Working from Home: Pros, Cons and Tips

I’ve always wanted to have a job that allows me to be independent and creative in terms of ideas, output and even wardrobe. I’m thankful as I have that now. What makes my job even more better is our current work-from-home setting. I’ve been working from home for more than two years now. If you are considering shifting to a company, getting a job or setting up a business that allows you to work-from-home, here are some pros and cons I can share based on my experience.

Pros

  1. Working from home fosters creativity. Being in a familiar, homely environment allows your mind to form ideas naturally, in highly unusual ways. You may think of concepts or ideas while doing things that help your mind get into action, like taking a walk around your house, cleaning your room, or even doing yoga or headstands! You can make your mind (and body) run freely without worrying about cubicles, office etiquette or just looking plain crazy.

  2. Working from home fosters independence and productivity. It is easy for someone to slack off without the constant watching eye of a supervisor, or tempting gossip sessions with office mates at the least. But once you get in the work zone – through your own initiative – things are done fast. Through working from home, you train yourself to get the job done by disciplining yourself against distractions. Once you instill discipline within, you can work anywhere – with or without distractions.

  3. Working from home reduces unnecessary stress and costs for traveling to your workplace. This applies largely to people who work in some of the busiest business districts in the country, most especially those who are working in the Makati and Ortigas areas in Metro Manila in the Philippines. Of course, it also reduces your gas/commute fee costs that come with the daily travel.

  4. Working from home also reduces costs for meals. This is important for moms and dads.  Since lunch can be prepared easily by yourself or your helper/s, and snacks are available in the pantry, you won’t have to spend double buying lunch or snacks.

  5. Working from home adds to time spent with loved ones, especially your family. Whilst many normal office-based workers wait until dinner time or the weekend to spend time with their family, you can spend it with them before settling down to work in the morning, during lunch time or breaks.

  6. Working from home allows for more relaxed downtime with yourself, your special someone or friends. You won’t have to worry meeting up with friends looking like a total haggard mess since you’re not bogged down by unnecessary stress factors.

Cons

  1. Working from home makes internal discussions/meetings harder. Well, this is applicable for people like me, from this side of the planet, since online and telecommunication connections aren’t constantly strong. You have to find a way to enhance your text-based (SMS and e-mail) communication skills, in case your phone line is making things hard, or if Skype simply doesn’t deliver. In my case, this isn’t really a big, big problem but it slows down work and productivity levels a bit.

  2. Working from home increases your tendency to slack off. This is why it is important for you to discipline yourself, otherwise, you’ll find yourself dozing off on your bed, or watching YouTube or hanging out on Facebook the whole day.

Tips

As I’ve mentioned, working from home requires discipline for it to be fully enjoyable. It sounds a bit ironic, but it’s true. Here are some self-disciplining tips that I have applied to myself:

  1. Follow a morning routine. Establishing a system early within the day will ease the flow from home activities to work. This delineates your “home” time from “work” time. Also set a time limit for your lunch hour.

  2. Have a separate room for your office, or at least position your table in such a way that the bed isn’t visible.

  3. Wear nice-looking clothes, at least the ones that you wear when going to the grocery or neighborhood/barangay hall. Don’t be stuck in your pajamas or wear tattered clothes. Sure, they may be comfy to work in, but you really can’t perform well in them.

  4. Take short hourly breaks AWAY from your computer. You have the liberty to take more breaks, so go ahead and indulge!  This is better than working non-stop for a few hours, then finding yourself slacking in the next two hours due to exhaustion. Play with your dog or cat, say hello to your kids or whoever is at home or grab a snack.

My job still requires us to meet face-to-face once or twice a week, or dress up nicely when we meet with clients so we still get to experience traffic and long commute lines and spend on food, but majority of the work is done at home. My experience has still been good so far. Still, I know this setting isn’t for everyone, and others still prefer working from an office separate from their home.

If you are a fellow work-from-home person, then feel free to share other pros, cons and tips with me and my readers!

Thanks for reading this post!

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