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The pros and cons of earning an online income

Updated on August 14, 2016
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Working from an internet connection

People working remotely from their home office is not a new concept. What is somewhat new and exciting is the ability to work literally anywhere you happen to be. With many devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) having the ability to connect to any WI-FI (wireless) internet connection, who needs to be tied to a desk?

This technology is not all that new, in the bigger cities that is. Smaller towns and rural communities have not had this option as long. I know this because I live in one of those smaller towns. Many of us have been working online for years now, but were chained to our home internet connections and computers. The only other option was to go to an internet friendly cafe or the newer WI-FI hot spot areas. In a rural area, those hot spot locations are very few and far between.

Today, most people that work online are free to connect whatever device they have and work from anywhere. People can sit on the beach and complete a freelance writing or photo assignment with ease. Camping in the mountains? No problem, just connect with your own portable WI-FI and your ready to work!

This really is the age of technology. The world is at our fingertips. We can shop, order pizza, video chat with loved ones a thousand miles away, pay bills, monitor bank accounts and earn a paycheck all online. Even better is the fact that we can do these things while having lunch at a restaurant or sitting at a park.

The upside to online work

There are many positive aspects to working online. These are some of the reasons why some people have opted to leave their brick and mortar jobs and join the cyber workforce.

No dress code

Working online means seldom having to don a suit or any type of uniform. People can work in their fuzzy slippers and sweat pants if they want to.

Relaxed atmosphere

Whether working in the home office, on the sofa or at the beach, working online is more relaxed than some office buildings and retail businesses. No formal conduct is required, unless communicating with online clients/customers or colleagues. Online workers can enjoy a cup of coffee or snack any time, sit with their feet up and even whistle a tune without worrying about disturbing coworkers.

For some people, working online allows them to focus better because there are no distractions from other people and they can control their work environment. They can play music in the background or have peaceful silence or whatever helps them relax and be productive.

Less pressure

Many times in the working world, there is pressure from different sources. Pressure from coworkers, bosses, customers and the clock on the wall, for some examples. There is still pressure to meet deadlines, do a good job and make customers happy, just not face to face pressure.

With many online jobs, people can work at their own pace, within reason. This relieves a lot of pressure right there. Some people do not do their best work when they are rushed to finish tasks.

No commute time

Ah, one of the worst things about a job in the city; the commute. Bumper to bumper traffic during rush hour in the morning and evening. The fun of being cut off by people who think they are in more of a rush, or more important, than anyone else on the road. The joy of stop and go (more stop than go) traffic.

Working online eliminates the need for commuting. Unless you count going from the bedroom to another room in your home. You do not have to get up early enough to get ready and allow yourself plenty of drive time to get to work on time. This means the ability to sleep in whenever you want!

More time with loved ones

One of the biggest downfalls to working outside of the home is missing out on time with loved ones. Online work allows people to be at home or out and about with family and friends. For example I am a writer and love just being in the same room with my loved ones. We may sit in silence while I'm working, but we can still see each other and speak whenever we feel the need.

This is also nice for people with kids. They can earn a decent paycheck and still be at home with their children. Many working parents feel they miss out on watching their children grow up. In decades past there was little choice in that matter because the family had to have at least one income, if not two, to survive. Fortunately, parents today have the option to work online.

Less of a strict schedule

A great bonus to online work is the more relaxed schedules. No more setting the alarm to be up and at work by a ridiculous time of the day or night. The only times you have to worry about scheduling is for meetings, conferences, classes or maybe an interview. These take place via chat rooms, company forums or sometimes by phone.

With many online jobs, you make your own schedule. This is great for self-starters and really motivated people. They can work as little or as much as they want to in any given day.

The pay

Well, money is the main motivation for having a job, right? Most online companies utilize one of three main ways to pay; via direct deposit into your bank account, PayPal or send you a debit card that is used to deposit your pay into each pay period. These methods are hassle free and eliminate the need to cash a paper check.

The inevitable downside

Slow or disrupted connection

No internet connection is 100% disruption free. Most high speed connections are super fast and reliable but can still experience the occasional disruption. Most common causes for internet connectivity problems are due to weather in certain areas. Sometimes slower speeds are experienced when companies are working on their services too.

Little to no face to face interaction

Forums, chat (including video chat), internet and phone calls and email are all great ways of communicating across the miles. However, they still cannot take the place of face time with people. A warm handshake is still a nice way to seal a business deal. Working online does not afford many opportunities to meet colleagues or customers in person.

For some people, the lack of face time can become a little upsetting. Perhaps this is because they like to see in person, who they are working with or doing projects for. Even with all of the cool ways to socialize online, the web is still rather impersonal.

Device malfunction

Any device you buy can stop working properly. They can simply wear out from frequent use, have a small defect or their software/hardware can become outdated and no longer compatible with current websites and programs. This is one huge downside to technology in general. It can get expensive trying to keep up with the latest devices and software.

Aches and pains

Yes, there are aches and pains associated with working online. Back, neck, shoulder, arms, hands and legs can all develop cramps and muscle fatigue. This stems from forced positions over extended periods of time. Eye strain is another concern.

You can help ease these aches by standing up and stretching and walking around at least once an hour.

No strict schedule

Yes, this was mentioned as a positive for working online. However, it can be a bad thing too. Some of us end up working through meals, past bedtime and into the wee hours of the morning if we're not careful. With no clock to punch or boss to tell us when it's quitting time, we just keep right on working.

If you are married or have children, you may not have to worry about this one as much. Your loved ones will let you know when it's quitting time.

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Many opportunities online

One thing to note is that some people may not be able to find a job, that will pay the bills and buy the groceries, online. It can help to have a degree in something or years of real world experience under your belt in the corporate world. Freelancers can make a fair living once they have established a good online reputation for quality work.

There are many opportunities to earn some extra pocket money online. Surveys and blogging are two good examples. Writing articles and editing are two more examples and pay quite well once you establish a good reputation. You may never get rich doing these jobs, but can pick up some extra money and have some fun in the process.

Online work is not for everyone but more and more people are discovering the possibilities it does offer.

© 2014 Tammy Cramblett

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    • Tammy Cramblett profile image
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      Tammy Cramblett 3 years ago from United States

      Poetryyman, personally I agree with you. The pros outweigh the cons for me as well. I don't miss the commutes, the expense or or the drama of having a job outside of my home. Thanks for your comments!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      The pros outweigh the cons by a great deal. In my last commute job the boss was a childish idiot and his first officer was a Nazi. Backaches are preferable.