I’ve seen & heard it many times – people wondering if working at home isn’t something they should rather do. The most common time this happens is when one becomes a parent. We want to be close to our kids, want to hear them when we work or be with them in the day and work while they sleep.
Working from home may be for you, but it also may not. Making the choice to work from home is a big one and a number of factors need to be considered. I worked in an office for 12 years until I had kids. For the last 5 years I have worked from home and I can confidently tell you that working from home vs. working in an office is very different.
So in this blog post, I cover the factors that one must consider when choosing to work from home. These factors will assist you in making a more informed decision when choosing to take the leap and leave your job to work for yourself at home or get your employer to allow you to work from home instead of at the office. Some of the factors mentioned may not be relevant to you, but some may very well be, so pay attention.
- Save on Fuel: Whether you drive a car or you travel by another form of transport, you save on either fuel or money or both as you travel far less – if at all. You might also be able to save on car insurance.
- Increased Time in the Day: Less travel time means more opportunity to catch up on work or get ahead for the day. Or, free you up which can give you more flexibility.
- Healthier Eating Possibilities: Working from home means you’re less likely to pop out to lunch with friends or be tempted to grab food on the go. Having your own fridge and pantry with you throughout the day provides more opportunity for you to stick to good eating habits.
- Available for your kids: This would naturally be directed at you if you’re a parent. If your child is sick or gets hurt or just wants a cuddle, you’re right there when they need you. Big bonus!
- Easy dress code: You can dress how you want when you are working – nobody is looking. If you have a Skype call, make sure to throw on a suitable shirt or blouse – they won’t know you have your PJs and slippers on.
- More time with your kids: Given you travel less and are home more, you inevitably get to see your kids more and spend more time with them than if you were getting home later after driving back from work.
- Reduced expenses: If you work from home and are self-employed or run your business from home, you are saving on renting an office somewhere = Huge savings!
- Productivity: This belongs under Pros and Cons, but I’m putting it under Pros as I am able to produce more work by working from home. Some days’ productivity can be disrupted due to kids or other distractions, but the beauty of working from home is that I can easily catch up later as I have all my work files locally and available at any given time.
- Temptation: When you’re in your own space, temptations exist and you can get easily distracted as a result. For example: your bed; tasks you know need to be done in the house; even family members who are home can make you tempted to skip work here or there.
- Isolation / Solitude: While this may sound fantastic, sometimes you do want someone to chat to or bounce an idea or two off, so make sure you get social activity and interaction in during the day to avoid any form of loneliness.
- Balance: Working from home may be nice, but it’s also very hard to switch off when the day comes to an end. You may end a day knowing there’s just one or two more things to get done, so you will quickly do those. If you were at an office, you would most likely head off at close of business and deal with it the next day. One needs to be aware of this and make sure to focus on keeping work and home balance in check.
- Distractions: Some find it easier to work from home and they can be more productive, but it does very much depend on your home environment. With kids around, there’s noise and always something going on – particularly in the afternoon (for me, that is). Some days are harder than others, but one has to be aware that it’s easy to get distracted when at home. When friends / family know you’re at home, they may very well pop over and distract you; you need to have clear rules or boundaries with family and friends on this to avoid falling into this trap. And don’t forget your neighbours – they too can be a distraction!
- Initial cost: While you may save on rent as mentioned under the list of pros above, you may have to set up an initial office which can be pricey. For example, if you need an internet connection – you need to find the best provider for you. You may need a landline which you didn’t need before. A desk, stationery, printer, etc – all the things you would typically have at an office and not have to worry about – these could be an initial expense. If you work for another company and they are allowing you to work from home, they may very well cover the costs of your setup, but it’s still very much something you need to think about and consider.
So, if you’re thinking of working from home, consider the pros and cons and make sure to think of ways so that, if any of the cons were to show their ugly faces to you, you would know how to get on top of it, so it’s no longer a problem.
This article was brought to you by Dialdirect Insurance