Hola! I am a software engineer who loves challenges, change and freedom. I have had the chance to try almost all types of jobs you can get as a software engineer (and not only) and today I am going to share cons and pros of each. I will share them just as characteristics, every individual is different, decide yourself if it is a pro or con 😉 . I will talk about 3 type of work – office job, remote job and freelancing. Though there is some overlap between the last two as they are similar in the aspect that you work from home (or anywhere you want) in both cases. Let’s start the real talk.
Let’s start from reviewing the office work characteristics – the most traditional work type.
🕰 Fixed working hours
Office jobs mostly have fixed hours, which can be different in each country, e.g. 9-5 or 10-7, etc. This means you have to make plans accordingly after working hours or during the weekend. And some stores are already closed at that time so that’s an inconvenience you may encounter with office jobs.
🚌 Commute time
As you are working from office, who have to get there every day. Most of the time office is not near your house (if it is you’re lucky, congrats 😉), so you spend some time commuting to work. Of course, you can read book or listen to a podcast and not consider that time “lost”, but let’s agree commuting to your desk in the house is easier.
💸 More expenses
Usually when working from office you spend more money on transport, food/lunch and other office expenses (e.g. collecting money for someone’s birthday) than you would spend if working remotely. In addition to this, I am a type of person that loves going to stores and buying different supplies, so the more I get out the more I spend 🤑.
👯 Team members around
The nicest thing about office work for me is actually the people. You meet many new people, working with them every day, making friends, having fun. This is something you should really appreciate in office work. On the other side, some offices have very toxic atmosphere which makes your life more stressful and depressing. Don’t get adopted, change your environment, find your happy place.
🏣 Office space to work from
Some companies have so fancy and beautiful offices, you fall in love with the office space itself. This is another way of attracting people to work that company. Also, some people cannot concentrate at home or do not have comfortable space to work from, so working from an office that is equipped with everything you need to work comfortably, can be quite beneficial.
🏓 Office perks and benefits
Most companies offer perks and benefits to attract new employees. For example, health insurance, office playground, paid time off, gym membership, etc. This is one of the most positive sides of an office job, so enjoy if you have those.
💵 Stable income
This should have been mentioned much earlier I guess because actually it’s quite important point. With office job you are more or less safe in terms of income as you know when and how much money you will get to cover your expenses.
Before starting, let’s clarify what we mean by remote job in the context of this article. So I refer to the types of jobs that you still work in a specific company as an employee. In some cases it is hard to completely differentiate between remote job and freelancing. Some companies hire you as their employee and you have a full time contract with them and still enjoying flexibility in schedule and workplace (like freelancing). So the points I will mention for remote job and freelancing maybe combined or mixed for some positions.
🧑💻 Work from wherever you want
It became a trend to highlight #workfromhome life, however remote work does not limit you to work from home, work from home, coworking space, cafe, another coworking space, the other city. Quite many options to choose from. Some companies are Europe-only or US-only for example, so maybe they will require you to stay in the same timezone, but maybe not… depends on the company.
🤓 Harder to concentrate on work
When you are working from non-office, it is harder to concentrate as there are many distractions around you. I love improving productivity and sharing tips so you can check these 8 tips or these morning routine tips to improve your productivity.
💵 Stable income
While you work remotely, you are still an employee of a specific company, you negotiate salary, etc. and you still have some safety in terms of stability.
🏝 Still some employee benefits
Many of the companies that offer remote job, offer employee benefits as well, some of them still give paid vacation days, stock options, health insurance (mostly if you are in the same country). So remote job is not that bad from this point of view.
🕙 (Sometimes) Fixed working hours
When you are thinking of remote work you usually imagine working whenever you want for how long you want. But when you face the reality… woops! Most of the company actually want you to be available around the same hours when the team is available to be communicate with each other. Hours may be more flexible than in office but still less flexible than in case of freelancing (keep reading to get there).
👯♂️ Feeling of a team
One of the things I love most about remote jobs is the team! You work remotely and flexibly but you are a teammate and usually you do not get feeling of solitude. Some teams have online social gatherings as well – and believe me they are not less fun than office gatherings! 🥳
Freelancing basically means you get a project or task and a deadline and you should complete it on time. Tired? Don’t take new projects for a while (though you won’t make money as a result)
🌏 Limitless options to work from
When freelancing you have as much freedom as you could have dreamed of. You can work from different countries, cities, coworking places. Most of the time when freelancing you can manage your work in a way to make it quite possible to travel and work.
💰 Income not defined by country
This is actually a huge benefit for people from developing countries where the salaries are lower. Learn a skill that you can find freelancing projects and the world is yours. This point can apply to remote jobs as well, depending on the company requirements.
🤝 Hard to find clients
Freelancing does give you a lot of freedom, but it is actually quite stressful and challenging especially when you are just starting. Basically you are your own boss and you should find projects yourself to make money. There are some platforms like Upwork or Fiverr that make this easier but usually competition is huge and you should put a lot of effort to attract new clients.
😳 Unexpected workload for every month
Following the previous point, you have to work every month to attract new clients and keep the workload. Sometimes you may have so much work you do not have any time left to do anything else, but sometimes you may not get new projects and stay idle for some time. Overtime when you get loyal clients this gets better. And of course, the more you work, the more you earn.
⌚️ Flexible working hours
Was waiting for this? If you need really flexible working hours than freelancing is what you were looking for. As long as you get your tasks done, you have all the freedom in the world. Sleep during the day work during the night, go to stores in the afternoon, work in the evening.
⚖️ Little work-life balance
Following the previous point, as you have a lot of flexibility you may actually lose the balance between when you are working and when you are not. When I was freelancing I used to find myself waking up and starting working immediately and sleeping my laptop in my beds as I realized the more I work the more I earn. But of course, you can control this and try to bring more discipline.
😶 No employee benefits or paid time off
When you are freelancing you mostly don’t have employee benefits as you are a contractor for some time. If you want a vacation you can take days off but they are not going to be paid. On the other side, you have more flexibility.
🎬 ~ Conclusion ~
In today’s world luckily there are many options for each of this type of jobs and it is completely up to you which one will work better for you. It also depends in your current life phase or situation. Something that worked 1 year ago may not work well today. The important part is to feel happy about what you are doing! Comment below which one do you like most and why? 🧑💻