We’ve written previously about the noticeably growing trend of workers and companies to adopt a home working arrangement. If you’re thinking of implementing this option for yourself, here’s a list of pros and cons you should consider in advance.
You set your own work schedule (but you still have to get the work done!)
You don’t have to commute (saving you time and money and travel hassle)
You can work in whatever clothes you want
No one is supervising you every minute
Depending on your country's laws, some of your office and home running expenses can be written off against tax
If you have young children, elderly parents or people to care for at home, you may be able to structure your work conveniently around those responsibilities
You need a lot of self-discipline to start work when you know you don't have to be at the office by 8am
You must be entirely self-motivated to ensure you delivery as much or more than you would if in an office
You don’t get the office banter and camaraderie from working with others
You may miss out on the informal learning opportunities that often occur within an office workplace
There is a danger of putting in too many hours or overworking, a sort of overcompensation because you’re not commuting and the office is right there…….
With these issues in mind, here are some ideas to help you make home working a success:
Create a proper work environment to put you in the mood. Avoid the kitchen table and get a proper desk with a decent chair
Make sure you can close the door on your home distractions. You don’t have to be a hermit but you need to focus when you’re trying to work
Make sure your work space has good lighting, a good temperature and have a telephone and a printer nearby. Think of the best space you could have had at the office and try to recreate that (but keep an eye on the budget!)
Make time for office banter with colleagues even if it is just through Skype
Get out of the house as often as you can (work permitting), and make an effort to attend work social events – meeting other people face to face is still the best way to build and consolidate relationships
Set achievable goals everyday. It’s important when there’s no-one else around to make sure you create some structure.
Working from home can make a significant impact on your personal and professional life. We've certainly evidenced a small and growing band of home workers and companies, who are showing that with some thought and co-operation on both sides, it is possible to make working from home a success. It will be interesting to see how and to what extent home working as an employment option evolves in the future.