Pros and cons of working from home

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The idea of working from home can be beneficial to a lot of people who want to achieve the best possible work-life balance. But is it the right choice for you?

Here are some pros and cons to working from home, as well as some tips to make it work for you:

Creating your own office environment

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Pro

Not everyone works in an office as cool as Google’s UK headquarters, so the idea of creating your own office can be appealing to those who want to design their own work space. Whether you dedicate an entire room or take up a corner in the kitchen, it can be whatever you want it to be.

Con

Working from home can be a great idea on paper, but for those who have a tendency to procrastinate; being within your home environment could become more of a distraction.

Tip

If you want to work from home, but are unsure if you have the discipline to concentrate, try working from a nearby public space such as a library, a shared office space or even invite your contacts over. This opens you up to networking opportunities and like-minded people to bounce ideas off.

Don’t have to go in to the office every day

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Pro

If you’ve ever been stuck in a traffic jam or stranded due to delayed trains, cutting out the daily commute to the office can be a big sigh of relief. Not only that, you can avoid the office politics which plague many businesses.

Con

While working from home has many benefits, being absent from the office could mean missing out on vital information from impromptu meetings, and taking time out in the day to catch up over email.

Tip

Start scheduling Skype or conference calling so you can be present in some form at meetings. If you don’t mind bits of travelling, organise all your meetings on the same day or plan a time in the month that you will do an office visit.

Spend more time with your family

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Pro

I think many of us have had after work plans ruined by office emergencies or terrible travel conditions. Working from home completely knocks out any travel issues, and you’ll have more time to socialise with friends and family.

Con

Having your home and work in the same place can leave the lines a little blurred. For some, it may be hard to switch off from your project when you should be relaxing.

Tip

As well as introducing different working environments, making sure you switch off at the end of your work day is one of the best ways to keep home life separate. Turn off your email notifications and work phone so you can make the most of family time. If you must, schedule a time in the evening to check your devices to keep up-to-date.

Fewer interruptions

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Pro

Getting caught up in day to day office life can mean losing hours on your project. When your office is at home, you can fully concentrate on the project at hand, and have a productive day.

Con

You may lose office interruptions, but they could be replaced by family and friends. Your home isn’t seen as an office, so some people may not understand your working hours. 

Tip

Having your own space to work in and organising your working hours around family commitments is greatly beneficial to shut out the interruptions. Whether you work in different locations or use child care, you’ll find a route that best suits your needs.

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