ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting

Updated on March 1, 2018
Working from home.
Working from home. | Source

More and more employers are seeing the upside of letting employees telecommute - benefits mainly related to lower expenses: reduced office size, phone service, office furniture, utilities, paper, copy machines, and all the other services and products that are needed for an office to run efficiently.

Many employees wish they could telecommute, but remote work is not for everyone. To see if it's best for you, read on!

If, after reading this article, you think telecommuting is a good option for you, I've included some tips for obtaining a remote position or turning your current in-office job to a virtual job.

The Upside

It seems that the common conception of people working from home involves a person in their pajamas, sipping coffee in front of the computer. In fact, that describes me! I like to get a jump on e-mails and messages that have piled up during the evening and early morning, then I take a shower break, put on some comfy clothes, and tackle larger work tasks.

For me, this is a major upside because:

  • I can work at my own pace, in logical segments.
  • I'm highly productive due to a lack of disruptions.
  • I still attend all meetings via phone or video conference. These technologies allow out-of-office attendees to participate, view or present work product, or conduct private one-on-one visual conversations. (I comb my hair for those.)
  • I no longer have to drive an hour (each way) in incredibly stressful traffic - this also gives me 2 more hours each day to spend on actual work. In addition, it saves me a ton on gas and car maintenance.
  • I don't have to pack a lunch.
  • I save a ton on business apparel and dry cleaning.
  • I save money on makeup and other products used to make people more presentable in public.
  • I don't have to fake happy to people at work when I've just endured a blaring alarm clock and a stressful commute.

Working from home can feel isolating.
Working from home can feel isolating. | Source

The Downside

I ran into some of these factors that I wasn't expecting:

  • You must be completely self-motivated and in no way a procrastinator.
  • Although it's true that some days I only have about 6 hours of work to do, there are plenty of days, nights, and weekends when I'm working 14-16 hours a day to meet a deadline.
  • Out of sight, out of mind: Once in a while, I'd go to the office, and the reaction I got from people was utter surprise, and comments like, "I didn't know you still worked here!" Of course, the team I worked with daily knew I was doing my job, but everyone else thought I was dead or gone.
  • Jealousy: Some people didn't understand why I was allowed to work from home and they were not.
  • My friends and family also developed this weird belief that since I wasn't out at the office, I wasn't working. They assumed I could do mid-week favors for them since I, apparently, was available.
  • Some additional expenses like upgraded internet, an additional monitor, and some basic office supplies (although some employers will provide these items).

Be sure to take outdoor breaks.
Be sure to take outdoor breaks. | Source
  • Sometimes, having no interruptions, I get so involved in my work that I forget to get up and stretch. Thankfully, I have a little dog who needs to go for a walk around the block once in a while.
  • Although not the case for me, I've talked to plenty of mothers or fathers who wanted to stay at home with the kids to save on daycare expenses or just spend more time with them. These people found that telecommuting did not work for them and went back to working in-office due to the constant interruptions and lack of productivity. They just couldn't hold a train of thought with constant diaper changing, crying babies, and demands for Cheerios. Also, there are those awkward calls from your boss with screaming kids in the background. Unless you are willing to still take the kids to daycare or hire in-home help, this option is probably not for you.
  • Some telecommuting positions start as or change to contract work, rather than salaried with benefits. The cost of losing paid time off, health insurance, and a company-sponsored 401K must be calculated carefully. A written agreement is crucial to make sure you'll be working enough hours at a high enough hourly rate to cover your living expenses.
  • There's a limited pool of job types that are conducive to telecommuting.

Online Job Searching
Online Job Searching | Source

Finding that Telecommuting Job

Generally, the rule of thumb is that employers looking for or allowing a telecommuting position are looking for highly productive, super-reliable employees.

Finding a New Remote Job
So, if you do nationwide searches for telecommuting jobs, be prepared to offer up an amazing résume and references about what a hard worker you are, self-directed, work well without constant supervision, dependable, reliable, always deliver within deadline, etc.

Hopefully, you'll already have some telecommuting experience to show that you can handle that working situation.

Along with all the traditional job search methods, check out sites that list only remote jobs, such as Some of the major job boards, particularly, now allow you to enter "remote" in the location field.

Turning Your Existing Job into a Remote Job
If you are an in-office worker, you may need to do some convincing - so prepare your 'argument' thoughtfully. Always have the mindset that this change will be great for the company. I had proved my work ethic over three years before I approached my boss about telecommuting. I convinced him that I would be much more productive, would have more hours to devote to my work, and would free up some office resources.

Initially, we decided to try telecommuting 2 days per week, which over the next few months, turned into full-time telecommuting.

In all, I feel very fortunate to be able to telecommute, and have balanced my life over time - making sure I have plenty of outside social contact. When I wonder if I made the right choice, all I have to do is think about that (bleeping) commute to and from work, and I breathe a sigh of non-car-emission-filled relief.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • LucyLiu12 profile imageAUTHOR

      Robin Young 

      7 years ago from Boise

      Great advice on the jealousy part - I do tend to worry sometimes about what others think of me. Thanks for the reminder.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      You are fortunate indeed. Some of the downside facts seem straight up tome. For example, "Jealousy: Some people didn't understand why I was allowed to work from home and they were not" is not really your concern--you have nothing to do with that. I understand the need for moral support and the temptation to be anti-social. Encourage yourself, be happy and grateful!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)