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Will Working From Home Work For You?

Updated on May 22, 2016
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella runs her business from home and has written several articles on working from home, home finance and entrepreneurial skills

Relax while you work!


Pros and cons of having your office at home

The thought of working from home often holds ultimate appeal for those who come to despise the daily nine to five grind, but it is not a suitable option for everyone. For anyone considering working from home there are many pros and cons they will first need to consider. As a home worker, certain aspects of your daily schedule will be governed by the nature of your particular business but generally speaking you need to be aware that there are both advantages and disadvantages in working from home.

Whether you intend to run your own business from home or work for your current employer from home, you will find that either is quite possible if your living space allows for it. The very basics of a desk, computer and telephone is sometimes all that is needed as well as adequate storage for paperwork and files etc. Nowadays home offices can be as compact as a simple workstation under the stairs and still be remarkably effective. .

Pros of working from home

Since there is no daily travelling to and from the office, there are no delays or frustration when transport links are missed or cars break down. You will gain more free time at both ends of the day due to valuable minutes or even hours saved and will thus see a significant drop in fuel costs. You can use this time effectively to devote to more leisurely pursuits if you wish but don't fall into the trap of working longer hours. Remember the old saying: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' Allowing adequate time to relax and wind down after your day's work is done will help you deal with your next working day more efficiently so this can only be a plus point.

The satisfaction gained from being your own boss can be added to your list of pros knowing you have no one to answer to but you will still have deadlines to meet and obligations to fulfil. Remember that being your own boss is not always advantageous if you aren't disciplined enough with yourself. You still have to get up at a reasonable hour each morning and structure your working day accordingly.

As someone who works from home, you will gain more control over your life and acquire the ability to build on your own success rather than depend on daily interaction with colleagues. In working for yourself, you may feel less pressured by others and the freedom this brings can make all the difference to your working day.

You'll need to be more organised than this!

 Make sure your filing system is better than this!
Make sure your filing system is better than this! | Source

Cons of working from home

At first there may seem more cons than pros but once the initial hurdles are overcome and the setting up of your home office completed, your daily routine should run smoothly with a little planning and discipline, Some folk don't want the responsibility that comes from working at home so they will always fare better in the normal workplace where they have others to answer to and discuss things with. The solitary nature of working from home would in that case be a definite no for them.

Visitors will often arrive and interrupt your train of thought when you are working from home but this can easily be remedied if you are as disciplined with them as you are with yourself. You don't want to lose your friends or be labelled as a hermit so you can always say 'I have deadlines to meet today but how about you call round another time?' No-one would ever just drop in to say hi at a regimented place of work but people who work from home are viewed by others as not having 'proper jobs.' You need to set the parameters from the start so people regard your work as just as important as someone who drives to and from the office each day.

Being at home all day brings with it a wealth of distractions that can cause you to procrastinate or even prevent you from completing any tasks at all. Try to set yourself a realistic target that is easily achievable each day so that you know you will be productive.

Be careful to divide your time fairly between home and business related pursuits. You need to clearly define the boundaries and not let your day become muddled so there is no separation. The best way to do this is to have a separate specifically designated area in your home where you can conduct your business undisturbed or you will be constantly interrupted and will thus find it difficult to make any headway during the course of your working day.

Never mix business related items or papers with those of a household nature or you will find you waste valuable time sorting them out.

If you are someone who enjoys the constant company and banter of others and enjoys the team work as is often found in the work environment then working from home is definitely not for you. You will come to miss interaction with others and will begin to resent the solitary lifestyle you have imposed on yourself.

Other cons include the lack of any social element that comes with not being part of a workforce and the loneliness this may bring. Whereas the absence of others may not bother some it depends largely on your individual personality whether you can cope with this or not. Some work better as a team and others do not, so it is wise to define which category you belong to.

That's better!

A home office storage system  for your paperwork is a necessity
A home office storage system for your paperwork is a necessity | Source

A balanced view

To reach a balanced viewpoint you will need to draw up your own individual list of pros and cons to gauge whether working from home can realistically work for you. Give order to your work areas and structure your day and you will discover there are more pros than cons to your new working life in a home environment. Could you work at home? Visit someone else who has already been successful at working from home and take a few tips from them.You can then gauge how you might spend your working day productively without ever setting foot outside your own front door..

Would you consider working from home?

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Advice for those wanting to work from home

Your home office environment

Nowadays many new homes are designed with a 'home office' already incorporated into the floor plan. This provides a more spacious and comfortable environment for your working day than the usual 'study' which is renowned for being little more than a box room. Because house builders have been quick to realise that there is an increasing demand for home offices, it can be a real advantage for someone wanting a new home that they intend to work from.

Even if your home doesn't already have a designated area for your work it should be fairly easy to convert a room to an office and utilise the available space to your best advantage. Fitted office furniture is a godsend and will provide a clutter free workspace to spend your day. At very least, a quiet area that is well lit and large enough for your requirements will suffice as a temporary measure and if working from home proves successful you can always consider an extension or attic conversion at a later date.

© 2015 Stella Kaye


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