Working From Home: The Pros and Cons

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working from homeAs some of you know, I’ve been working from home for a while now.

When I think back to my days in the corporate environment, I’m amazed that I used to do it at all. Driving all over the UK, 14 hour days, week after week away from home…

Working from home means my life now is a lovely combination of spending time with my family and working.

However, for many people making the jump to working from home for the first time, there are a number of things to consider before taking the plunge. I thought I’d draft some of these down in the hope that sharing my own experiences may be useful for the new blog businessperson…

The positive side of working from home:

You get to manage your time

In the corporate world, you are forever going from one meeting to another, to make sure you keep abreast of your responsibilities and communications streams. Working from home means I can do what I want when I want.

There is no boardroom

Boardroom, or “bored-room”. The place where you are forced to sit and listen to lengthy discussions with people whom you may not necessarily share the same views or goals.

Working from home means you can schedule meetings with the right people (mainly clients), at the right times. If the meeting isn’t going well, you get to steer it to more productive areas and can come out of each one feeling as if you have achieved or provided something worthwhile.

You can work when you are at your peak

Some of us work best first thing in the morning, others last thing at night.

When you work for yourself, you soon find a routine which works around your peaks and troughs of energy. If you find yourself flagging in the afternoon, you can simply get up and go for a walk – or even take a nap!

This means that when you are working, you’re likely to be much more alert and productive because you set your own schedule.

The coffee is better

For me, this is a huge plus. Working from home means you get to choose what coffee you drink, and you do not have to consume the tap water-inspired muck that companies who are looking to cut costs offer up to their employees!

Heaven.

You’re more productive

When you’re not plodding your way to meetings in different buildings or picking up the telephone for wrong numbers or queries, you seem to somehow become incredibly productive.

At home, you get the space and peace to do your tasks quickly and efficiently, without stopping for conversations in the lift or getting called away to do performance reviews and staff meetings. It’s amazing how much more it’s possible to do from your armchair.

The negative side of working from home:

You get to manage your time

While this seems positive for most people, it can be one of the most challenging elements of working for yourself.

You have to be disciplined about what time you get up and how many hours you put in.

Doing too little will make your business fail. Doing too much will lead to burn-out, and make your business fail.

Although it’s easier to set your own routine, you have to have a good schedule and stick to it.

You can get bogged down with domesticity

It’s sometimes hard to walk straight past the dishwasher or washing machine on your way to the home office, without stopping off and finishing off your laundry or dishes.

When we work from home, there is no distinct space which is cut off from the rest of the household, which means you’re more likely to get caught up in domestic duties such as feeding the cat or cleaning the bathroom, because you can’t walk past them.

To counteract this, try having a space set aside, and close your eyes when you walk past things that need doing, until the end of your working day!

It can be a lonely world!

Working for yourself means you no longer get the peer interaction, social breaks and camaraderie of being part of a team who sit close together.

It can be a little quiet sometimes when you’re thinking through ideas and have no team to bounce them off.

The best way to combat this is to set up a great online network of colleagues who are in the same position as you, and will welcome the interaction.

If you fail, there’s no-one else to blame

This has to be the biggest challenge of working from home, for your own business.

In a corporate company, when things go wrong there is always someone else to blame!

When you are a sole trader, you have to admit that you’ve messed up. Although this also means that you get to take all the credit when things go well, always be prepared to admit when something isn’t working, and change it to make sure your business flourishes even in hard times.

What are your experiences of working from home? Please share them in the comments.

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Some realted articles:

50 Tips For Bloggers Who Work From Home

Design a workable structure for your day

How to stay focused when working from home

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27 Responses to Working From Home: The Pros and Cons

  1. BrandonBurgh May 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Hey Andrew,

    I definately agree that the coffee is better at home. 😉

    And yes, I go through the same struggles on a daily basis trying to make sure I’m meeting my objectives. Working from home is great, but everyone needs to realize they need to be driven to meet their goals. Nobody (no boss) is standing over them cracking a whip to make things happen.

    Brandon
    .-= BrandonBurgh´s last blog ..Instant WordPress Training is LIVE! =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      May 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

      Brandon,

      I hope you don’t drink too much coffee! I have just a couple of cups a day then I drink tea.

      You do have to be very disciplined and driven…and best of all…love what you do.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Internet Scamming =-.

  2. Dana May 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I see that the pro and the cons of working at home is barely a same thing. Therefore, I think that how to manage it the matters — it is which will put it as pro or as cons.
    .-= Dana @ Blogging Tips Blog´s last blog ..Current Hot Topic To Blog About: FIFA World Cup 2010 =-.

  3. Mike Roosa May 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve been working from home for 4 or 5 years now and for me the 2 biggest problems are the refrigerator stocked full of food and the tv in the living room. Got to avoid those.
    .-= Mike Roosa´s last blog ..Why I Cancelled My Account At The Chris Farrell Membership Site =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      May 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

      Mike,

      I don’t watch too much TV so that doesn’t bother me really.

      But food – I love it.

      In my first year – working from home – I put on 12 kg!

      This year I made a promise to get rid of it – lost 7 kg so far!

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Internet Scamming =-.

  4. John Soares May 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Andrew, I’ve been working from home since I left college teaching in 1994.

    My biggest problems, which you address here, are:

    1. The domestic duties that are always there. I block specific times to deal with these so I don’t feel a low-level constant nag from them.

    2. Loneliness. I solve this by spending more time with friends and family (and my golden retriever), and by going to a coffee shop or college library to work a couple days a week.
    .-= John Soares @ Time Management Tips´s last blog ..Beat Parkinson’s Law — Get More Done More Quickly =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      May 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

      John,

      That’s a long time – you must be a master of home working!

      Re: domestic stuff. Yeah I block time for this as well – I plan them in. Although there are times when ‘help’ is needed, which you cannot plan for.

      Yesterday, my daughter run out of petrol and I had to ‘rescue her’ – took 2 hours out of my working day.

      Re: Loneliness. Coffee shop is a fav haunt of mine as well. I love watching people.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Internet Scamming =-.

  5. Alex May 18, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    Since I work at home I have the feeling that I am like twice as productive. I might take way more small breaks but I keep my motivation through the day.

    If a friend calls me I can simply visit him for a weekend in switzerland and still get some work done. Haha I should start a travel blog too.

    This might sound very self-centered but the reason why I love this work is cause I do it for me and am my own boss. I am good with people… I am not cool with people that consider themselves my boss 😀

    Hmmm for me your last point is actually a pro. Do your own thing there is no failure only in your head.
    .-= Alex@Zahnbleaching´s last blog ..Braun Oral-B Sonic Complete DLX – Testbericht =-.

  6. Jorgen Sundberg May 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Working from home is unbeatable. Just a shame that going out for an errand seems like such a mission when don’t go to an office every day 🙂
    .-= Jorgen Sundberg´s last blog ..Clarity is the Key to a Strong Personal Brand =-.

  7. Zack May 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    You pretty much nail it on the head. Working from home is great but there are distractions everywhere. I also noticed that I would work late in the evenings as well. You get to choose when to work which is nice and your schedule is nice and flexible. And yes, the coffee is better!

  8. Thomas May 17, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I have been working from home for the last 12 months or so and I absolutely love it. However it can be hard to say to your family, “I need some space to do some work.” When they come at you with all their requests, but I guess that comes down to boundaries.
    .-= Thomas@SEO Services´s last blog ..Create Niche Products: eBooks =-.

  9. chandan May 18, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    Before I have joined in SEO company I used to work from home. When I was working from home I got lots of time for study. But after start my office jobs, I just work there what the daily work schedule. So this is the big difference I have seen. So I think that a full time blogger who work from home is more experienced than a person who worked in office.
    .-= chandan@work at home blog´s last blog ..Important SEO analyzing factors for better search engine ranking =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      May 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

      Chandan,

      What do you mean: “that a full time blogger who work from home is more experienced than a person who worked in office”?

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Internet Scamming =-.

      • chandan May 19, 2010 at 6:45 am #

        I mean that a blogger is comparatively more experience holder than a person who only work for get monthly salary in a office, we blogger devote our heart and soul for success in our blog.
        .-= chandan@work at home blog´s last blog ..Promote your business website by article marketing =-.

  10. Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 18, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I agree with you here. Working from home has several advantages as well as disadvantages. I think the biggest problem with it is that you don’t take your work as serious as it would normally be if you were to work in an office.
    I also think that you just have to have a lot more self-control to not do the things you would normally do when you are at home.

  11. Colleen May 19, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    One pitfall for working at home is procrastination. It’s very easy to put off work that does not have an immediate deadline, when no one is holding you accountable.
    .-= Colleen@Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog ..West Pasco Washington Homes For Sale =-.

  12. Dennis Edell May 18, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    LOL@Coffee, yea man!

    Great minds do think alike don’t they? When I read “You get to manage your time” as a pro, I was oh so tempted to skip the rest, scroll down here and tell you what’s what for some of us. LOL
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Oops I Lied-HAHA =-.

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