More people are working from home than ever before, whether it’s by choice, in order to recover from surgery such as bunion healing, or even if they made the transition during the pandemic and never looked back. But even for newly remote attornies, working from home has its share of trials and tribulations to go along with the benefits.
Here are some of the pros and cons you are likely to encounter when working from home.
If you live in the city, getting to work each morning can be the worst part of the day. Traffic is never fun to maneuver around, but when you work from home, commuting is a thing of the past. The farthest you have to travel for work is your home office, which may consist of a flight of stairs. For many, this makes working from home worth it alone.
Thanks to webcams, email, and other instant messaging programs, communication can be done over the computer far easier than in the past. That being said, communicating with several people throughout the day can become tedious and overwhelming when you have to open and close several messages simultaneously. Not only that but explaining certain situations via these methods can make the process all the more difficult.
Better Work-Life Balance
If you’ve got a family, especially young children, there are lots of advantages to working from home. You’ll find that being home gives you a greater work-life balance to spend more time with your family. You’ll always be home in time for dinner, you can watch over your children while you work and pop out of the office from time to time to check in on them, and if you need to work late for some reason, your partner might just be kind enough to bring you a plate.
While you may get distracted in the office by other employees, you’ll experience many more distractions when working from home. For one, you’ve got to have the willpower to keep your head in your work while using the computer, as hours of work can lead one to browse social media or add items to their Amazon list. You’ve also got to deal with passing traffic, mail deliveries, barking dogs, noisy neighbors, and more. If you have kids at home during the day, good luck, because keeping them quiet enough for you to finish your day of work interrupted is virtually impossible.
You’ve also got to resist the urge to pause your work and move on to your house chores that need to be done, like vacuuming the living room or starting dinner. With a little bit of determination, you’ll be able to fight these distractions off, but it certainly won’t be easy.
One of the best things about working from home is the greater level of freedom that comes with it. While you will still need to remain diligent, you can also play music or listen to podcasts while you work to make things more pleasant. Want to go to work in your pajamas? Assuming you don’t have any video calls scheduled, you can get away with it. Have a doctor’s appointment during the day? You can leave, attend your appointment, and come back at your leisure, so long as you are able to make the work up. Or, if you have kids in school, you’ll have the freedom to pick them up and bring them home without missing a beat.
Too Much Overtime
Some people might have a hard time staying focused while working from home, but others can fall into the trap of overworking themselves, too. It can be easy to continue working away until it’s late into the evening and the rest of your family has already eaten dinner. You might think you’ll just finish one more thing, only to have that last task last an additional hour or two.
This can be easy to do when you work in the same space you’re expected to relax, but making a mental note to quit for the day is crucial for maintaining a strong work-life balance.
The Grind Never Stops
Whether you decide to make the move from your office to your home, you’ll find that there’s not going to be a perfect answer. Are there downsides to working from home? Of course. Are the great benefits? Certainly! The choice is yours to make and will ultimately depend on what is best for you and your career as an attorney.