November 16, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Working at Home

On a jammed highway with a rip in your stocking and a coffee stain down your blouse, working at home becomes undeniably attractive.

  Instead of catching the 6AM train you can wake up when you choose.

While others are picking out uncomfortable professional suits, your yoga pants are more than adequate for your office on your couch.  You also have the flexibility to watch your kids when you need to, explore creative outlets, and take on other side projects.

Yet others might find being their own boss a lot more difficult than they imagined.  It takes a lot of self motivation, and an ability to tune out all other distractions.  Here are some pros and cons to consider.

PROS of Working at Home

Making Your Own Hours — For most of us, there’s a lot more going on in our lives than one job.  A lot of us need the flexible hours to work around our family.  Others might be trying to launch their own business, or still be enrolled in school, where a typical 9 – 5  just isn’t feasible.

No Commute — Aside from the walk from your bedroom to your laptop, you’ve just eliminated all travel time.  The hours you get back that might have been whittled away on an early train or highway rush hour are a real treat.  After-all, you can’t put a price on time.

Save Financially — Why pay for another office space, office supplies, electric and utility bills when you are already paying for your house?  The gas prices to travel to another office are on their own astronomical.  Let the money you save on gas and office space go back into your profits.

CONS to Working at Home

No Set Paycheck — In a regular office, you can rely on receiving the same regular paycheck even if you’re out sick or on vacation on some island.  When you work from home you don’t have that option to not work and still get paid.  Your paycheck is fully dependent on you.  You are paid for what you produce, so if there’s nothing to show you receive nothing in return.

Distractions — Yeah it’s great to not have a boss reading over your shoulder or breathing down your neck, but at home there are many other elements that are hard to ignore.  No one is watching if you take personal phone calls, or step out to run household errands.  The temptation to kick your slippered feet up and turn on the television is also a lot higher.  All these distractions and interruptions add up.

Always in the Office — The good part about your office being away from home is at the end of the day you get to leave work.  Otherwise your home is tainted with the knowledge that any moment is a potential moment for you to do some work.

Social Isolation — As human beings we need to see and interact with people.  True there are those annoying co-workers and ridiculously long and boring meetings, but at least it’s better company than yourself. Plus it’s nice to share the pain of working with others around you doing the same.

A lot of these setbacks can be avoided if you push yourself to leave the house.  Whether it’s a library, or a cozy little café with WIFI, try and set up your office in a place removed from the distractions and isolation of your house.

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