Pros and cons of working from home

Wondering whether to accept your company's offer of working from home? Looking for opportunities to earn a living sitting in the comforts of your home? Well, here are a few pros and cons of working from home to help you in taking decisions in this regard.

To many, working from home is a wonderful concept. To them nothing can be more exciting than to work from the secured environment of their home. World over, this work from home concept is getting very popular, especially with companies that are in the technology sector. Employers in the IT sector are all too eager to offer their employees with the facilities to work from home. It is a win-win situation for both the employers and the employees. There are apparently many advantages associated with this work from home concept. However, there is a negative side to it too. If not handled properly it can become a liability both for the employees as well as the employers. Here in this article we will see the various advantages of working from home and at the same time will cover some of the disadvantages too.

The Pros

  1. No hassles of commutation

    Perhaps the best thing about working from home is that you need not to commute. Commutation is a great trouble if you are staying far away from your office. A lot of time, trouble and money is saved, if one doesn't have to commute to his workplace and back. The time saved could be spent elsewhere productively.

  2. Improved flexibility

    There is increased freedom and flexibility. You don't have to worry about reaching office in time. At home you can work at your own pace. Your boss or your superiors are not constantly looking over your shoulders. At home you are your own boss.
  3. Less distraction

    You don't get distracted by your colleagues or the happenings at your office. If you stay all alone at your home, you can work in absolute silence and focus completely on your work.

  4. Quality time to your family

    This is one very good advantage of working from home. Since you are constantly available at home, you can give more time to your family. In case of any need or emergency you can almost immediately attend to their needs. With you available at home at all hours, your kids get to spend some quality time with you.

  5. Dress as you like

    You don't have to get bothered by the daily hassle of what to wear to the office. If need be or as per your comfort you can even work in the most casual of dresses like shorts and tees. You thus don't have to spend a fortune on your wardrobe. Nor do you have to burden yourself by wearing formal dresses like business suits, etc. You can dress as per the weather and need for comfort.

  6. Save on taxes and bills

    Taxes and other fixed expenses like telephone bills, electricity usage, stationeries, etc get shared between your office and home. You can even save on a certain portion of your income tax, by reflecting certain expenses incurred by you in setting up and maintaining the office at home. Thus reducing on the costs to a considerable extent.

  7. Save on office rent

    If you are working for your own enterprise, by working from home you can save on the office rent and numerous other charges.

  8. Miscellaneous savings

    By allowing employees to work from home the offices too save on considerable expenses on account of office space, electricity, air-conditioning and other utilities.

  9. Easy set up

    It doesn't require much effort or cost in setting up a small office for you at your home. All that may be required is a laptop, Wi-Fi, printer, mobile phone, a good internet connection and perhaps an air-conditioner.

  10. Better productivity

    Since you work at your own pace at your own given time and don't have to get bothered with daily traffic woes, you can be most productive at your work, thus benefitting your organization ultimately.

The cons

  1. Need for self control

    The biggest drawback of working from home is that you need a lot of self control and self discipline to begin work every morning. All because, there's no one to look over your shoulders. It is quite likely that you will find it hard to work sincerely when you are at home. With comfortable surroundings at home, there is every possibility that you might take it mighty easy.

  2. A monotonous work life

    Working all alone by yourself can get quite boring and you might lose interest in your work. Lack of competitive spirit at home can often result in loss of productivity. You don't get to talk to your colleagues or share a coffee with them. Coffee time or lunch time, you are all alone.

  3. No distinction between work and personal life

    Quite often it so happens that it becomes hard to distinguish whether you are at work or off-work. At times, when you are supposed to be off-work, you get a sudden surge and start working at odd hours, thus disturbing your personal life. And sometimes when you are supposed to be at work, you will be engaged in some or the other household chore.

  4. Lack of camaraderie

    There are no co-workers, no colleagues and no friends when you work from home. You don't get to share your thoughts or feelings with your colleagues. There's no one to guide or help you. Worst thing, you lose heavily on social interaction. The bonding among colleagues that comes by working together gets a sound beating.

  5. Your efforts not visible to your boss

    You might be working very hard at home. Since there is no one to notice your efforts, your superiors might not acknowledge you for your hard work. Those nearer to your boss or superiors at the office, might get undue advantage over you, in spite of your sincere efforts.

  6. Distraction from the family

    It is very likely that your family may distract you by constantly interrupting you at your work. Time and again you may have to attend to the needs of your family. Your kids may pester you to give more time to them or to help them with their school homework. Your work may thus get hampered badly.

By going through the pros and cons mentioned above, we can thus see that whether you are a employee or working for your own enterprise, working from home has a number of advantages. There are however, certain drawbacks too, which can possibly let down your efforts to work successfully from home.

Certain guidelines to take care while working from home

To ensure that your attempt to work from home is a successful endeavour, you need to follow certain rules as follows:
  • Demarcate a certain room in your house as an office. Make it look like a office. Ensure that none of the family member gets to disturb you when you are at work. If need be lock your room to cut it off from external disturbances.
  • Ask your family members not to interrupt you at your work unless there is an urgent need to do so.
  • Work from a designated time of the day and ensure that you adhere to the timings on a regular basis.
  • Take regular breaks, but preferably at designated intervals.
  • Sleep early at night so that you can begin your work early in the morning and have a few hours of quality work before other members of the family wake up.
  • Do regular exercises either in the morning or during the evenings. This will keep you rejuvenated every day of the week and will thus help you with your work.
  • To make up for the loss in social interaction, on certain days of the week go to your office, interact with your colleagues and superiors and possibly work from there for certain hours.

I hope you have found this article interesting enough. In case you have your own tips to add, please put them in the comments.

Article by Dhruv
Dhruv is an electrical engineer by profession. Apart from liking his job, he has a special love for writing and has often dabbled in writing scripts for skits and short plays. As a Content Developer at ISC, Dhruv is having a whale of a time, showcasing his writing skills.

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Author: K Mohan16 Sep 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

After seeing this article my relative came to my mind. He was working as the software professional in a multinational company of high repute and commuting to his office and back home was hectic. So he often opts for work from home package but invariably he ends up being lazy and also lose the patience as his small child won't allow him to work and insists to play with him. Moreover during functions at the home, work from home would be great distraction and there cannot be concentration. The rush at the home with relatives also prevents the smooth work and thus it is not easy to accept work from home by all.

Author: Kailash Kumar16 Sep 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

The popular impression is that the 'work from home' concept is a new phenomenon as an outcome of IT/BPO culture. However, the fact is that the practice is centuries old or even older. Almost all the professionals like lawyers, doctors used to work from home only in many cases. Many unscrupulous doctors employed in the Government hospitals used to see patients at their home in the morning and after getting fees used to let them avail facilities at the Government hospitals on a priority basis. Lawyers generally used to have their office at their homes only with ceiling-high bookshelves lined with leather bound law journals.
In residential colonies, we find many enterprising men/women running their business like tuition classes, internet cafe/photocopier services, beauty parlor, tailoring shops etc. Many grocery shops can also be found in a similar set-up. Such people working from home are able to relish freshly cooked food at home and even can take an afternoon siesta if time permits.
In developed countries like the USA etc, companies are more liberal in allowing work from home as the workers there are sincere and don't require constant monitoring and vigil by the supervising authorities.

Author: Dhruv26 Sep 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

Thanks Mr Kailash and Mr Mohan for adding your valuable comments which will be of benefit to other readers. Yes, I too agree Mr Kailash that a lot many self-employed professions are been practised at home since ages. Recently there was a news article in the papers that, more and more IT professionals in Hyderabad were asking for the option of working from home. The reason is, non-stop rains in Hyderabad for the last 2 weeks. Among all organized professions, information technology is the one which has the most possibilities of working from home. With time it is likely to get more and more popular in the IT sector and beyond.

Author: Swati Sarnobat31 Mar 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

A good description for explaining the pros and cons of working at home. Although, a person can work independently and feel free, but after some years, life becomes monotonous. To avoid this, such persons should join a social group to avoid becoming completely withdrawn from the social circle.

Author: Venkiteswaran12 Nov 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

'Working from home' was not at all a concept in the early days. The privilege was available only for certain self-employed professionals. But for them also it was not an exclusive facility. It was in addition to and not in lieu of their regular workplace. In that regard I had heard something like "The District collector will be available. He is working from his camp office tomorrow as it is a holiday for the collector at office".

Work from home concept came into vogue after the software sector gained importance and had the global networking to their advantage. In such jobs, there was no physical material to be transported or carried and whatever you deal with are weightless, non-physical things.

So it was easy to 'carry, work and deliver' such piece of work. Workstation was not a matter if there is a good communication networking facility or internet.

Thus in 'work at home' connection and communication are prime and not commutation. Absence of professional stereotype work spot makes the worker feel at ease as there is no straight-jacket posture. The proximity to family and loved ones gives the security and thus a lot of stress is reduced.

By and by more and more jobs will have the facility of 'work from home'.

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