up. If you’re also not a fan of bringing your lunch into work this adds another daily expense.
It can be less stressful
Working from home can also be much less stressful, especially if you work in a fast-paced industry. If something is going on at work, and others are feeling stressed, it could influence the way that you feel and ultimately affect your productivity.
It also may be much quieter working from home as there is less office noise to distract you from doing your work. You also are less likely to engage in as many conversations as you won’t be seeing people face-to-face. This of course can have its drawbacks, but it can also result in higher productivity.
This doesn’t necessarily relate to work hours, but a work from home job allows you to have more flexibility in terms of creating your working environment. Where you set up for your workday, what room temperature you want, how you decorate your home office space: it’s all up to you.
You can still remain eligible for personal loans, even in a freelance or other work from home situation
Even if your role isn’t full or part-time with your work from home arrangement, this does not immediately disqualify you from getting a loan, should you need it. Conditions still apply of course, but if you wish to check your eligibility you can do so using our handy online calculator at the top of the page
What are the drawbacks if you work from home?
Working from home, like anything, has a downside too. While there are plenty of things to gain from a work from home job, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind:
Working from home is less social
When you work from home this typically means much less social interaction, especially if you are the only one at home. Some people thrive on this sort of solitude while others may feel lonely without others around for long periods of time.
In contrast to our point above, depending on your set up, working from home may result in more distractions. It’s easy to be distracted by pets, the television, social calls and a variety of other things. If you’re working for or by yourself this requires a degree of discipline, and some people may find it challenging to stay accountable and focused when they have Netflix, Facebook and other home amenities at their fingertips.
Work and home could merge
One of the biggest drawbacks might be that work and home life can overlap. Since your home is also your workplace it might feel as though you are always at work and have no place to relax. Setting up a dedicated workspace can help counteract this, but some people still find it hard to ‘switch off’ when they work from home.
Not involved in what’s happening with the company
A work from home job means that you are separate from what’s going on with the rest of the company. When you’re not physically there, you may lose touch with the developments that occur at the office, which may leave you feeling disconnected.
It can be challenging to motivate yourself
If you wake up one day and don’t feel like working this is much easier to do from home. With an office job, you’re accountable to be somewhere at a specific time and typically have set hours to work. This isn’t always the case when working from home. If you find issues with self-discipline this is something you may need to watch out for.
Freelance jobs don’t typically offer sick or personal leave
This could put you in a scenario where, if you haven’t budgeted correctly, you may run into financial difficulties. If you are in a situation where your income is temporarily reduced and you need a short-term loan to tide you over, you may be eligible for a loan from Jacaranda Finance.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to businesses that have employees working from home?
From a business perspective, what are the benefits and detriments of remote workers?
- Improved employee retention: Some experts state that having employees work out of the office increases employee retention. This is especially true for people with young children who may be affected by the childcare rebate changes. It’s also said to improve employee work/life balance and well-being which also contributes to retention.
- Financial gains: Not having employees physically in the office can save money on the costs of office space and other overheads. For instance, employers won’t have to rent as big of a space to fit all the employees. It can also save them costs on electricity and other office amenities.
- Productivity gains: Studies also indicate working from home can increase productivity since time isn’t spent commuting and, as stated above, there can be fewer distractions for the employee.
- Difficult to monitor performance: One of the main drawbacks of having employees work from home is that it’s harder to monitor employee’s performance. This may also lead to a deterioration of employee’s skills and work quality, therefore leading to decreased productivity.
- Communication problems: Another clear drawback of having employees work from home is communication, especially large group communication, may be challenging. This could also lead to a decrease in productivity and lower morale, due to feelings of isolation and lack of community engagement.
- Problems in staff development: When employees are at home it is much more difficult to upgrade staff skills. Employees will not be able to benefit from the experience or ideas of their colleagues if they don’t have as much face-to-face interaction.
Where can you find the work from home jobs Australia offers?
Looking for these jobs in Australia will depend on what field you are actually looking to work in. When you begin your search, instead of broadly searching for ‘be your own boss’ jobs, focus on specific job titles that may interest you.
Some specific examples of this may be:
- Online English tutor jobs
- Virtual assistant jobs
- Freelance writing/editing work
- Online virtual assistant jobs
- Freelance web developer jobs
We’ve put together a table that shows the current work from home jobs Australia is advertising.
|Work from home jobs Australia
|Work from home Melbourne
||Menswear buyer, editors, online teachers, travel consultant, customer service representatives
|Work from home jobs Sydney
||Mortgage administrator, client and sales administrator, corporate travel consultant, appointment setter, home-based tutors
|Work from home Perth
||Web developer, data entry, sales representative, sales and digital marketing specialist, online travel agent
|Work from home Brisbane
||Account manager, administration manager, at-home tech support, tele-fundraiser
|Work from home Adelaide
||Recruitment consultant, sales consultant, administrator support, freelance writing
Ultimately, answering the question of whether to work from home or not isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. It’s a matter of weighing up the benefits and disadvantages because there is something to be gained from working at home as well as working in an office.
It also may be up to the individual. Working from home might be the perfect solution for some, but the worst for others. Finally, it’s up to the employer to assess whether having employees working from home is in the best interest of the business or not.
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Written by Jacaranda Team