The pros and cons of working from home

The pros and cons of working from home

Working from home is becoming increasingly common. We live in an age of technology where it is easy to work wherever we are and stay in touch with our colleagues all around the world. I personally do a lot of working from home in my day job as a Software QA Specialist. Whilst working from home has many pros, there are some cons to it too.

Pros

  1. Focus
    It can be easier to focus on your work at home than at the office. With loud conversations, colleagues dropping by to chat and birthday cakes, there can be a lot of distractions in an office environment.
  2. No commute
    My commute to work is 30 miles, which takes around 45 minutes on average. However, it has sometimes taken up to 2.5 hours. Working from home can save you a lot of time, stress and cost.
  3. Flexibility
    Working from home allows you to be more flexible and it can help you to improve your work/life balance. Often, if you need a medical appointment they are only available on weekdays during office hours. The flexibility of working from home can allow you to attend appointments during lunch or before or after work due to there being no commute.
  4. Clothing
    Unlike in the office, there is no dress code. This means that you can wear whatever is most comfortable for you to work in.
  5. Less pressure
    You don’t have someone constantly looking over your shoulder, allowing you to work in a less stressful environment. This may help you to be more productive.
  6. Convenient
    Working from home is very convenient, especially if you have children. Working from home allows me to pick up my daughter as soon as I finish work. This means we get more time together and results in less childcare costs.

Cons

  1. Self discipline
    Whilst you can tailor the environment to help you concentrate, there are many things that can distract you at home. Whether chores need doing or you’re tempted by video games, it’s important to remember to focus on the task at hand.
  2. Work/life balance
    Of course, working from home can help you to have a better work/life balance. However, with your laptop and documents in sight at all times, it’s easier for the two to overlap and it is easier to overwork.
  3. Self motivation
    With nobody looking over your shoulder, you need to be able to motivate yourself to get the work done.
  4. Room
    Depending on what is needed, work could take up a whole room in your home if you need to set up an office.
  5. No colleagues present
    You can’t go out with colleagues on your lunch break and may feel a little lonely not speaking to anyone face to face.

My experience

I started working from home regularly when I was pregnant, as the commute and length of the work day became increasingly hard for me to handle. I also reached the point when walking for any more than 2 minutes was very painful for me. As such, It was far easier for me to work from home.

When I returned to work after maternity leave, I was fortunate enough to be granted a contract to work part time for a few months. I currently spend one day in the office and work from home from 7am until 12pm on three days of the week. It can be quite challenging to motivate yourself and stay focused when there are so many things around the house that doing. However, as long as you are firm with yourself as I am, it should not be a problem. I love the fact that I can just slip straight out of work and into ‘Mummy mode’.

I think that working from home is very beneficial for both workers and employees. It allows flexibility, reduces stress and really helps the work/life balance.

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