Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home

The workplace is constantly evolving. While, a standard 9-5 job was the norm a few years back, new practices have since been sprouting. These practices, including telecommuting and freelancing have become quite popular in recent years, as they offer a single point of benefit: working from home.

Working from home is steadily becoming the norm in many corporations. It is being egged on by the fact that more and more professionals are seeking a better work-life balance and that more companies are adopting flexible policies to accommodate that.

Like all things, however, working from home has its benefits and its downsides. Let us compare the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. How you ask, in a classic pros and cons list, of course.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Spend more time with family.

Family can distract from work.

Raise children on your own, saving on costs of childcare and babysitting.

Children can be a handful and often lead to distractions.

Save on hidden costs of commuting, including, car wear and tear, fuel, road taxes, parking, etc.

There are costs from working at home, including electricity, computer, internet costs, other equipment, etc.

Save on costs of expensive professional wardrobes and dry-cleaning.

The risk of not having an adequate professional wardrobe for business meetings.

Flexibility to determine your own work hours.

The risk of not being able to differentiate between work and house chores; and the chores affecting the work.

Flexibility to determine your own work environment.

Home work environment may be too relaxing to be productive in.

Flexibility of working in your pajamas.

Pajamas may feel too laid back to actually get any work done in.

No distractions or unnecessary interruptions from coworkers, or impromptu office meetings. 

Distractions or unnecessary interruptions from children, work, neighbors, friends, or family.

Less stress from commuting in traffic, unfriendly coworkers, a suboptimal work environment and constant distractions.

Reduced interaction between you and the other employees. Hence, you may not be able to keep up with staff changes, new business, changes in company direction, new competitive intelligence, etc.

Less stress = Happiness = Better health

Reduced interaction between you and the boss, might lead you to be missed out on for promotions and career development opportunities.

Out of sight = Out of mind

Increased productivity from working independently in their preferred environment at their own pace.

Not knowing when to stop working. Work has a tendency of increasing, so if you don’t keep track of time, you may continue working well into nights.

Reduces costs for the company, such as costs for office space, computer and other equipment, electricity, etc.

In freelancing, there are no benefits that are usually provided by a full-time employer, such as health benefits.

Improved employee happiness, hence increase chances of employee retention.

Can get lonely, reduced chances of socializing and interacting with others.

Working from home is not everyone’s cup of tea. It takes dedication, self-control and discipline in order to work from home and not let the distractions get to you. Still, working from home has its share of advantages, as listed above. The most important of which is the flexibility to do your own thing. If after considering the various advantages and disadvantages, you are still unsure if working from home is for you, you may perhaps talk with your manager and try it out for a short period of time before making any decisions.

 

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