The Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Commuting is a stressful necessity and excising it from your life does sound like a wonderful idea. We’d have more time to work, we’d save money and we wouldn’t have to join a scrum to get onto the bus at 5.30pm every day.
On top of the money you’ll save on your commute, there are tea and coffee and café lunch expenses you can cut out immediately. A grilled toasted sandwich makes wonderful economic sense.
And when tax season comes around, you’ll be able to write off a proportion of your home office expenses.
No dress code.
It’s a pro and a con. You can wear whatever you like to work… but because you can wear whatever you like to work, it can be a death knell to your productivity.
So wearing what you like is a pro, but try to avoid working in a onesie where possible
Good for parents.
If you’re a parent or even if you have a dog, then working from home can be a lifesaver. You are able to maintain a work/life balance that most people cannot.
You’ll save money on childcare too, but at the end of the day, how much work will you get done? If you think you can do it then this is a definite pro.
From temperature to air-con control, you are in control and all those outside distractions throughout your day are no more. You decide what music gets played and you’ll only ever have to make a single cup of coffee… Bliss.
There is something to be said for a regimented work routine, and when it is gone it can be hard to self-motivate.
Being in your home office consistently by 8 am each morning can be a real struggle and you may find that your get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went.
You might think that being away from your coworkers sounds perfect but spending large parts of your day alone can become extremely isolating.
You might not realise that you miss the background noise of a bustling office environment until it’s gone.
Your home is your office.
Work-life balance works both ways and letting your home life seep into to your working day can have a big impact on both.
Finding a happy medium is hard and once you realise that you will literally never leave ‘the office’ you might find yourself wishing for a more compartmentalised existence.
No office means no ‘shop front’, no foot traffic and the very real possibility that your customers might not trust or take you seriously.
This is of course industry-specific, but having a professional space is a must for many customers and clients, and you might find that you are limiting your professional reach for lack of a ‘bricks and mortar’ operation.
No face-to-face time with coworkers.
We are all constantly learning and growing through our interactions with coworkers and we run the risk of stagnation if we suddenly choose to switch this contact off at the source.
You may also find that you become an afterthought in the office too. You could be missing out on opportunities simply because you’re not there to advocate for yourself.
Working too much.
It’s all too easy to find yourself holed up in your home office space at 11.30pm, tying up loose ends.
This might not seem such a terrible thing but it could impact your relationships and even affect your mental health. Some studies suggest that consistently working over 40 hours a week can be detrimental.
Working too little.
The other side of the coin. Working from home is an exercise in motivation and there are a lot of distractions. Are you able to sift through today’s to-dos and work effectively without succumbing to outside interference?
Working from home has its pros and cons but as you grow your business, the chances are that the negatives will begin to edge out the positives.
It works for some people more than others and if you’re going to give it a go then our top tip is…
Don’t do it from the sofa! Create an actual office space for yourself and work from there.