The idea of working from home can seem like a dream to some people. They have visions of late lie-ins and sitting in bed, but the truth can be a bit different. Generally when I tell someone I work from home, they reply with ‘you’re so lucky!’. I tend to smile at this and say yeah it makes things easier, but there are serious pros and cons to working from home, especially when it’s out of necessity! There can be many different health reasons which would cause a person to need to work from home rather than want to and it’s a very mixed experience.
The Benefits of no Travel
Undeniably, working from home makes somethings waaay easier. For me who literally can’t travel by myself, it allows me to be employed in a situation where my disabilities are a massive blocker. Traveling alone is dangerous for me with uncontrolled seizures and with the heat and stress of trains being a trigger. I’m super grateful for the ability to be working full time but not have my condition aggravated by logistics!
I’m a business consultant- a job which normally requires a lot of travel. My work have reasonable adjustments in place which mean I work remotely. You may well wonder why I chose a career in something my health doesn’t love and the honest answer is that it wasn’t this bad before and I didn’t know travel would cause such issues!. Not having to travel has let me continue in an industry I enjoy working in and allowed me to further develop my skills and interests.
Self care is much easier
You can also pace yourself a lot more when you work from home. You can obviously get more rest if you don’t have to travel and you’re in the comfort of your own home. You’re also more in control as to taking short breathers. Learning to mange your time and duties correctly is essential to working from home and it can be tough at first but you learn to self motivate well.
If you’re someone who needs to use medications or accessibility apparatus of any kind you’re much more in control and don’t have to worry about anyone judging you.I have a home office for work and have mouse and keyboard wrist supports to help my pain and can get up to stretch out whenever I need. When my seizures occur I know i’m in a safe environment and no-one’s about to call 999 unnecessarily!
The Isolation Issue
It’s massively isolated working from home- It’s easy to think it’d be bliss to be alone and not deal with people face to face but there’s a massive difference when something’s by necessity rather than choice.
I’m a pretty happily introverted person but the lack of social interaction when you spend all day in a home office is tough. You miss out on easy networking, work friends, on casual meetings and even on being able to interpret body language. People often find it odd that i work remotely and I can’t express how often i’ve had to explain my disability situation to an awkward reception.
It Can be hard to fit in
If you’re the only person in your team who works remotely, it’s easy to stick out and for the wrong reasons. Nobody ever sees you in person so people don’t automatically think of you for team involvement. You have to work so hard not to be invisible!
It can also hold you back career wise if you work’s not used to having remote employees and they may be unkeen to promote you. You might not fit the normal work system and that can be a real issue. If you’re being made to feel like a problem for not being in the office when it’s not by choice, that can really grate on your confidence.
Working from home is a mixed bag- it can be amazingly helpful time and logistic wise! However, emotionally and socially it can be a real impairment and no one like to be made to feel a problem. In an ideal world, I think i’d work a mixture of at home and in office, but learning to put my health first has been essential in my career.
Do you work from home? How have you found the challenges with the situation, i’d be very interested to know!
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