With life in these modern times being as hectic as it is, finding the balance between your work and personal life can become difficult. Having to get up and dress for work, sitting in traffic coming to and from work, and having to deal with co-workers you might not be so crazy about puts a large amount of stress on you as a person and a professional and makes you irritable and anti-social. That is why a great number of people are choosing to work from home, as they feel they have a better grip on their daily duties and family life and are able to create a better balance overall.
However, is working from home all that beneficial, or are there some obstacles you might need to overcome? As with any decision you need to make, there are advantages and disadvantages, and, in this short article, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of working from a home office. Let’s check ‘em out!
Ask any working man or woman what’s the worst thing about their job, and almost all of them will answer – the commute. Getting stuck in traffic is no fun at all, and the frustration this incurs can carry over to your work, impacting your focus and productivity negatively. If you’re working from home, your commute is non-existent, and you’ll start your workday fresh and frustration-free, allowing you to be more focused on your tasks and get more done in one day.
Working from home means your schedule is almost entirely flexible. If you’re doing the type of job that has set deadlines and no questions asked aside that you deliver on time, then working from a home office is a blessing. You catch a game, have lunch, hang with your family, and complete your work all in one day, and with a seamless transition from leisure time to work hours. Because, as long as you completed your work, who cares that you’ve had an hour-long lunch break?
Working from home is very financially beneficial, especially for young entrepreneurs forming their own companies and start-ups. Staying in your home office means you don’t have to rent an office, which means you can put more money toward funding your project. As for the people working in offices, commuting requires fuel (if you’re using a motor vehicle to commute, that is), and those 100 or so bucks you spend on fuel every month can add up over the year to quite an amount you could be keeping in your pocket.
Your Work Is Never Away
For those of us with workaholic tendencies, but also for those dedicated to their jobs, working from home means that important documents and files are never too far away. Say, your client or co-worker needs a quick consult, or requires some data from you – you can easily access the said data and pass it on, despite it being 9 o’clock in the evening. In addition, working from home is especially popular with professionals that handle international clients, as they could provide customer service at all hours of the day if they wished so.
Your Home Office Is Your Castle
An often-overlooked boost to productivity is the environment you’re working in itself. There is a reason many shows, movies, and cartoons present working in cubicles as boring and mind-numbing – because, let’s face it, it is! Working in a drab and uninspired office just puts some people off, whereas, when you’re in your home office, you can decorate it as you please, and create a homey, relaxed environment. And if you really want to create an office away from the office, come on down to Display Me and buy some of their office supplies, or an outdoor banner pointing your way if you’re worried about your clients not being able to find you.
Working from your home might mean you can balance your work and family better, but it might just turn out the opposite. If your family doesn’t respect your time or privacy, they’ll end up being a distraction and keep pulling you away from your work. Your family might not be able to recognize you are at work and might interrupt you with this or that, leading to more frustration and less work being done.
As we said, working from home has its disadvantages. One of the first obstacles you will face in a home office is self-discipline. Knowing when to get up and give your lunch break a rest, and return to work is a big part of a successful workflow. Procrastination is your worst enemy, and not knowing how to make a proper schedule and stick to it will land you in a lot of trouble and frustration. And then you might just start to appreciate the impact your manager has on your productivity more.
Your Work Is Never Away
This one’s a kind of a double-edged sword, isn’t it? Sure, some of us might appreciate the fact that our laptop is always nearby and that we can immediately add to the project the moment inspiration hits, but this also means that the stress of work might follow us all throughout the day, and for weeks on end. Not being able to separate work from play in your home setting can create feelings of creeping anxiety that might end up with you developing symptoms of burnout.
Humans are, despite what even the most introverted individuals think, social beings. Working from home, especially if you’re living alone, might end up eliminating the human touch from your routine. Those of us who are more introverted might go on longer without needing some human contact, but most of us, we might start feeling lonely and begin to miss the hubbub of an office, with people going to and fro, with telephones ringing, and the tapping of keyboards.
Lack of Space
This goes especially for new entrepreneurs. Yes, working from home means you can save up more money and put it into your start-up, but, eventually, you’ll start to grow. And, with growth, you need more people handling your business and more space to do it. Over time, you will be forced to not only think but find a place where you can conduct your business, as your home will become too confining and unfit for the workload.
As you’ve seen, working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. What is important to remember, however, that this is mostly personal – some people simply perform better in an office, as they enjoy the driving force of their superior, while some don’t like having somebody looking over their shoulder. At the end of the day, your mental health is all that matters, so be sure to follow your own preferences to retain your drive and motivation throughout the years to come.