Working From Home: Pros and Cons

From on December 31, 2008 in Green Remodeling

For many of us, we work so much that our homes become little more than a stopping point, a rest area between jobs. But since the Internet Revolution the avenue to working from home has been growing ever wider. Because of the daily stresses related to remote work—commuting, traffic, regimen, expenses—many people rush at the opportunity to work from home. Indeed it is from home that I write to you now.

Yet working from home may not be for everybody. It has its pros and cons. And it certainly deserves some careful consideration. I find there is a duality to working from home. That is, what is a pro one day, may be a con the next. Perhaps you will agree…

Among the many reasons that working from home is great are:

  • Multitasking becomes an option. Right now I could bake, do laundry, watch the kids, and more. All the while getting some work done.
  • Remodeling. What could be better than the ability to be hands-on during a big remodel and help fund that remodel at the same time?
  • Flexibility. Take lunch now or later. No more scrambling to make appointments. Your day becomes your day to design.
  • Family. One of the biggest reasons for making the move to home-based work. You maximize your time with family. Up in the morning for breakfast and here when the kids get home from school, with several quiet hours in between for work.
  • Saving Resources. Many progressive companies out there accommodate telecommuting. According to Equity Green, the recent CoreNet Global Summit encouraged U.S. corporations to implement telecommuting programs that reduce carbon footprints.

Among the many reasons why working from home requires a second thought (and how they can be conquered):

  • Home=Work. Be aware that now your home becomes your office. There really is no leaving work. It is vital to create a workspace that is comfortable and separate. Perhaps that hands-on remodel described above could include the addition of an office?
  • Sedentarily Yours. There is a surprisingly big difference between the active, on-the-go lifestyle that accompanies many jobs, even if it’s just walking home from work. When you’re already AT home for work, you have to discipline yourself into action. Exercise is vital to health and is not inherent in working from home. On the bright side you can jog, ride, or walk whenever you want!
  • Distractions. It could be the kids. Or the temptation of television. Or a bright sunny day. Quite frankly, it’s easier to stay on task in a workplace environment. Flexibility and personal freedom can be a double-edged sword. Solution? Create your own workspace (it’s really time for that remodel!) or, if the sunny day is tempting, grab your laptop and head to the park or a cyber cafe.
  • Family. Not that being home with the kids wouldn’t be great, but everybody needs some “me” time once in a while. You may not recognize the value of time away from home until you spend all your time there.

I hope that you can see what I mean about duality. If you don’t get out somewhat regularly you can start to get cabin fever. You don’t want your home to feel like a cage. That is often why we want to get out of the office building in the first place. And you can’t punch out and go home if you’re already there.

But in actuality, all it takes to succeed at “homework” is some self discipline and some personal (business) space. That is the biggest Pro of them all isn’t it? To be able to design your day, your workspace, your life to suit your needs and wants. You have now officially made your home your castle, but you still have to run the kingdom.