The Pros And Cons Of Working From Home In The Philippines
Before COVID-19, a home-based work set-up was already emerging as more Filipinos shifted towards less traditional employment which is online. In 2019, the Philippines was the fastest-growing market for online freelancers according to the Global Gig Economy Index by Payoneer.
With up to 25% more people than originally predicted needing to change jobs as a result of the pandemic, existing trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation were accelerated. Now, even office-based employment has gone remote and will remain that way!
For many, working from home provides an opportunity to stay in the workforce and work for a well-established company, while enjoying all the benefits of obtaining a better work-life balance. The advantages associated with working from home cannot be understated, but with it comes repercussions that shouldn’t be overlooked either.
To give you a balanced view and help you decide before making the switch from office life to home-based employment, here’s a low-down of what you can expect working from home.
Advantages of having a home-based job
Working from home won’t just help you save time and money, there’s so much more you’ll reap in between.
- Potential savings
Working from home will help you avoid expenses associated with going into work such as fuel, car depreciation, tolls or road taxes, parking, expensive professional attire, childcare, and money spent eating out.
- Avoid a long commute
Results from a recent Waze study of 32 countries and 167 major cities concluded that Metro Manila has the “worst traffic on Earth.” This same study concluded that the Philippines ranked the ninth worst place to drive in the world. In terms of commute time, Manila was at the top of the list for the longest commute, with an average commute of 45.5 minutes. It’s easy for one to see the huge benefit working from home provides by eliminating long daily commutes.
- No dependence on transportation
You may be thinking that trading in your car keys for public transportation would be a simple solution to avoiding a long daily commute to and from work, but you would be sorely mistaken. CNN Philippine Reporters conducted a test in 2015 to determine if Filipinos could get to work faster by train or bus, and neither proved to be a much faster option. It took over 40 minutes via the Metro Rail Transit and over two hours via a city bus ride, against using your car which would take about an hour and a half. Working from home would help you avoid the stress associated with depending on mass transit to get you to work on time.
A work-from-home job could provide you with flexible hours. Some companies will even allow you to pick your own hours, so long as you can return quality work and meet deadlines.
- Fewer distractions
The lack of office-related activity means fewer distractions for you, which can result in higher productivity. Without the office environment, you will avoid unnecessary and unproductive conversations with your fellow employees, fewer interruptions, and fewer unimportant meetings.
- Close to family
One of the major benefits of a home-based job is the proximity to family. If you’re a parent, working from home can add increased peace of mind knowing you are close to your children should an emergency arise. In addition, you will no longer have to worry about rushing home to prepare dinner or get your children to an extracurricular activity on time.
- Healthier lifestyle
Many Filipinos that work from home may claim to be happier in their current profession than in a previous profession. Working from home could help you get more sleep by eliminating the long morning commute, can eliminate any potentially toxic work relationships, eliminating stress, and even giving you some extra time to go to the gym either before or after work.
Disadvantages of a home-based job
Though working from home can provide you with numerous benefits, there are some potential drawbacks that you will want to consider before deciding to make a career switch to a home-based job.
- Potential distractions
We just stated that working from home could allow you to avoid unnecessary distractions, but it can also introduce completely new distractions if you do not have good self-discipline. For instance, you may find it tempting to clean your house, watch your favorite TV show, take care of the kids, or even run errands while on the clock. This type of behavior will be detrimental to your success in a home-based profession, and could ultimately lead to termination from your employer.
If you are the type of person who enjoys social interaction at work, working from home may not be the best option for you. Keep in mind that working from home will require you to work independently of others, and may rarely allow you to collaborate with others at your company. If a semi to fully isolated work environment is not one you can thrive in, think twice before applying for a home-based job.
- “Cabin fever”
Keep in mind that a home-based job will require you to have a fast and reliable broadband internet, thus compelling you to work from your home most if not all the time. That means you will be spending the majority of your days and nights during the work week in your home. If your other family members work outside of the house, they may not want to leave the house at night, which could result in you feeling trapped in your own home.
- Difficulty separating work from home
One major problem that many Filipinos find with working from home is the inability to separate work from home. Many people who work from home find themselves turning into workaholics, and end up working additional hours without pay. If you decide that a home-based job in the Philippines is right for you, make sure you stick to a strict schedule, and do not put in too many overtime hours. The last thing you want to do is become burnt out.
- The potential to be overlooked for promotion
If you work for a company that has employees that work in the office, it could cause you to be overlooked for promotion, or miss out on career development opportunities. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” could prove true in this type of work environment. You can increase your chances of promotion while working from home by making frequent in-person visits to the office, and keeping an open line of communication with your boss regarding your career goals.
- Poor communication
Having a home-based job in the Philippines could produce communication issues. Being able to communicate effectively and efficiently across multiple outlets is an essential skill you will need to have to be successful in a work-from-home environment.
- May slow down local businesses
To date, the effect of the pandemic still lingers. While most businesses as offices are now back to BAU, office spaces remaining empty affect impacts shops that are otherwise flocked by employees during workdays. There will be fewer customers for these businesses within business districts and it can in turn slow down local economic activity. This is the main reason why the government encourages office workers and employers to return on site.
Basic requirements to be successful in a home-based career
Working from home isn’t the right career move for every Filipino. For instance, if you are the type of person who craves a lot of social interaction, a home-based career may not be suitable for you. Here are eight basic requirements that will help you determine if a home-based career is right for you.
- Technologically savvy
Being able to use technology effectively will be essential to your success in a home-based job. Since you will not make frequent trips to the office, you will need to be good with computers and have the ability to become proficient with different kinds of software and devices.
It will also be essential for you to be a self-starter who needs little to no direction from superiors. A home-based career is not the best fit for an employee that requires a lot of hand-holding and direction to complete tasks.
- Great communicator
As we stated earlier, you will need to have top-notch communication skills to be successful in a home-based career. Since you’ll have seldom face-to-face communication, you will need to be comfortable and efficient in other means of communication and have outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
You must also have the ability to thrive in an independent work environment. If you are the type of person who likes to collaborate with others, a home-based career may not be the best career move for you.
Working from home means you will need to be confident in your abilities. Since there will be little direction, and the expectation for you to be a self-starter, having confidence will be key to your success.
- Ability to avoid distractions
Working from home can provide you with an abundance of distractions, and having self-discipline to focus on your work will be pivotal to your success.
- Extremely organized
Working from home will require you to be extremely organized to be successful in your career. Since you will not have an office to go into, you will be responsible for creating your own office at your home. This will require you to keep all your important documents organized and filed properly. Not doing so could result in chaos and reduced productivity.
- Desire to work independently
Working from home will not provide you with an opportunity to work and collaborate with others. In addition, you will not have too many chances to interact with co-workers face-to-face. This could present a problem for those that desire and require human interaction daily.
How do I get started?
If all of this sounds good so far, you are probably wondering how to get started with finding a legitimate home-based career. It will be of utmost importance to seek out promising opportunities when you begin your career search, and to know which resource to utilize. Here are seven resources you can count on to help you find real work from home opportunities.
Once you decide to go for a home-based career, grab a head start and showcase your skills by getting a fast internet connection from a reliable broadband provider.