Work-Life Balance: The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Who works from home? Maybe the better question these days is who doesn’t work from home — at least part time. According to IWG, 70 percent of global workers skip the office at least one day a week. Whether you are starting your own business or your employer offers a remote option, working from home comes with both benefits and challenges. Weigh them carefully before deciding if telecommuting is right for you. 

Pro: Freedom

When you work from home, you have a lot more control over your schedule. You may have to keep certain office hours at times, but many telecommuting jobs come with the benefit of flex time, which means that as long as you meet deadlines and goals, you can work whenever you wish.

Another big plus is you can create your own personalized workspace. Say goodbye to that drab cubicle, and set up a home office that actually inspires you and is as comfortable as, well, home.

Pro: Economical

Anyone who weighs the pros and cons of working from home can see the beauty of saving money. First, you don’t have to drain your gas tank — and wallet — by commuting. You don’t have to dress up for work in the morning, saving money on a full-fledged work wardrobe. You can also skip those expensive lunches out, not to mention high-dollar coffee. In fact, TECLA, an IT company, estimates you could save an average of $7k per year by working from home.

Pro: Fewer Workplace Distractions

Meetings, chitchat, breakroom birthday parties, visiting salespeople — there are tons of common workplace distractions that can quickly eat up your time in an office setting. When you’re alone, you can get in “the zone” and stay there for as long as you need. You may be astonished by what you can get done when you have no interruptions. A two-year, 500-person Stanford University study found that the productivity of the work-from-home group equaled a full day’s work more than the office-based control group.

Con: Isolation

Working alone all day can really drain extroverted people who thrive on social interaction. These workers may find more success by subscribing to a co-working facility where they can find community with other remote employees and freelancers. Alternatively, snagging a spot at a crowded café can provide the needed energy and get creative juices flowing as well. 

Another downside is that it’s harder to spontaneously collaborate with coworkers, and the lines of communication can break down with upper management if there’s no scheduled time to touch base. Satellite employees can also feel somewhat disconnected from the company and out of the loop socially.

Con: More Personal Distractions

Being at home may hamper your productivity if you find it hard to muster the self-discipline to stay on task when the fridge and the TV are just a few steps away. High-maintenance pets, people dropping by, and even household chores can make time management tricky. 

If this is you, then try looking for a co-working space in your area, or work for a few hours from a nearby coffee shop or library. Another great strategy is to set rigid office hours for yourself at home, and commit to staying in work mode during that time. 

Finding Work-Life Balance

Many home-based workers naturally achieve a better work-life balance. They can go for a run in the morning rather than fight traffic. They can be there to greet their kids when they come home from school. They can fold a load of laundry between conference calls. 

Others may find it difficult to close up shop for the day because there is no physical separation between work and life. Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2019 found that the biggest challenge for remote workers was being able to unplug. Logging serious hours — or pushing yourself to work when ill — can eventually take its toll. Knowing yourself is key, and you need self-discipline to find a healthy balance. 

So, why do you want to work from home? It’s ultimately a personal decision. If you’re ready to join the ranks of the remote workforce, then CORT Furniture Rental can quickly and conveniently set up your trendy home office so you can get up and running in no time.

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