So you want to work from home? Imagine it: working in your pajamas all day or wearing singlets and shorts whenever you feel like it. You could do work at your void deck or in your bedroom, and nobody would ever know it! You could be presenting your latest (and hopefully revolutionary) idea to the top dogs at your company, but your delivery comes off no less professional because of your relaxed dress code.
However, not everyone is cut out for working from home. Man, being the social animal he is, requires social interaction to thrive, and working from home means you may have to content yourself with limited doses, and often with the same people every day. Unless, of course, you’re one of the rare breed of self-motivating, self-driven, organised people that makes a successful virtual worker. Is working from home truly for you?
The Great Things about Working from Home
When working from home, you get to spend more time with those you live with, whether it be your spouse, children, or even your parents. Most people opt to work from home because they can spend more time with their children – they get to monitor their progress and be a significant part of their lives; something they wouldn’t be able to do if they worked 12 hours at the office all day. Working from home also allows you to save a load of money. Yes, you read that right. You save on your wardrobe, commuting expenses and office rent. Plus, because your commute is only about 30 metres down your own hallway, you save loads of time travelling to your “office” – and you get to sleep in because of it. Working at home also gives you more personal space – you can spread out with as many computer monitors as you like (all of them huge) and have your paperwork all over your desk, if that’s what floats your boat.
The Horrors of Working from Home
There are some drawbacks to working at home though. One of them is the distinct lack of exercise you may experience. After all, who feels the need to go for a run when you could be sitting around in your sloppiest clothes, eating ice-cream with one eye on the stock market? Between the convenience of working at home and the lethargy you may feel, it’s difficult to keep in shape and even easier to gain the dreaded ‘spare tyre’ around your tummy. The most common excuse? “I work at home so I’ll have all the time in the world to get fit anyway.” We all know how that works out, don’t we? Also, with limited face to face interaction, your social skills will tend to degrade. Without that stuff that we call “water cooler chit-chat”, it does get lonely and one can easily slip into hermit mode without realising it. Plus, since there’s a distinct lack of competitive pressure, it’s easy to slack off or be distracted by personal chores.
So is working from home right for you? Virtual offices are blooming all over the globe, making working from home no longer a thing of the past. Maintaining discipline is integral to being a successful virtual worker and lets you overcome the cons of working at home. If you work hard in spite of all the obstacles in your way, you’ll do well.
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