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Should You Work from Home After You Graduate?

By Ella Patenall

Updated July 17, 2018 Updated July 17, 2018

By Sarah Dixon

Having grown up with smartphones and free wi-fi, it’s no surprise so many of us find the idea of being tied to a desk in our jobs unnecessary. Why sit in a cubicle all day when you could be a digital nomad, working and exploring the world at the same time?

However, wanting to work from home and being able to do it are two different things. Currently, just half of jobs are suitable for working from home and only 25 percent of US workers get to telecommute part-time.

It isn’t just the role that may not be suitable, though. Working from home has many benefits but, like most things in life, it doesn’t suit everyone. Here are some of the downsides you should be aware of.

You can feel extremely isolated

Although some people would have you think you can either be an introvert or an extrovert, with no options in between, the truth is it’s more of a spectrum. Some of us are highly introverted and working from home is nirvana. Others need the company of others like the rest of us need air. Most people are somewhere in the middle.

If you’re towards the introvert end of the spectrum, then social interaction via something like Slack and the occasional video call is probably going to be enough for you. However, if you crave interpersonal contact, then working from home probably isn’t for you.

There are alternatives, of course. Coffee shops, libraries, poolside bars (or to be more realistic, co-working spaces) are all ways to work remotely and still be surrounded by people but these environments usually come with some downsides which we’ll talk more about later.

When you work from home, you don’t have a colleague in the next cubicle eating a tuna sandwich that makes your stomach turn, but you also don’t have someone you can quickly check a fact with. Remote workers need to be more self-reliant, and they need to know when to call for help.

Working from home might be too insecure

While it’s true you can work remotely in other places than your home, your employer may not be happy with you logging in to their network from particular places. Coffee shops and libraries tend to have open networks and your IT team may not want their sensitive data whizzing its way over the aether by way of one of those.

There’s also the physical security aspect. What if you leave your laptop on a bus, or someone snatches it while you’re feeding the birds in the park? What company secrets are you risking?

It can harm your chances of promotion

One worry telecommuters often express is they’re less likely to advance in their careers if they work from home. Remote team managers need to make sure they represent their staff in the office, because otherwise they can be overlooked. It isn’t just promotion either. If you work in a different country to your employer then you may also miss out on training, team-building and corporate celebrations.

Working from home can be expensive

Lastly, consider the financial costs of working from home. A lot of telecommuters use their own equipment, while their office-based colleagues get this provided.

Working from home can also cost you more of your time. Because you can work whenever you like, you begin to start putting in extra hours. You may start earlier, work later and put in time at weekends that your office-based colleagues don’t. You’re also less likely to take a day off sick, although at least the lack of commute means you’re less likely to be ill.

There’s no doubt that working from home brings with it some serious advantages in terms of managing your work/life balance, but it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Before you consider taking a role that involves working from home, have a good think and decide if you’re really cut out for remote working.

Sarah Dixon writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.

This article was originally published in March 2018 . It was last updated in July 2018

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