As winter weather moves in, the flexibility of work from home is more tempting than ever. Is it right for you? Interestingly, the pros and cons of working from home are often the same, and can affect each individual differently. For example, lack of interaction with coworkers can be both beneficial and detrimental to your work. Here is a look at four aspects of working from home, and some methods for deciding whether they might be a blessing or a curse for you.
You never have to leave the house
As winter weather threatens to drop not inches, but feet, of snow a work from home situation is definitely preferable. No reason to venture out into the blizzard; instead grab a mug of hot cocoa and open up your laptop. Winter weather notwithstanding, staying home also brings your commute down to zero minutes and allows you the flexibility to dress casually. This is not only very convenient, but can also save a lot of money. Work wardrobe, transportation costs and eating out at lunch are all common workplace expenses that can be diminished by working from home.
However, staying at home can also lead to a certain cabin fever. A change of scenery is healthy, which is why many telecommuters work from coffee shops or other non-house locations. If you are the kind of person who can’t sit at home all day on a Saturday, you might not want to work from home. Social butterflies, too, might miss interaction with coworkers. Speaking of which.
Lack of interaction with coworkers
Chatting with coworkers is likely the least productive part of your day. This is especially frustrating when you are working hard on a deadline, and Loquacious Leonard apparently doesn’t have anything better to do than talk your ear off. People who work from home have peace and quiet.
However, many people enjoy chatting with their coworkers. It may be the thing that makes work feel less like work. Lack of contact with coworkers could also be problematic, depending on the kind of work you do and your personality type. Work that is very collaborative could suffer without face-to-face communication. Furthermore, your relationships with your coworkers may diminish without break room chatter and lunch dates out with the group.
This is one of the biggest advantages to working from home. Flexibility is great for planning family time, ditching that alarm clock, and for avoiding that pesky winter weather. However…
Lack of routine can be unhealthy for some employees. Without specific working hours, it can be easy to procrastinate, or get into a routine that is out-of-sync with other coworkers and clients. With great flexibility comes great responsibility.
Additionally, some work from home situations don’t actually offer that much flexibility. Although you don’t have to be at your desk at 9 am, you still have to be remotely available to clients and coworkers. So don’t book those tickets to Maui quite yet. Although, if they have wi-fi on the beach…