As Boris announces today that he wants everyone to return to their offices again to enable the economy to keep growing, it made me think more about this. I am lucky enough to do a mix of work, but the majority of it is not from home. My dream is to eventually work mainly in writing jobs, but even then I hope to have a good balance of work in a workplace and at home.
There are so many advantages and disadvantages for working at home. I like the idea of finding a reasonable balance between the two. Here are the pros and cons of home working:
1) No travel. Good for the environment and saves time being wasted. Why travel for meetings when you can still cover the material with online professional appointments?
2) No need to spend on snacking. All the food and supplies you need are already at home. This can be a downer too as you may be tempted to eat and drink more when working so close to a fully filled fridge.
3) You can take better control of your timetable, unless you are unlucky enough to have been given back-to-back zoom calls all day.
4) You are your own boss. Well, not literally, but at least nobody is actually breathing down your neck as you try to hit a deadline. At least if you need to buy some time you can say that the internet is down. Who will know?!
5) In theory you will get much more done. No distractions from chatty colleagues or noisy photocopiers can be used as excuses for a lack of productivity.
1) Although you don’t use any fuel, you may find it harder to make a distinction between work and home. Travelling to work is often a good way to disconnect from your home life and give yourself the brain space needed for a day at work. I often unpick a day on my way home from work and usually by the time I reach my house I am ready to move on and chill.
2) Pets and family members can get in the way. At work you won‘t be dealing with fighting cats or intrusive dogs. Kids won’t be arguing over computer games in the background. Of course office hours are longer then school hours so there is bound to be an overlap.
3) I found that when I had a period of working from home I missed the social interaction of being around my colleagues who always give me a sounding board and regularly cheer me up with their humour. Let’s face it, nothing beats a good face to face gossip either.
4) You are using your own supplies. At least at work everything is there for you. Working from home leads to dealing with printers, restocking ink and regular trips to the post office. Although you can claim for these, they can take up a lot of valuable time.
5) You can get tempted to relax whilst at home. I know people who end up getting up later and staying in their jogging bottoms all day. Sitting around can lead to bad backs and putting weight on. That trip into the office can involve walking or cycling and getting your daily dose of fresh air and exercise.
So yes, I like working from home a lot but it comes with a down side. Personally I have a mix of both and like being able to have some days at home and others in a busy environment. Perhaps in future I will manage to make it a 50:50 split between them both.
For a related article about working from home click here.
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