Working from home has one huge pitfall you need to be aware of

So here we are the end of 2022. Time flies when you are having fun eh? The pandemic is mostly over but the new normal is well, normal. Part of that is working from home. Now full disclosure here I have been 100% remote for nearly 3 years. I don’t need to go to the office to do my job and I get paid well for doing it. I know there are a lot of people like me out there and while this is a great work outcome for me (and many others), it comes with one huge pitfall.

What is that? If you can do your job remotely, its highly likely someone else can do the job cheaper. Remote work has opened up the possibility of outsourcing more than ever. A few decades ago it was manufacturing that was outsourced to international workers who performed the labor cheaper. That’s why you’re getting T shirts at Walmart for 7 bucks. Then it became call centers, next? Your corporate job.

Let me use my situation as an example. In the role I am currently in I am a “senior financial analyst”. To be blunt I am over qualified for this role as I have management experience. I took it because I didn’t want to manage people any more. I make less then I could if I was still in management but I make very good money. I am processing data and summarizing its impact on a portfolio of business owned by the larger business I work for.

There is someone else out there who can do what you do.

It is by no means “light” work, its nuanced and requires experience and knowledge to execute the data in a way that can be consumed by decision makers. However, anyone can LEARN how I do it and learn how to deliver the product to the consumers (my bosses) nearly identical to how I do it. YES, I have established relationships with the people I work with and for but it’s the corporate world, we aren’t friends we are coworkers there is a major difference.

I could be replaced by someone in another part of the world who could be paid less. Not only in wages but in benefits. Now initially it would be problematic for the customers I serve. There is so much nuance to the work I do the only way to master it is to do it for a few business cycles. It can be learned though, like a lot of other remote work. Unless you are creating unique material you are essentially performing tasks others don’t want to do, or don’t have time for.

Hence the pitfall of working from home. There is likely someone else out there who can do the same work, and achieve 90% of what I (and likely you) achieve for less expense. This is why you always have to have a backup plan. What if that happens? For me I will get another job in finance somewhere. Even processing Accounts Payable I can at least make some money. You have to have contingency plans as well if you are a remote worker. The new normal is here and companies are looking to maximize profits (they always are). The new reality of people working from home provides opportunities for many, including company looking to cut staff expense.

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