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Working from home – the pros and cons

Working from home is an ideal situation for many, however in some cases it is simply not possible, for example if you are a heart surgeon you can of course only really work at the hospital! Whether you are a home-based small business owner full time, or you balance your time between working from home and at the office, you will know there are many pros and cons of both.

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There are many pros of working from home, they can make life easier and less stressful. Here are the reasons why you may consider working from home:

  • No commuting – this means you can save time, money and reduce your stress levels. Taking public transport during peak times can be very expensive, and quite a stressful affair.
  • Flexibility – working from home allows you to work when you are feeling the most productive. You are not constrained to having lunches and breaks at certain times. You can create your own schedule/timetable.
  • Home comforts – you can feel completely comfortable because you are at home, which is where most people find the most comfort. You can work in your pyjamas if you wish.
  • Distractions – although you may face distractions at home, you are more likely to be able to control them. For example, a TV may be a distraction but you can turn it off. Colleagues/employees are not something you can turn off therefore they can really become a distraction.
  • Reduced stress levels – not only can you cut stress levels by avoiding trains at peak times, but there are several other ways in which working from home may be beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. For example you are able to take breaks when necessary, allowing you to take time out when you need it the most.
  • Save money – you can save money by not having to commute. Additionally, some of your home office expenses will be applicable for tax relief.
  • Work/life balance – working from home may enable you to have a better work-life balance. You are able to finish your work and do ‘life’ things. Whereas if you are in an office, you are obligated to stay there for the whole of your work time frame (for example 9 to 5, Monday to Friday).
  • Suited to your lifestyle – if you are married and have kids, then working from home may be the ideal situation for you. Allowing you to be around and close to your family and simultaneously being able to work.

Each individual will have different preferences, however if those pros appeal to you then make sure to read the cons. It’s essential to ensure that working from home is actually suitable for you personally, before making any big decisions. Here are some cons of working from home:

  • Self-discipline – this is probably the biggest con, especially if you have no experience in being self-disciplined. Working from home can make you feel too relaxed, and this is when you need that self-discipline to motivate you to do your work.
  • Loneliness – working from home will mean that you’re not around very many people, which can make you feel lonely and/or isolated. If you are social person, this may be difficult for you but if you prefer to keep to yourself then this may be a benefit for you.
  • Overwork – when you are at home working, there isn’t a clocking out system. Therefore you may overwork yourself and you may also find it difficult to switch off or shut down after a day of work.
  • Use up space – having an office in your house will obviously take up space. This can take up living space that you may need for something else.
  • Relationship – when you don’t have daily interactions with suppliers/clients/employees then it’s more difficult to form trusting working relationships.

With the pros and cons considered, you may find that working from home seems ideal for you, or you might find it too daunting. However you should now be able to make an informed decision about whether working from home is something you want to do or not.

More information of starting up and growing your business here.

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