There are many reasons for setting up office at home. One might need to be with the children or maybe saving office rent is a requirement. Just like there are innumerable reasons for working from home similarly there are many pros and cons that one must consider when setting up shop in the house.
When you are working in a formal set-up, all the advantages of working from home seem to come to our minds. And many people often get attracted by the whole idea of being ones own boss. And there is no doubt about the fact that there are many rewards of working from home.
More time with children – One of the main advantages of working from home is that one gets to spend much more time with the children. Monitoring their progress and providing them with the guidance that they may need for their development becomes easier.
Reduction in travel time – Another major advantage is that travel time is saved. Millions of people waste hours traveling to-and-fro from work. In fact commercial cities have unbearable traffic during the office hours that are aptly called the ‘rush hours’.
Savings in wardrobe – Not having to maintain a formal wardrobe is another aspect of working from home that is advantageous. There is no need to get into a suit or other such formal wear while working from home. One can just work in comfortable casual clothing and that might actually increase productivity.
Savings in office rent – If you have a separate office of your own and do not work for another company, working from home can mean a huge saving in office rent.
Savings in taxes – Taxes can be saved by ensuring a thorough filing of expenses that one incurs.
Some fixed expenses can be shared – Incidental expenses are lowered since they are shared by the home as well as the office. Telephone, stationary and other such overhead expenses are shared between the house as well as the office thus cutting cost if it is a personal business.
Flexibility – There is a lot of flexibility that comes with working from home. You can decide your own timings and can accommodate other tasks that need to be accomplished.
But life is not all rosy when working from home. On the flip side of the coin the disadvantages of working from home are aplenty too.
Slips into slackness – Since there is no pressure to start work at a certain time or dress a certain way it is very easy to delay the start of work. Productivity can seriously decrease under such circumstances if great self discipline is not maintained.
Pressing personal chores – Personal chores can mount and get extremely difficult to avoid when one is at home. The tasks can be overwhelming and one could fall prey to it. Tasks that would otherwise take only fifteen minutes can end up taking up a lot more time.
Lack of competitive spirit – A major disadvantage of working from home is lack of human interaction. Colleagues and peers help in keeping the competitive spirit alive and enhance productivity. Going to office is a great way to get away from the stress at home and vice versa but if office is at home then there might be no escaping the stress.
With virtual offices being set up across the world working from home is no longer a thing of the past. Following a few simple tips and maintaining a high discipline can overshadow the cons and let you reap the fruits of the benefits.
Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, an online community of those who work from home.