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The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

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Imagine rolling out of bed on Monday morning, brewing some coffee and starting work from the comfort of your own living room. It might sound like a fantasy, but it could very well be your next career move.

Thanks in large part to programs like Google Drive and Dropbox, it’s easier than ever for Americans to work remotely. Though it often demands additional self-discipline, operating from home proves invaluable for many. Employers reap its benefits, too: A 2015 Stanford University study showed remote workers are not only happier and show increased productivity but also reduce company expenses for supplies, janitorial services and in-office perks.   

Of course, working remotely isn’t all pajama parties and sending emails poolside. And it poses its own set of challenges: building co-worker relationships from afar, resolving telecommunication-induced confusion, resisting the distractions of a nontraditional work environment. There’s a lot to consider—although the joy of evading rush hour might be reason enough to give it a try.

PROS

CONS

  • Is environmentally friendly (less commuting = less gas)
  • Allows for more health/focus breaks when necessary
  • Reduces illness spread (fewer co-workers = fewer germs)
  • Lessens conflict when scheduling healthcare/doctor appointments
  • Provides parents greater flexibility with their kids, especially in the case of an emergency
  • Reduces company costs (less office electricity; fewer resources)
  • Often saves employees money (less gas/eating out)
  • May lead to communication issues (emails/phone calls ≠ in-person conversations)
  • Means fewer impromptu brainstorm sessions with colleagues
  • Often decreases workplace camaraderie
  • Can increase daily distractions (especially if you lack self-control)