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Working from Home...Win/Lose or Win/Win?
August 14, 2017
Many Americans get up every morning and spend time showering, getting dressed, packing a lunch and simply preparing themselves to go to work. With a 26 minute average commute to work, Americans are often frustrated from their drive to start the day and exhausted from their drive to end the day.
Working from home can have significant advantages. Not having to spend time getting ready and not having to drive anywhere are clear benefits of working for home. However, there are some downsides, distractions, and problems that arise when working from home.
What is the downfall working from home?
Since you are at home you do not have to get dressed and drive anywhere which seems like a great option! Grabbing a cup of coffee and starting the day in pajamas and slippers may sound like a dream, but it can impact your ability to do your best work. The term “dress for success” does not apply when you’re in fuzzy slippers! Although you are working from home, you should get dressed for the day. Studies show that the act of getting dressed and ready mentally prepares you to start your work day. It can boost your productivity and help maintain a professional perception even if you are at home.
Another pitfall is that you do not have co-workers to interact with throughout the day. Some days this could seem like a dream, but working from home sometimes means that you may go an entire day without speaking out loud! This can be isolating. However, depending on your work at home situation, you can remedy this by scheduling phone or Skype meetings to stay connected with the office or clients.
One of the biggest requirements of working from home is being disciplined. When working from home there can be a multitude of distractions. For many people that work from home, this can be a major challenge. Often work is put off for family time, video games, running to the store, a trip to the gym, a quick swim, or countless other things. When working from home, you need to avoid the temptations. You need to hold yourself accountable and create strict quotas. You can also try get as much done early in the work week to allow for the possibility of distractions near the end of the week.
Another issue when working at home is that you may have responsibilities that will logically fall to you. You may put off working taking your child to a doctor’s appointment or running them to and from school. Often the responsible of cooking falls on your shoulders since you can prepare the meal by walking a few steps from your home office to the kitchen. Also, the little home tasks of straightening up or throwing a load of laundry in can be distracting even though you may think “it will only take a few minutes.”
One out of five Americans work full time from home and that number is increasing every year. However, most people that work from home do it on a part time basis. Currently 43% of Americans work at least some of their hours remotely and 85% of Americans say they would like to at least work part time from home. Working from home is not for everyone especially on a full time basis. Understand the pros and cons and make sure you can actually do the work from home without getting caught up in distractions before you commit to working from home.