Nowadays, many companies offer flexible work arrangements which allow some of their employees to work from home. Though working from home has many advantages, it also has some downsides.
Here are some of the advantages of working from home:
1. Cost cutting
Working from home allows you to avoid many of the costs related to traveling to work. This includes commuting costs such as fuel, car maintenance, parking fees and road tolls. In addition, it saves you from indirect costs such as buying professional outfits. If you have children, working from home can help you to avoid costs related to child care.
2. Minimal distractions
Most people who work in company offices have to put up with interruptions such as unnecessary meetings and banter from colleagues. Working from home allows you to focus on your tasks without having to deal with such distractions.
Working from home gives you the freedom to set your own working hours. This means that you can schedule time to handle other important issues such as child care. In addition, it allows you to create a working environment which suits you best. You can set the temperature, lighting and ambience which will enhance your productivity.
4. Proximity to family
Most people that have to go to work spend their days worrying about their families, especially if they have small children or elderly relatives at home. Working from home gives you the chance to be near your family and available if any issue arises.
5. Less stress
Long commutes, traffic, difficult bosses, uncooperative colleagues and poor working conditions are some of the main causes of stress among workers. This stress can also lead to health problems. Working from home allows you to avoid all these stressful situations and thus enjoy better health.
Here are the downsides of working from home:
The workplace offers an environment where you can meet and interact with people. However, people who work from home have to deal with loneliness and isolation. When not dealt with, this can have a negative effect on your socializing skills and even lead to depression. To avoid this, you need to make a deliberate effort to get out of the house and interact with others.
2. Inability to separate work from home
When you work from home, you could find yourself being tempted to take care of household affairs instead of working. This could be shopping, cooking, cleaning up or hosting visitors. To avoid this, be sure to draw a clear line between work and home.
Though working from home allows you to escape office interruptions, it exposes you to several other distractions. This could be children, family, friends and neighbors. To avoid this, you need to let your family and friends know that you are unavailable even though you are at home. It would be advisable to work in a dedicated room with a closed door.
4. Alienation from the goings on in the company
Many things happen on a daily basis in a company. This could be staff changes, changes in strategy or new competitive intelligence. It is very easy to lose touch with what is happening in the company when working from home. You might even miss the opportunity for a promotion. Therefore, if possible, drop by the office at least once a week to touch base with your colleagues and keep updated on the latest developments.
Working from home calls for much discipline, self-control and commitment. Since there is no one constantly looking over shoulder, you have to continually motivate yourself without giving in to distractions.