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Working From Home
Working from Home...
By Sharon Housley
Developments in technology have made
it possible, if not easy, for small businesses and employees
to telecommute. Working from home can be quite a different
experience from an office job, and many find it a preferable
one. However, those who work from home may also face
some of the intrinsic downsides of telecommuting. To
sort out the good and the bad of telecommuting, we have
compiled a list of the major pros and cons that those
who work from home might experience.
1. You can set your own hours.
Though few people show much enthusiasm
for waking up early to go to work, many "night owls"
feel that they are consistently less productive and
attentive earlier in the day. If your job allows, working
from home affords you the ability to define your own
hours and work during the time of day at which you are
most productive. This feature of working from home is
also hugely beneficial to those who have busy or inflexible
schedules outside of work, particularly to parents of
2. Your productivity can increase.
Many business owners and people who work
from home report an increase in their productivity when
working from home. Whether this occurs because people
find themselves more relaxed and better able to focus
in the familiar environment of their home, or because
those who work from home do not face the workplace distractions
that most others do, this is a great benefit both to
businesses and employees.
3. You will save time and money.
To most people, commuting is a necessary
evil. However, those who work from home need not worry
about being made late by unreliable trains, sitting
in heavy traffic, or even wasting time in transit. Not
having to commute also saves those who work from home
money on filling their cars with gas or buying train
tickets, expenses that can otherwise add up to immense
sums over time.
4. You will be more environmentally
Removing the need to commute will not
only save you time and money, but will also help protect
the environment. As of 2011, 90% of all commuters travel
by car, and about 80% of all commuters drive alone to
work. This widespread means of transportation burns
an immense amount of fossil fuels, which is detrimental
to life and deteriorates the atmosphere. Working from
home, however, is an environmentally responsible decision
that, over time, can conserve a significant amount of
1. You might face unwanted disruptions.
Family members often do not understand
that you are, in fact, working, and may interrupt you
at inconvenient times. These sorts of disruptions, particularly
if they occur often, can turn a carefully thought out
work plan or a day's work on a very involved project
into an unproductive day.
2. You may feel isolated.
Working from home can be an isolating
experience, especially if you are a particularly social
individual. More extroverted people may find that they
are not able to go out as often as they would like during
their work days. An employee telecommuting may also
find themself "out of the loop." The water cooler conversation,
while seemingly insignificant, can help employees bond
with their co-workers; lack of such interactions may
result in an employee's being "forgotten" or feeling
3. Your home will not always be conducive
If you have pets, young children, or
limited space, designating and preparing a space in
which to meet with clients may be a challenge. Even
if an adequate space is available, homes do not always
have very professional atmospheres, which some people
who work at home may find problematic.
4. You might feel unmotivated.
Though many report that they work more
productively from home, the comfort of a home environment
may also make it difficult to attain a "work mindset"
and begin working. Though this lack of motivation tends
to be overcome by necessity, it can be a frustrating
aspect of working at home to those whom it affects.
5. You need self-discipline.
Working from home requires much more self-discipline
than an office job. Though everyone is prone to mild
distractions, those who work from home rarely have anyone
looking over their shoulder to ensure that they remain
on task. Working with one's own technology and in a
comfortable home environment can also make those who
work from home feel more comfortable engaging in non-productive
tasks that they associate with being home, which heightens
the need of such people for strong self-discipline skills.
6. You may find it hard to separate
business from home life.
It can be difficult to separate business
from your home life when you associate them with the
same place. You may find yourself occupied with concerns
relating to work while you are not working, and may
end up working long hours as a result. Though it is
possible to create a balance between work and your personal
life, some people who work from home find that it requires
a significant amount of discipline.
As the world becomes more technology-oriented
and virtual, adapting a work at home environment is
becoming even easier. Though many people find telecommuting
a convenient and time-efficient way to work, it can
pose a few problems. However, working from home is overall
a great option available for implementation to small
businesses and employees.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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