Each year, more and more employees are becoming open to the idea of employees telecommuting. If the idea seems appealing to you, why not check out a few of the curses and blessings of working from home?
Clearing up The Myths
Before you consider working from home, let us dispel a few common myths. First, you won’t be able to nap in the middle of the day, unless you plan on working later in the evening. Even then, it isn’t likely. You also won’t be able to surf the internet all day, you won’t be able to do what you want without answering to anybody, and you won’t create your own schedule (at least not completely).
There may not be anybody there to notice if you spend all day on the internet or take daily naps, but people will certainly notice if you don’t get things done. You may have a flexible schedule, but only to the extent that you can still communicate and coordinate with coworkers and clients.
Let’s not call them curses. Let’s call them challenges instead. If you decide to work from home, you’ll face three major hurdles. The first, is keeping yourself on track. When many people begin working from home, they initially experience a dip in their productivity. This is because they are adjusting to new distractions, a new schedule, and let’s be honest, less day to day scrutiny from employers and coworkers.
However, if you set productivity goals, and find ways to be more businesslike during office hours, you will be fine. Here’s a hint. Never work in your pajamas. Your next challenge will be making people understand that all of the myths mentioned above are indeed myths.
If you start working from home, here are a few things you can expect to hear from friends and family members:
Can you watch my kids, babysit my dog, and sign for my UPS package? You’re going to be home anyway?
I need you to bring the millionth thing I’ve forgotten to school/the office.
It must be nice to do what you want all day long.
Fortunately, if you stand firm and remind people that you aren’t available for chores or errands during office hours, they will learn to respect your time. Finally, you will probably have to work hard to get the people you work with to keep you in the loop. Of course, this doesn’t only include work related updates and communications.
When you work from home, you may not always be aware of the subtle cultural shifts and tensions that can develop in the office environment. If your employer does have a brick and mortar location, you may want to make an appearance every week or so to stay connected with coworkers and establish your presence.
It doesn’t matter if you are well-established in our career, or you are looking for your first job after graduation, there are many blessings to working from home. The first is that you can set up your work area wherever you want it. In fact, working from home does not necessarily mean working from your home. If, you land a position that allows you to be location independent, you can work from wherever you would like.
Working from home also saves money on gas and transportation, wardrobe, and food. After all, you won’t have to worry about packing a lunch or going out to eat, if you are 10 feet away from your own kitchen. Finally, without nearby coworkers, you can spread out, speak on the phone without having to do so in hushed tones, and listen to the music that helps you to focus.
Overall, working from home is a great option if you have a fair amount of self-discipline and the patience to get the people in your life on board with your choice. It may be rocky at first, but you will soon find that you settle into a routine, and hopefully become happier and more productive than you were at the office.