Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Wouldn’t you want to stop going to the office and work from home?
If your company doesn’t offer telecommuting jobs but you still want to work from home, you can read my recent post called 8 Ways to Make Extra Money From Home. However, you must know that working from a home office offers a few cons, not only the pros.
Pros of working from home:
When you are working on your own, in the comfort of your own room you can set-up your own working schedule (most of the time). This is amazing because everyone functions in their own manner. Some of us are early birds and would prefer to start working at 6 in the morning and some are night owls who prefer to sleep in until noon.
According to ooomf blog:
Forcing someone to work early (or late) doesn’t necessarily lead to better results.A night owl can be just as productive (if not more) than an early riser, they’re simply more productive at a different time.
Commuting was a big problem for me and it still is for many. You get up early, get in your car and spend 1 hour in the traffic jams – unpaid for your time, of course. The same story repeats itself after work. When I worked at an office in Montreal I wasted an average of 12.5 hours per week. That’s 50 hours a month!
Working 12 months a year means I would lose 600 hours of my life commuting. I did try to take public transportation but getting to work took just as long as being stuck in a traffic jam.
When you work from home you do not need to waste all of that time. You could start your work later and finish earlier or you could throw in the extra 2 hours into your working day… or you can browse Youtube, it’s still more fun than commuting.
Let’s bring up the commuting issue once again. Let’s be very conservative and say you are getting a minimum wage salary which is about $10 per hour (average between USA and Canada). The 600 unpaid hours that you lose while commuting to and from work – that’s $6,000 per year. Add fuel costs, insurance, car repair or a bus fare if you use public transit – that’s at least $7,000 per year that could be saved if you work from home.
Normally I would try to prepare my lunch at home however since I wasn’t a morning person I would usually run late and either not make my lunch or forget it in the fridge. This means I would buy lunch at work, nothing fancy but it would cost at least $10. Don’t forget the cream-cheese bagel and a coffee on the way to work for another 4$. Just the food easily adds up to $3,000 per year. This expense is highly reduced when you don’t need to “go to work”. Make your own coffee, make your own lunch and save lots of money along the way.
Another neglected expense; dry cleaning. If you work in an office you most likely need to wear a suit and dry clean it. If you only spend $20-$30/week on dry cleaning, it adds up to over $1,000 per year.
Just the expenses described above add up to well over $10,000 per year. Do yourself a favour: Start working from home and invest that money.
When you work from home it means you are your own boss or it means that your boss (in the office) doesn’t see you. Many people hate the feeling of someone constantly watching over their shoulder and become a lot less productive.
Working away from your boss could be a great motivator.
Cons of working from home:
Home office offers a great deal of distractions; the fridge is always calling your name, the laundry needs to be done, the dog wants to go for a walk and one of my personal main distractions – friends and family. It will take a long time for your friends and family to actually understand that you are WORKING while in your house. Many will believe that you “’aren’t doing anything at all” so they will come over, call you all the time and sometimes even ask you to run some errands for them, since you are “home and not at work”.
An office usually offers the social aspect that your home simply can’t offer, unless you start talking to your pets or to your computer screen. I do that all the time . However working alone will motivate you to attribute more value to your evenings and week-ends. Since you are all alone during your working hours you would be very excited to see your friends in your spare time.
If you are your own boss you can also join local meet-ups where you can meet some very interesting people, network with professional from your field and make good friends. I know that I made quite a few friends this way. Some of my friends actually attended same online forums as I did and eventually we started meeting up for a drink or a coffee and brainstorming some business ideas.
When you are having a bad day at the office – you know you will leave at 5 p.m. and it will be over. You cannot escape your home… you live there. However, since no one is controlling your every step you can simply take a long walk around the block and I promise it will make things better. Exercise and fresh air is never a bad idea.
Yes, I put the No Boss in both; pros and cons. One of the biggest disadvantages of working from home – you need to be very self-disciplined. Since there is no one to force you to do things – you might start slacking off. Working on your own takes a great deal of motivation and planning. Make a schedule for yourself and respect it. You have no boss – take full advantage of it and turn it into a positive thing.
I love working from home and I would suggest it to every single person I know, however there are a few key things you need to remember:
- Make sure all your friends and family know you are working and not just wasting time. Ignore their calls if they don’t understand it.
- Make a work-schedule and respect it as much as you can.
- Make a list of tasks you need to accomplish in a day. Take breaks between the tasks.
- Some suggest wearing a suit even to your home office – I say forget about it. Being comfortable is one of the reasons of working from home. Wear a suit only if it’s your most comfortable clothing.
- Take your eyes away from the computer screen every 30 minutes. Look out of the window, take a deep breath.
- Exercise. If possible take a 10 minute walk every hour or two. Don’t think of it as a waste of time. Think of it as commuting time re-invested in something healthier.
Do you have any other pros and cons you would like to share? Please comment below.