The work from home lifestyle is something we have all dreamt about at some point in our lives, but does it really live up to the hype? In the past I have had periods when I’ve worked from home, and I can honestly say that it’s completely different from what I expected.
First of all there’s the timetable. When you have a job you’re expected or even compelled to be at your desk or workstation at a set time every day. When you work from home, timetables don’t exist. There’s no traffic to allow for and you can slide right out of bed into your office chair, which makes it that much easier to stay in bed a little longer. When you work from home, it’s important to force yourself out of bed at a set time so that you don’t get into bad habits.
The next problem facing those who work from home is lapses in motivation. There’s something about being around other people working that makes us work harder and with less distraction. Co workers not only encourage us to perform, but they make us feel like work is normal. When you’re working from home there is nothing to set the pace, and you sometimes have to dig deep to find it.
Having a boss around is another great motivator. Whether your boss drives you with fear or by motivation, there is something about being supervised that makes us work harder. When you work from home it’s easy to slack off and find ways to cover it. Over time your performance will fall and there will be repercussions, but you’ll most likely get away with it for a while.
Perhaps the hardest thing about working from home is the distractions. Home is generally where you keep all the things you love, whether it’s your big screen tv or your golf clubs. Knowing that when you work from home you could quite easily slip away for a couple of hours of golf leaves you with the question: why not? The best way to deal with home distractions is to have a dedicated office or workspace which is well away from all the things that would normally distract you. It’s not plausible to set up your computer in the lounge room when you have daytime television tempting you.
All the negative aspects aside, being offered work from home can present the ultimate lifestyle choice. You can strike a nice balance between work and home, and if you have certain home commitments they will suffer less if you are on hand to deal with them.
For new mothers, the work from home option is a great way to maintain that close relationship with the newborn whilst still keeping the mother occupied and in the workforce. With newborns doing little else other than crying, sleeping and feeding, a new mother has the opportunity to significantly contribute to the workforce. This isn’t just great for the new mother’s confidence, but it also helps with the cost of raising a child. New mothers can work from home whilst they nurse their newborn and will be better prepared to return to work full time when the child goes to school.
Working from home can also provide financial benefits for your employer, which your employer may even share with you. When you work from an office your employer has to pay for the desk space, and in some parts of town this can amount to thousands. Your employer may be happy to have you work from home so they can reduce their floor area or take on more staff without increasing their floor area and overheads.
In essence, the work from home option is an attractive one but it is not without it’s dangers. If you can maintain a healthy balance of motivation and discipline then it might be a viable option for you. Talk to your boss to find out if your job could be performed from home, and whether there is any company policy preventing you from doing so.