Why working from home can be beneficial
Worker on the phone
Introduction to why people are working from home
With the current economic times, people are finding it harder to get jobs, so more and more people are working from home.
In June 2012, there were an estimated 4.2 million classified as self-employed, compared to 3.8 million when the recession began in 2008. 56% of the people that classified themselves as self-employed relied on the home in some way, with 1 in 3 saying they worked 45 hours or more per week, compared to 1 in 5 employed people.
My opinion on working from home
In my opinion, working from home can be a brilliant thing, if you are dedicated enough to be able to keep your home and work lives separate. If you have a job like an author or a journalist, then you will need to ensure that you can focus on getting your work done and not get distracted. It's also good to work from home if you work on the stock market because there are companies that offer people help and advice when they start trading on stocks and shares, so you can use that as a way of earning money whilst still working.
If I was able to make a living from working from home then that would be perfect, because then I could set my own hours and be able to do some of the things I enjoy doing whilst also earning some money.
As I am looking at becoming a "YouTuber" (someone who regularly uploads videos onto YouTube), it is ideal that I work from home, so I can edit videos and upload them on a regular basis. Doing something like that as a job would be great because I can upload anything of my choosing, within reason and as long as it's entertaining, and potentially make some money from it.
Also, if you're able to find a franchise that you can do from home, then it could be a really beneficial to do, especially if it's in an area that you're interested in, for example, technology and/or telecommunications.
Jobs that are best suited for working at home
Obviously, some jobs need to be in specific places, i.e. public services like the emergency services, but some are really suited for working both in an office environment and at home.
One such job is a freelance journalist. They will be able to stay at home doing research and finding out all the information they need, as well as go into the office to write their column. Of course, that all depends on the arrangement they have with their employer. On the other hand, if you're a budding internet blogger, then you will need to be more disciplined in your approach to writing and have a set schedule for getting your content out there for people to see. This may take a lot of time and dedication, but once it's done correctly, you could become more flexible with your working hours.
Another job that is potentially very good as a work from home job is web design because you could meet the clients at their place of work, then be able to design the websites on your computer.
Now that the internet has made information much more accessible, there are also a number of websites where you can buy and sell products, the most notable one being eBay, where millions of people are buying and selling their old items to make a bit of extra cash so they are able to pay rent, or just for a bit of disposable income. A lot of people are also using eBay as a primary source of their income and are able to quit their jobs so they are able to work from home selling a wide variety of products.
Pretty much any job that offers a service, as opposed to a product, can be operated from home, apart from the emergency services (obviously) and a few other services. A few service industry jobs will need some sort of office if they have more than one employee, or they are offering specific services that need an easily accessible office for members of the public. My previous employer was in the service industry, and it needed an office as it was dealing with the public as well as the local council.
Working from home
Pros about working from home
One of the benefits of working from home is that you are able to set your own hours, to a certain extent, so you are able to get some of the less important aspects of your job done at night, as opposed to during the normal working hours if you were employed by someone else. You're also able to base your hours around your children if you're a parent, which can be beneficial if you have young children.
Another benefit is that if you needed to wait for a package to be delivered, you could still get some work done whilst waiting for the package, instead of possibly taking some time off work if you were employed. This can be an excellent advantage if your business relies on specific products that need to be delivered from other countries.
If you are a virtual assistant, then you may be required to work set hours, which has its own advantages, such as being able to do detailed projects whilst still at home, which may not necessarily be completed if you had to commute to work.
If you are selling your old junk on eBay, then why not think about using eBay as an extra source of income? if you are able to find your own niche market, then you could make a living from selling items on the site, just make sure that you have enough space in your house when starting out.
Cons of working from home
One con of working from home is that other people may expect you to do errands for them, which may conflict with your working hours, especially if you're starting a new business from home and need to get important documentation completed.
Also, if you aren't very motivated, then working from home can be a real pain in the bum, because the smallest of things will distract you, such as watching TV or playing games on the internet, instead of doing the things you're supposed to be doing.
The third major con of working from home is loneliness. Being at home all day on your own can become incredibly lonely, especially if you're used to working in an office with other people and enjoying the social aspect of working.
A fourth down side of working from home is that if you have children who do a lot of social activities, then working from home can have a bad affect on your finances, as opposed to working a "regular" job where you have a rough idea of how much you're going to be earning every month.
Pros of working in an office
After weighing up the pros and cons of working from home, now I am going to do the same for working in an office environment.
One pro is that you are able to socialise with people who have got similar interests to you and you are able to have some fun whilst working, instead of being alone during the day if you work from home.
Another pro is that you are able to leave the house and not feel isolated all the time and you're able to have some time outside of the home.
You can also use your current job to be able to find out about other jobs through the people you know at work.
Stereotypical office feeling
Cons of working in an office
Whilst working in an office environment has got its perks, it also has its disadvantages as well, some of which are listed in the positive section.
One of the cons of working in the office environment is the other people, whilst this can be good if you've found some colleagues you get along with, the office politics and the drama associated with that can be unnecessarily stressful and can possibly affect your work if surrounded by it for long periods of time.
Another downside of working in an office is the travelling and costs of travelling to and from the office, as with working from home there are no travel expenses, gas for your car is relatively expensive and can take a large chunk out of your paycheck every month.
Also, if you're unlucky, you could have a douche bag boss who places unreasonable demands on you and is unable to see reason. This could be a possible reason why you may want to start working from home. If so, do some research to see whether you're able to do your current job from home whilst still working the same hours.
Would you work from home if you could?
If you were given the opportunity, would you work from home (if you don't already)
Is it worth the effort?
When some people are looking to work from home, one major question they may be asking is whether it is worth the effort trying to find a job that will make enough money to help them pay the bills etc. and have a disposable income to enjoy themselves and just be able to do the things they've been able to do whilst having a regular job. Obviously it depends on what you're thinking of doing as a work at home job, but if you have got a hobby that you think that could make you some money whilst still working full- or part-time then you could do it at the weekend and see if you're able to make some money doing it, and if you can, then try spending more time into the project and continually improve it until you are able to quit your job and work from home full-time and earn enough money that makes you feel comfortable.
You also have to make sure that if you are looking for a work from home scheme that it isn't a scam, which can be really hard to notice as they become more sophisticated, but if you look you can find something you really enjoy and can potentially make a living off.
How it is helping the economy and other industries
With the use of technology, more people are able to work from home by using sites like eBay to either help boost their income whilst still going out to work, or are using it as a primary source of income.
Also, because more people are using sites like eBay as a source of income, the charity sector is seeing a rise in the amount of products that are being bought from their stores, which consequently helps all the charities with their different causes. Using sites like eBay is also a great way for charities to help reach a wider target audience.
Depending on what sort of work you're doing from home, for example if you're a freelance writer, then there are several avenues you can take, from working for a publication to becoming a blogger, but it can be hard pursuing either avenue because it is extremely competitive and you need to have the desire to succeed as well as proving that you have got the skill to help the publication gain more readers, or getting people read your blogs as opposed to other peoples.
After weighing the pros and cons of working from home, you should ask yourself one question. Is working from home really for me? If the answer is no, then the safe bet would be to continue to work in your current environment, whatever it may be. If the answer is yes, then you will flourish at working from home and be able to keep your work/home lives separate.
If you are able to keep your work and home lives separate, then working from home can be a rewarding and relaxing thing. It may take time and patience before you are able to make a living from working from home, but in the end it will be worth it.
With new ways of making money online appearing frequently, now is the perfect time to think about whether working from home is the right thing for you to do. For example, if you enjoy writing and watching films, you could become a film critic, which will be quite hard to get into and will need to do a lot of research to get into but if you're willing to work hard enough, it'll be worth it.