Home Employment: 12 Pros & Cons
Have you ever sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic silently cursing your commute? “Only every day!” you say? Why not join the ranks of telecommuters, where the distance from home to work can be traversed in slippers and the water cooler is your own fridge?
Approximately 2.5 percent of the American workforce who are NOT self-employed considers home their primary workplace, according to the Telework Research Network. If you’ve dreamed of strolling just down the hall from your bedroom to your home office to work, it can be pretty tempting.
Be warned, though. Working from home, whether you’re an employee or self-employed, has some pros and cons you should be aware of before you make the leap.
1. Closer proximity to family and extended 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.
2. Fewer interruptions
I’ve helped several clients who work in “open plan” workspaces figure out ways to mitigate visual and auditory distractions. Working at home is one way to make it a non-issue.
3. Flexible scheduling
If you’re a 5-in-the-morning early riser you can take advantage of it when you work from home. Conversely if you prefer to sleep until 9, you can do that too.
I know, I know, most articles about working from home say, “Get dressed in work clothes to make the distinction between work and off time.” But I say if you like to work in your PJs and you’re effective, then why not? You probably shouldn’t Skype into a meeting without a shirt, though.
5. No commute
This one’s the best! I don’t know if you’ve heard the rumor about traffic in Atlanta where I live, but there’s something to it. As a home office worker, my happiest mornings are the ones when I don’t have to get in the car and fight traffic.
6. Higher productivity potential
When you remove a chunk of commute time from your day, that’s more potential time for focusing on work. Or not. But hey, at least you have the option!
7. Money savings
When you work in an office, unless you’re diligent about bringing your lunchbox to work, eating lunch out can really put a dent in your take-home pay. Even if you eat low-dollar lunch at less than 10 bucks a day, that’s still $200 a month on lunch, whereas eating at home keeps that money in your pocket.
Peace and quiet are a boon to home working productivity, but remember the flip side, too. Working from home can be isolating at times. Keep in contact with your co-workers, colleagues and associates via Skype, phone, or even instant message. Going out for a bite to eat or hitting a networking event now and again will get you in front of other humans, too.
2. No IT department
Let’s face it: Computers and technology sometimes don’t work the way we want them to. (What??? I know, can you believe it?) At the office, you’re likely to have an in-house IT person at your service. That’s not the case when working from home so your machines may take longer to be fixed than you’d like.
3. Less collaborative
If your job requires co-worker collaboration, working from home can put a layer of complexity into that process. Skype, FaceTime and other video chat options help, but it’s tough to beat face-to-face meetings.
Huh? But you said fewer distractions was a PRO of teleworking! It is, when you miss out on workplace distractions such as co-workers on the phone or dropping by to chat. Home distractions exist, too. Laundry is oh-so-tempting, daytime television lurks steps away, and then there’s the ever-present lure of Facebook and Twitter. Bottom line? If you’re easily derailed, you’ll really have to be diligent if you plan to work from home.
I also said flexibility was a plus of teleworking and it is. But once your family and friends learn you work from home, they might mistake that to mean you’re more available than you are. Friends may drop by or call to ask your favors because you’re home.
For more tips, information and for teleworking opportunities, check out Telesaur.
This article originally from LinkedIn : Monica Ricci founded Catalyst Organizing Solutions in 1998 and has been helping people change their lives ever since. Monica is a Certified Professional Organizer, she lives in Atlanta with an awesome man and a nutty cat. She also blogs for Manilla, a free online service that lets you pay bills and manage your household accounts all with a single log-in.