The dream to work from home has never had as much appeal than it has now in the history of employment.
With more people losing their jobs unexpectedly due to advances in technology, the increasing cost of living, and popular books like the four hour work week, people are exploring the possibility of working from home more than ever.
But, what exactly does it mean to “work from home”?
How does “work from home” really work?
Is it right for you considering your circumstances?
What do you stand to benefit that you may not get with the regular jobs if you choose work from home?
Can you create consistent income using the work from home model?
These are some of the questions that make people apprehensive about exploring this type of employment.
Quite simply, working from home is when your choice of employment gives you the option of doing your daily duties remotely, usually from the comforts of your home.
With an increase in technological advancements, such as high-speed internet connections and smart devices like computers, tablets or phones, more and more jobs all over the world are giving their employees the option to work from home.
Contrary to what you may have been thinking, (mainly that you wouldn’t earn as much as you would if you commute regularly to work, the truth is, by choosing to work from home you may end up earning more than you normally would.
So, goodbye to the stress of the early morning rush hour and late night traffic.
Say goodbye to leaving your personal responsibilities laying around just because you need to ‘go’ to work.
Say goodbye to saying goodbye to your family in the morning.
But before making a business move, it’s wise to consider the pros and cons of the change.
Does working at home have any benefit (s)?
Is there something about it that should not be desired?
Let’s consider these points together.
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ADVANTAGES OF WORKING FROM HOME
Below is a detailed explanation of some vital benefits of working from home.
- Increased flexibility:
- Imagine that you can take lunch breaks anytime you want instead of after 4 hours in an 8 hour period of work?
- Imagine that you can run other personal errands even while at work? Such is the flexibility that working from home affords you.
- Imagine you get to choose when to execute a task you want to, free from the angry prompts or micromanaging of your authoritative boss.
- Less office distraction:
- One thing you can never avoid at work is the occasional debates and arguments of co-workers or basic work drama. Sometimes you might even find that tasks are completed at a slower pace all because you get drawn into a discussion that has nothing to do with the work at hand.
- Also, waking up to the sound of your alarm very early in the morning can trigger the ‘rush hour anxiety’ as you start your day. When you work from home, you save yourself of these unnecessary distractions.
- No need for commuting:
- In some jobs, you may wake up at a ridiculous hour to start commuting to your workplace.
- If you drive your own automobile or you enter a commuter bus, there is also a level of stress that this adds. But when you choose to work from home, none of these is going to cause any problem.
- You save money:
- Working from home saves you a number of expenses. Instead of paying for lunch at your favorite restaurant or paying for snacks throughout the day, you can decide to eat from your own refrigerator and pantry.You will save that transport fare or money spent on gas.You also get to save money on office space, if you own your own business. My brother is a web designer and when he decided to work from home it saved him over $500 a month in expenses that were unnecessary because he rarely meets with clients in an office.
- Wear what you like:
- No one shows up at work with overly casual attires, unless of course you plan to tender your resignation. We all are expected to dress professionally, whatever that looks like in your job.This is an added headache and additional stress every morning… oh, what to wear.If you work from home, it gives you the opportunity to wear what you like. Nobody is dictating how you dress, it’s up to you.
- Make more money:
- If you work from home, you have a embedded opportunity to make more money while saving on costs (gas, food, transportation, etc). For one, you could work form work for more than one employer at the same time or take on freelance work. This translates into more cash for your growing expenses.
- More time for loves ones:
- Some regular jobs are so strict with their work policies that if something else is done during the working hours, it might result in sanctions. Little activities like picking up a personal call can result in a query.When you work at home, you can do all those minor things and even check up on your toddler from time to time. At this point, most employers aren’t requiring video in people’s houses to make sure they are on task. They are just expecting you to get the job done.
The advantages of working at home are not limited to the few we’ve discussed.
There are other advantages like working in a quiet environment, using free times to handle some weekend household chores, and increased employee retention.
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DISADVANTAGES OF WORKING AT HOME
There are some disadvantages to employees working from home. Please note that these cons can be minimized even if you still choose to work from home.
- Increased internet and phone calls expenses- Working from home are all about two things: internet and calls. This mode of employment relies heavily on internet connection and phone calls. They are needed in communicating back and forth between the employer (s) and the employees. So if not careful, more expenses can be accrued.
- The danger of Ineffectiveness- The office setting gives the opportunity for an annual evaluation of skills and productivity by a superior. This kind of evaluation is needed to help increase the effectiveness of employees working within an organization. When working at home, one can easily sink into ineffectiveness because there is no such evaluation of performance by a superior. As such, the quality of output and skills of the employees can easily deteriorate gradually.
- Lack of team spirit– In most work environments, employees are part of a team and they work together, having team meetings where their jobs will be discussed in person. When working from home, such team spirit is hardly maintained among workers working in different locations.
- The problem of boredom– As distracting as debates and arguments in a workplace could be, when absent, some employees who were used to working in a workplace before may start feeling lonely.
- Home distractions- They flexibility that working from home provides can also be a snare when misused. The temptation to reply a few emails, some social media message from friends, checking Facebook or Twitter, and maybe Netflix (to check out new episodes of your favorite soap operas) can increase.
- The urge for naps- When working at home, one of the main issues that could be counterproductive is power naps. This is because it is all too easy for a 30 minutes nap to become a one hour nap.
EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR WORKING FROM HOME
Having considered the advantages and disadvantages of working from home, it is now time to examine a few practical steps you can take to improve your effectiveness even though you choose to still work from home.
- Be disciplined with work hours- It is a common problem with people who work at home, or who have their ‘office at home’ to struggle to strictly keep working hours for work. Keeping a regular schedule can be hard, but it is something you have to train yourself with if you are to succeed as a remote worker whose office is your home.
Here is what you can do: set the times you will want to spend working during the day. Make sure you resist the urge to deviate from your plan. Stick to the work schedule and see how it will affect your performance positively.
- Dress as if you are going to the office- Working from home may give you the liberty to wear whatever you like to work. You could even work in your pajamas or your nightwear. The only cost is that there is a level of casual approach this adds to your work awareness. The fact that you are in a casual outfit might be responsible for a degree of lackluster.
Wake up every day and dress up in corporate office wear; this will give you a sense of responsibility as you approach each day of work.
- Assign tasks for each day– Some experienced remote workers have found out that when they set specific tasks that should be executed daily, this has helped them get the job at hand done. They create a checklist of tasks and check them as each task is executed. You can try this out to in other to be successful.
- Improve on your communication– To be successful in your career; you should give priorities to what can make you achieve your goals. Working at home means doing all you can to be in touch with your employers and clients. A delay in meeting deadlines and or being carried along can also cost you your job.
Whether it is a Skype calls or a phone call, make sure you always stay in touch.
- Schedule regular breaks- They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The same is true for those who choose to work from home. Schedule regular breaks that will take you away from your desk; stretch or walk down your street. From daily midday breaks to lunch breaks, to seasonal vacations, take time out and have a little fun- that’s kind of the point of working from home anyway… right? Plus, it’s necessary for improved performance.
IS WORKING FROM HOME RIGHT FOR YOU?
As earlier mentioned, people decide to work from home for a number of reasons; some to make more money from working for more than one client.
Others feel they will be able to handle other activities like caring for their toddler. While for some other people, just the flexibility that working from home affords them is the main of attraction.
It’s not just a matter of what you like, it involves your circumstances as well.
So, take a good look at your needs, weigh carefully the pros and the cons, examine the steps you should take in order to be successful.
Ask yourself if you can really make the sacrifices necessary for success. If everyone could do it, everyone would. I believe everybody can, but not everybody is willing to pay the price necessary for success.
Find out if it suits you, and if it does, be serious with what you do and go all in- 100%.
Last Thoughts on Working From Home
Within the last 10 years, the number of establishments that offer the option of working from home has increased more than any time in human history.
Companies see having remote workers in different locations as a way of expanding their horizon and scope of work while keeping capital expenditures in check.
Working from home is more responsibility, both to the employer and the employees. If both parties do their part well, it could prove innovative and beneficial for both parties.
If you’re thinking about this form of employment, do research online for the company you’re looking at. If the company you are applying to has remote working as an option, state clearly what you want in your application.
Do it right and it could be the start of something new in your life.
If you’d like to start your own home based business, we encourage you to check out what we’re doing and see if it would be a fit for you.
And remember, when it comes to your life and finances:
If nothing changes… nothing changes.