By: Violeta Vasilopoulou
Lately, more and more women choose to work from the comfort of their homes. Whether they are splitting their work schedule and working from home a couple of days per week, running a small successful home-based business, or freelancing full time from their home office, women are increasingly establishing themselves professionally not in some office, but at their very own home offices.
Surely, there are many reasons for setting up a home office. Either you need to stay home with the children or you lack the funds to rent an office space. However, whatever the reason, there are equally important pros & cons to working from home that shouldn’t be overlooked but weighed in carefully.
When you work in a corporate environment, all the advantages of working from home become very appealing in your mind. Many people often get attracted by the whole of idea of working from the comfort of their homes and setting their own work schedules that they often forget to consider some of the drawbacks. But, let’s first explore the great benefits of working from home.
Pros of Working from Home:
· Flexibility. There is a lot of flexibility that comes with working from home. You complete your tasks on your own schedule and many times you can also set your own hours.
· No commute. Another major advantage is that travel time is eliminated. You won’t have to waste hours commuting to-and-from work. No more sitting in your car during “rush hours” or stressing out over being late.
· Closer proximity to family. Working from home, full- or part-time can help fill in the gaps when family members are ill or when kids need to be picked up from school. You are able to spend more time with your loved ones, especially your children.
· Wear your pajamas at work. Although it is probably best to get dressed in the mornings, even if you are working from home, in order to make the distinction between work and off-time, if don’t feel like dressing one day, you CAN work in your pajamas. It is completely up to you; whatever makes you feel more comfortable and effective. Just remember you are in our Pj’s and stay away from Skype.
· Save money. When you work in an office, unless you’re diligent about bringing your lunch to work, eating out each and every day, can really stretch your monthly income. Even if you choose a low cost lunch, spending less than ten dollars per day, that’s still equals $200 a month on lunch alone. Making a sandwich in your kitchen will help you save a significant amount of money and you will be able to use the extra cash to accomplishing the goals you have been saving towards. You will also need a relatively smaller collection of work attire and this will also help you save more money.
Unfortunately, as much as we don’t want to think about these, there are a number of disadvantages from working from home.
Cons of Working from home
· Flexibility. Flexibility can be a pro as well as a con. Once your family and friends learn you work from home, they might think that you are more available than you really are. (Those of you who work from home know exactly what I’m talking about) Friends may drop by or call to ask you favors. Your family will need time to adjust to the fact that, just because you are at home, you still have deadlines and work that needs to be done.
· Isolation. Peace and quiet are beneficial to working productively, but you have to keep in mind that there are tow sides to that coin. Working from home can be isolating at times. It is a good idea to maintaining contact with your co-workers, colleagues, and associates via Skype, phone, or even instant messaging. Work one or more days at your local cafe and make lunch meetings with associates, so that you can still get in contact with other people.
· Less collaboration. If your job requires collaboration with a partner or a co-worker, working from home can put a layer of complexity into that process. Skype, FaceTime, and other video chat options will help, but it’s tough to beat face-to-face interaction during business meetings.
· Distractions. You might think that by working from home you eliminate distractions, such as co-workers talking loudly on the phone or chatting away with the latest office gossips. However, distractions exist at home, as well. Laundry is oh-so-tempting, daytime television lurks steps away, and then there’s the ever-present lure of Facebook, Twitter, and the time consuming Pinterest. The bottom line is, that if you are easily distracted, you’ll really have to be diligent if you plan to work from home.
· No IT department. The harsh truth is that computers and technology sometimes don’t work the way we want them to. At the office, you are likely to have an in-house IT person just a call away. However, that’s not the case when you are working from home, so your home office equipment may take longer to fixed than you’d like. (Not to mention added frustration)
Ultimately, the choice to work from home is yours, since it is a major change that is not for everyone. I have been working from home for the last four years and freelancing full time. There are days that I love it and others that I crave my old office days. Choose wisely and, in the end, if you find that working from home isn’t for you, you can always go back to working in the office.
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