Working from home is a wonderful experience. I’ve got more freedom to work and play as I please. The thought of being stuck in a cubicle from 9am to 5pm is scary for me now. I won’t trade my laptop lifestyle for anything in the world! Of course, every rose has its thorns. Having a 9 to 5 job has its perks too. I must admit there have been are times when working from home has been a complete nightmare.
Although over the years, I have been able to strike a comfortable balance. Striking this balance was not easy. I had to play around with my routine and do a lot of trial and error, but I am happy with my work/life balance now, kind of.
I am been working from home for over 2 years now, so I know all about the pros and cons of working from home, for me anyway. I must warn you, my working from home experience may not be the same as yours, but I hope I’ll be able to hit that sweet spot where we can all relate with.
Let me start with the positive side of working from home:
1. Flexible Work Schedule
When you work from home, you can work at any time you like. Unlike working in an office where you start and close from work a fixed time, working from home gives you the liberty to start work and close from work at any time of the day. I usually work at mornings and at nights, on most days. I like the fact that I can still work even when I don’t feel so good.
2. You Can Spend Time With your Family
Being a freelancer is a lifestyle choice for me, rather than a career choice. I needed to stay at home with my kids, and I love the fact that my job gives me that freedom to that. Working from home gives me the opportunity to take an active part in the lives of your loved ones. I can care for my kids, and watch them grow. This ‘pro’ alone is the main motivator for me.
3. You Get to Save Money
The money I would have spent on commuting to work and back, and lunch at a café can be saved. I no longer need to face the dreadful rush hour commute, since my business is anywhere I want it to be.
4. You’re Safe from Office Politics and Gossip
Let’s face it, when you’re at the office you have to constantly watch your back. You never know what your boss or co-workers could use against you. When you work from home, you can be yourself. You no longer have to worry about what others think or say about you. You are your own boss. This is another major motivator for me because I can’t handle unnecessary drama at all.
So that’s just one side of the coin. Let’s have a look at the negative side of working from home:
1. You Tend to Work Long Hours
This is a major ‘con’ for me because I work very long hours. Working at the office gives you a well-defined schedule: start at 9am and close at 5pm, and that is it until the next working day. When you work from home you can work late into the night. Sometimes you find yourself working more than 8 hours a day, even on weekends.
2. You Need to Have Self-discipline
I am lucky I don’t get easily distracted. When I need to work, I work, and nothing would distrate me, except my children. So when I am working at night, and everyone is fast asleep, I don’t get tempted to go on social media or put on the TV, because I know I need to get work done.
Working from home gives you a lot of freedom that, at times, you may get tempted to just relax. But if you are focused, you won’t have a problem.
3. No Adult Interaction
Staying at home all day can be boring sometimes. When you’re at work, the office is always bustling with lots of activities, and the change of environment and meeting different people helps your state of mind. That’s something you don’t get working at home. I am a bit of a loner, a full introvert, so I don’t struggle much with this working from home issue.
So there you have it! If you had a choice, would you work from home or work in a structured office?