Working Virtually - The Pros and Cons


With the increasing amounts of technology in today's business world, it is not uncommon for employees to have the option of working virtually -- either part-time or full-time.

From an employers standpoint, there are many advantages to hiring virtual employees -- reduced cost of office space, office equipment, and utilities, to name a few.

There are also many benefits for the employees -- flexible hours, working in your pajamas, and little to no commute!

However, as someone who is a full-time virtual employee, there are still struggles. Contrary to what most people think, it’s not all fun and games… and I certainly don’t have mass amounts of free time just to sit around!!


I GET to set my own schedule (for the most part), work flexible hours, and work when it's convenient for my family.


I HAVE to set my own schedule, make sure I still get up on time, and be self-motivated to accomplish everything that needs to be done each day (even though my boss isn't one office over!) This is probably one of the hardest things to master as a virtual employee -- especially if you have friends and family who don't understand what working virtually is all about.


Since almost all of my work is done via the Internet, I'm always available via my computer or smart phone in case an emergency arises... not to mention I can work in the car, while I'm waiting at the doctor's office, or even from my bed!


Since I'm almost always connected to the Internet, it becomes REALLY easy to work one more hour, finish one more project, or email one more client. If I’m not careful, I could work all the time!


I'm not constantly interrupted by coworkers, office meetings, staff functions, etc.


Instead, I'm often interrupted by the UPS man, the baby crying, house projects, the neighbor dropping by, etc.


I can start a load of laundry or make dinner while I’m messaging on Skype and I can clean the house in between conference calls.


I love that I’m able to multi-task and get so much accomplished each day... however, I have to remember what NEEDS to be done first — even if it’s not necessarily what I WANT to do first!


I don't have to battle rush-hour traffic, drive a long distance to my job, purchase a fancy wardrobe, or even look presentable every day!


I don't get to meet new employees, participate in staff activities, or enjoy staff outings.... and some days, I could really use a "normal" adult conversation!

So while I absolutely LOVE as a virtual employee, it's definitely not all fun and games. Just as with most jobs, there are pros and cons -- things that you love and other things you can't stand.

Do YOU work virtually? What are your pros and cons?


Chris May 31, 2012

I worked at home for many years.  I agree with you, yes, it is a great blessing but it is not like everyone else thinks - a piece of cake !! haha However, I did have a certain schedule some of the years (depending on my employer, etc.,)  I did medical transcription, lots of times doing x-rays, so we had a turnaround time where we had to get the x-rays typed in a certain amount of time after they were dictated (2 hours) and also cover certain shifts.  I really enjoyed it.

Clive June 1, 2012


you still need to touch and feel on sample and see the actual production to under better the situations.


Meeting room is the resource that always difficult to arrange. A fixed camera at home that people can always see you in the screen that is not many different from office. Virtual meeting at home for daily morning meeting. That will help to solve the problem of flex hour.

San Diego Office Furniture June 3, 2012

I feel the pros greatly outweigh the cons. It is difficult to tear myself away from work to take a break, but at least I can do that whenever I feel the need. No more waiting for lunch time to roll around if I’m feeling stressed! Just get up and walk away for a while to give my head a chance to clear. Plus, there are no annoying coworkers who make you dread going to work every day.


Jaleen December 26, 2012

I start a virtual job at the beginning of the new year., pretty high level position, but chose to work virtually because I did not want to relocate.  This is a trial for me and my new employer, any words of wisdom?  I have always worked in an office environment, and this is a huge change - how did you agree upon priorities and measurements of success?  Was it hard for people to include you in conversations - remember that you were part of the decision making process?
Any thoughts on the best approach starting out?  Thanks!

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