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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.

Working from home

There are many pros of working from home, they can make life easier and less stressful.

Pros of 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.

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.

  • To combat this, create a schedule and stick to it. You can even try to stick to a normal office routine in order to maintain the amount of work you do. 

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 a social person, this may be difficult for you but if you prefer to keep to yourself then this may be a benefit for you.

  • Loneliness can have a huge negative impact on your mental health and wellbeing. So, make sure you schedule calls, meetings with your employees, colleagues to make sure you feel connected. 

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.

  • The best way to deal with overworking is to have working hours and a switch-off point. For example, you might want to work for the standard office hours and switch off from 5 pm. 

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.

  • You don’t necessarily need a whole room, you can just set up a desk in the corner of your living room. 

Relationships 

When you don’t have daily interactions with suppliers/clients/employees then it’s more difficult to form trusting working relationships.

  • Keep up the communication to ensure trust between all parties. 

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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