The Pros and Cons of having work at your fingertips

In today’s world, you can be connected to the internet pretty much anywhere. As such, a lot of people work from home. This is because the need to be in a physical location to work is not as pressing – even meetings can be conducted via Skype.

From freelance writing and online trading to running your own business, there are a lot of ups and downs when it comes to online work. Here are several of the benefits and drawbacks of working online.

Work is literally at your fingertips

This sounds great in theory. You can work where you want, when you want – at home, at a coffee shop, in bed. It sounds great, and it is – mostly. if you’re having a really productive Saturday morning, you can get three days ahead with your work, or catch up on a backlog of work. If you need to take a trip, work can come with you, no leave application required.

The downside is that it could be really easy to become a workaholic. When heading back to the office is as easy as opening your laptop you might find yourself doing just that, all the time. This becomes a problem when it overrules other things in your life, from sleep and social life to spending valuable time with your spouse and children.

It’s not a fixed income

This is worrisome for most of us, as we need to plan our spending based on our income. Expenses don’t go away because we’ve had a bad month, or there just wasn’t that much work available, or the car needs an unexpected service.

The flip side is that if you need more money, and are able to, you can take on more work. Once you’ve been working for a while you can generally gauge what your average monthly income will look like and set that as your budget. For the good months, when you do better than average, save or invest as a fallback for not as good months.

It’s always a good idea to put a little away for a rainy day, whether your income is fixed or flexible.

Taking work with you wherever you go

You can take a vacation just about any time. A road trip in a rented RV or a hotel stay in Hawaii – no leave, no lost income. Here comes the but – you might well be able to take off at a moment’s notice, but work’s coming with you. A lot of people struggle to keep work out of the back of their mind and just enjoy their holiday. There’s always an article to write, books to balance or clients to email.

Whether you’re a work at home mom or a jet-setting single person, make sure you do take the time to separate work and life – we work to live, not live to work. Put a little away for a rainy day when you do earn some extra. If you’re not already self-employed or a work-from-homer, consider the pros and cons and make sure the lifestyle really will work for you before you make a big change.

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