Working from home is a 21st Century opportunity for which many workers take advantage. Sometimes it is referred to as telecommuting or working remotely. Freelancing has thrived expressly due to the availability of home workers. Before diving into home-based employment, an individual needs to consider both the pros and the cons.

The Pros of Working from Home

Image to illustrate pros and cons of working at homeMany benefits exist to working from home. Work from home staff potentially get to set their own work schedules. Even if the employee follows a particular office schedule, some of the work can inevitably be flexed to another part of the day or week. Freelancers have nearly exclusive rights to their time since they offer services to clients with flexible deadlines.

Working from home means a worker can be available to their family members. A dad can watch a toddler from a distance or a mom can be there when the kids leave and arrive home from school. Flexible schedules allow for parents to both work and care for their children, promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Savings on transportation and time can be found by not having to commute to a workplace. Transportation expenses will certainly be reduced by working at home as workers will save hours per week by not having to drive to do the office. On a corporate scale, one study suggests that the U.S. economy loses $78 billion per year due to traffic jams.

The Cons of Working from Home

The challenges of working from home need to be taken seriously. The difficulty of connecting with colleagues can lead to an unproductive work environment and feelings of inadequacy. Office workers may be jealous of remote staff members.
Another challenge is grasping the full context of the work environment. Freelancers also have no idea what their client’s context might be. Lacking a fully-orbed experience may prevent workers from grasping work requirements. In addition, connecting remotely to a server or intranet can be complex and lead to a waste of resources.

A healthy debate exists whether productivity increases or decreases with work at home opportunities. Employees need to keep in mind that their personality type and industry within which they work will be key factors in the success rate of home-based employment. Working from home will be great for some and not so great for others. Research tells us to be flexible, open-minded and requirement specific.

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