Not all of us have a job that provides a working from home opportunity, but in some professions, an option to work from home can be given. If you are given the chance to do your job from the comfort of your own home, it can be a big decision to make, as there are a number of factors that need to be considered. On the surface, working from seems like the perfect job. Pyjamas, laptop, unlimited tea/coffee/biscuits or anything you want from the fridge. Lunch breaks mean Netflix and as long as the work is submitted – who’s gonna know if you lay in bed whilst doing it? However, working from home can also be a little tedious, especially when it becomes hard to differentiate between work and home life or if, no matter how hard you try, you struggle to make your work space a productive one. If you have been offered a work from home opportunity and are in two minds about whether to go for it, here are a few pros and cons to help you weigh up your decision.
Less Commuting Time
In fact, no commuting time! Think of the amount of time you sit in motorway traffic, or how often you spend pressed up against someone else on the world’s busiest train or tube and then picture the commute to work being nothing other than a walk down the stairs. The zero commuting time working from home requires also means that there is a lot more that you could get done before the working day starts. Whether that be a few loads of washing, some morning meditation, the school run, a quick trip to the gym or even just making sure that you sit down to eat a good, proper breakfast. You are also already at home at the end of the working day, meaning your evenings will appear longer and fuller!
Studies have actually shown that working from home can increase your productivity levels because it means you are not surrounded by general office noise or distracted by your co-workers (avoiding office politics is also a major advantage!). The absence of office distractions (as long as your house is quiet) means that you are much more likely to get your head down and complete your work to a high standard. Of course, for this to be true and to achieve ultimate productivity, you will need to ensure that your home workspace is not only quiet and comfortable, but also motivational, with all of the right equipment. A document scanner is a great way of ensuring that you are safely storing any important paper documents, and have back-ups available if any go missing. Storing all your key documents in a desk tray or filing cabinet can become confusing and you’ll soon lose track of what goes where. There are inexpensive, simple scanners available on the market that will be perfect for working from home usage.
Control your Schedule
Of course, there will probably be a set amount of hours that you will have to complete in a day when working from home, but most working from home positions are fairly flexible so as long as the work is done, you can sort of do it when it suits you. Taking control of your own schedule has a huge positive impact on your wellbeing as you are completely in control of your time. Living a flexible lifestyle is something we all crave – so take it if you get the chance!
If you are at home to live and rest, as well as at home to work it can sometimes then become hard to differentiate between your personal and work life – something that everyone needs. Working from home can also mean it is all too tempting to start working outside of your scheduled hours, just a little bit here and there soon turns into a significant amount of additional work load, which can soon take over. Whilst striving and working hard at your job is a good thing, resting and taking time for the other parts of your life is also important and should not be compromised.
With the above being said, working from home also comes with temptation to do anything other than work with distractions such as the TV and no one to tell you to get off Facebook! Working in a ‘cosy’ environment can also make you feel tired and demotivated – especially if you’re wearing your best pyjamas! If you do decide to work from home, it is always best to dedicate a space to this (a home office is preferable but if you don’t have the funds or space for this, then just a space at the dining table can be used, so that you are completing your work in the same place everyday) and associate that place with working, just as you would a desk in an office. Make sure you shower and get dressed just as you would if you were going to work, and don’t sit online shopping just because there’s no management to see!
If you’re working in an office environment within close proximity of co-workers and management, it can be a lot easier to query them with something or even just communicate with them, particularly if you are working together on a project. Working from home means communication either over phone or via email which can be a little impractical if you are looking for an immediate answer. Emails can also often get misconstrued and misunderstandings can occur.