The new office - part 2

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.