Planning to Use a Computer Shop to Work Online? Stop Right There!
A friend of mine wants to work at home as she just gave birth. She asked me a few months ago where she should apply. I recommended her a few jobs that she could send her application at an entry level. Ang sagot nya sa akin “Te, wala akong computer eh. Pwede ba sa computer shop ako magtrabaho?”
Not a Good Idea
Straight to the point, it is and it will never be a good idea to work in a public internet cafe. Working online is a serious business. Your workstation defines what kind of a virtual employee you are. Your workstation also represents a company’s online back office. The employer is actually “renting” your workstation for you to use. They don’t provide you with the physical hardware (with exceptions of few). Hence, it is a good idea to have your own setup. There are multiple downsides if you’re planning (or actually working) to use an internet cafe to work.
Noise and Physical Background
It is already known that many hardcore gamers in a computer shop are unruly and known to trash talk during their games like Dota, League of Legends, Counterstrike, etc. Do you want to risk your client hearing people in your background cussing and laughing out loud? Or perhaps letting your boss hear a whopping F.U while you’re in a meeting? It’s either you hush them or they hush you. I have a gamer for a brother and when he’s in the heat of his game, his voice thunders up to two blocks away! Isang tao pa lang yan. A quiet background is necessary to have an efficient virtual work office. It is very unusual to have your own quiet nook in an internet cafe or rely to your noise-cancelling headset.
Working virtually requires you to access collaboration tools, portals, CRM, and other necessary software online. That means you have to input passwords, customer details, credit card details, company instructions, and other sensitive information. There is no guarantee that you will be using the same terminal that you used yesterday. Additionally, there are also onlookers who might lurk behind you, umuusyoso sa ginagawa mo. Or perhaps a malicious keylogger is installed in that terminal, recording all the things you typed and clicked also. If these things scare you, it’s because these are real reasons not to use a computer shop for online work.
Comfortability and Hygiene
All hardware are used by different people daily! Mouse, keyboard, monitor, aannndd the headset with mic. Imagine the numerous bacteria and germs that harbor them, yikes! Yes, you could bring a disinfectant and clean them before you start but that will only eat up your time. Also, your comfortability matters too as you will be working 8 hours or more in one sitting. Internet cafe can be spatially constricted or the chairs are not ergonomically designed. Low back pain, shoulder and neck pain can be expected in a few months time.
Price of Renting Daily
This is, perhaps, the most important reason not to use a computer shop for your virtual work. Let’s do the math on how much you will lose in using an internet cafe daily. Say you’re working 8 hours daily, Monday to Friday, and earning P16,000 per month. The shop charges you P20 per hour (average). Your weekly gastos will be:
P20.00 x 8 hours = P160 / day
P160 x 5 days = P800 per week
In a month, you will consume:
P800 x 4 weeks = P3,200 per month
P3,200 is a huge amount already to allocate for daily shop rental. Despite the fact that you still have P12,800 left from your salary, you could already allocate this sum to more important things like groceries, utilities, or recreation.
Likewise, it is much cheaper to pay for your own internet and electricity. If you have P1,200 3-mbps plan and say allot P1,000 for your pc or laptop’s electricity (malaki na yan, actually), you will still save P1,000 per month against using the internet cafe.
The computer shop can only be used as a back up or last resort when there is power or internet outage. I highly recommend that you should set up your own workstation that you could rely on. It is a good investment with great return and benefits. It will override all the downsides of using an internet cafe mentioned here.
If you don’t have the money to buy your initial set up, I suggest borrow a friend or relative’s laptop or pc. Make sure it has good working specs. Then, save up for your own workstation as you get your salary. In this way, you will prove yourself to be a valuable and efficient remote worker over time.