Working from Home: Is it Right for You?
“Working from home? Isn’t that something working mothers do so they can spend time with their kids and still make money?” Those were my thoughts before I ever tried this thing called “telecommuting.” Before I graduated college, I never thought about working from home as a realistic (or desirable) option for my life. After all, why would I want to be stuck at home ALL the time? Wouldn’t I get sick of it?
I love being at home, but I was hesitant to mix business with pleasure. This was definitely a lesson in “don’t knock it til’ you try it,” because after I got a taste of working from home during my internship with the company I currently work for, I decided I loved it. It may not work for everybody, especially if you’re an extrovert, but if you are more productive when your only company is your sofa and your television as opposed to your co-workers, this may be for you.
Perks of Working From Home
One of the primary reasons I enjoy working from home is the convenience. Instead of having to wake up at 7:30 to get a shower and get dressed, I can roll out of bed at 8:45, make some coffee, and work in my pajamas. My favorite way to work is on the sofa with a mildly interesting show playing in the background (it can’t be too interesting, otherwise I’ll get nothing done). Some people may find this too casual of an environment, so if you have a hard time working in your living room, set up a home office in your spare room.
It depends on your company, but I’m incredibly thankful that mine allows me to have flexible hours. I am not required to be in front of my computer from 9-5; I can work from noon to 8 if I want (and I sometimes do)! If I have a doctor’s appointment, I can take a break, go to that, and simply work an extra hour after I arrive home. It definitely makes running errands and having a life outside of work much easier.
One huge reason I like working from home is because I am a textbook introvert with some social anxiety. I worked in an open office for a short period of time, and my stress levels double or tripled from the lack of privacy. My home is my most private, comfortable place, and I work best when I’m comfortable. When my mind doesn’t have to worry about people noticing how often I have to pee, I can actually focus on my work.
Less Distraction, More Productivity
When I’m at home, it’s usually just me and my dog, so the only time I get distracted is when he wants to play fetch, be petted, or go outside. This does WONDERS for my productivity. No more trying to find that perfect balance of turning up the volume of your headphones so you can drown out your co-workers, but not so loud that you find yourself typing song lyrics instead of your content.
No More Sick Days
Another perk of working from home is that if you’re not feeling well, you don’t have to call in sick and lose all those hours. You can prop yourself up in bed with a cup of chamomile tea and a box of Kleenex and still crank out all of your work (unless you’re deathly ill). You’re also less likely to get sick in the first place because you’re no longer spending eight hours a day in the germ incubator that is your open office.
Is working from home right for you?
I’m a highly self-motivated person, so I don’t need someone constantly badgering me about assignments (it’s actually very counterproductive for a person like me). If you are not self-motivated, working from home will not work. Period. You have to set your own hours and stick to them, otherwise you’ll find yourself pulling a college-style all-nighter when you realize you have a deadline the next day. But, if you are confident in your own time management abilities and are a total homebody like yours truly, I highly recommend this option.
- Do you have the self-discipline to get your work done without anyone looking over your shoulder? And even more importantly, can you do it well?
- Is your manager completely onboard with you working from home?
- Do you have a solid communication plan in place that involves emailing, instant messaging, Skype, or face-to-face meetings?
- Do you have an appropriate space at home to work that will encourage productivity?
- Are you capable of maintaining a healthy/work life balance when those two spaces are combined?
Last modified on November 9th, 2016