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The Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Working from home is way more common today than ever. Home offices are not a luxury anymore, but in many cases, a necessity. Employers are finding it more cost-effective to downsize actual office space, and have employees telecommuting. Even meetings can be done online now, easier than ever before.
As for me, I have been working from home for almost seven years now. I am a music publicist and freelance writer. And for me, it totally works--not just because I don't need to have an actual "office," but because I'm one of those people who works well in a quiet, secluded environment, and mostly by e-mail. But it's not for everyone. Some folks need that feeling of driving to an office and being around people all day. Here are some pros and cons of working from home, and I hope that if you are considering it or have been offered this option by your employer, that this list helps you:
1. You are home, and you are at work. Your commute is likely walking from one room to another and shutting the door. Or walking downstairs and into your basement. The bottom line is that you have no commute, therefore you are not wasting time, gas, or wear and tear on a vehicle. That also means you are reducing your carbon footprint. And the bottom line to the bottom line is that the less time you are commuting, the more time you have to get actual work done.
2. If you have a family, you can be close to them even if you are technically "at work." I have had the pleasure of watching my young son grow up and not have to be away from him for 10-12 hours a day.
3. You do not have physical interruptions, like someone stopping by your office or cubicle to talk about how drunk they got this past weekend, or about how great the Bears' defense looked on Sunday. You instead have phone and e-mail, but you can communicate when you want to (most of the time).
4. You have more control over what you eat, so you can (if you so choose) eat healthier foods. You can even put a pot of spaghetti sauce on and let it simmer all day while you work, filling up your house with the awesome smell of Italian food.
5. You don't have to get dressed up (again, in most cases). That means you can wear a t-shirt and jeans, and you don't have to spend money on expensive dress gear and also don't have expensive dry cleaning bills.
1. You have to draw the line that you are at work and not at home, which can sometimes be difficult for a family, and especially young kids, to understand.
2. You may receive unwanted after-hours phone calls from clients or colleagues.
3. You need to have good self-discipline, and if you don't, you can be easily distracted and in turn be less productive.
4. You have to, in most cases, handle your own IT issues or any problems with your office equipment, and have to usually go out and buy your own office supplies.
5. You don't have the physical contact with and camaraderie that working in an office has. Many people need this in order to be productive.
That's all I can think of at the moment, but if you have other ideas, please feel free to share them in the space below. Thanks and good luck!