There are lots of jobs out there that offer the training and support but ask you to provide the home office. Sometimes it’s a home-based small business that you are the owner of or it could be that you work from home occasionally, or that you work from home full time for a company. Working from home is not for everyone but there are many advantages and disadvantages.
Here are some that you may want to keep in mind.
Advantages of working at home
There are several reasons why working from home is a fantastic option. First, no commute. There is no waking up an hour earlier than necessary just to spend that hour driving into work. It saves you time and money. It also can reduce that stress of traffic rush hour or jams.
Second, there is more flexibility. Working at home allows you to sometimes choose your hours which allows you to work at your highest productivity time. You have the flexibility to wear what you want and build a workflow that works best for you.
Third, you may reduce distractions. There is a better opportunity to reduce home distractions than there is to reduce distractions from co-workers, employees and other in office-based noises.
Fourth, it can help with the stresses. The stress level of your life is more in your control as you can easily move away from things that may cause you stress or you can take a break when the job gets a little too much.
Fifth, it can save you money. You will not have to spend the funds on gas as you would not have to make the long commute. You will have the ability to write off a portion of the home office expenses on your taxes.
Sixth, it is easier to improve your work and life balance. A lot of times there are challenges to be able to handle both work and the outside life that does not stop just because we have to work. Working from home can help calm those challenges as it is easier to maintain them most of the time. Not to mention, when you work from home in Idaho you can easily enjoy the plethora of amazing outdoor activities this state has to offer like hiking, fishing, or even hunting over the weekend!
Disadvantages of working from home
From the advantages we can see that working from home can be a pretty amazing deal, does it not? Well before you automatically dive into it, let us look at the disadvantages.
First, there is a lot of self-discipline that is required to be able to work from home. You have to be able to be disciplined enough to still get up and focus on the work, no matter what is going on at home. Not only can you not allow home life to distract you but you have to be able to be self-motivated.
Second, it can be lonely. You don’t have the constant verbal communication with co-workers or clients.
Third, it is harder to let go. Working from home may bring the challenge of disconnection. It is harder to go from work to home life as it can be challenging to leave or turn your mind off the office in the corner or in the next room.
Fourth, less living space. Working from home requires you to have a home office, which requires you to use a spare room or open space in your home.
Fifth, relationships are more difficult to form. As there is no day to day interaction with the team or co-workers it can be harder to develop the trust and efforts of a relationship with all those colleagues and clients in the office.
Sixth, learning from others is more difficult. At work many times we learn from those sitting next to us or across the room. We have the opportunity to ask questions or to run ideas across others. Working from home there are not these direct learning opportunities.
Although, working from home is not for everyone, the only person who is able to determine this is you. One other thing that needs to be considered when looking to work from home is to determine what you want to do for work, whether you have access to the necessary equipment you will need to do the job, the home environment and your fit. After analyzing these plus many more factors you will know what the decision is.
Making the most of your in-home office
If you do decide that working at home is for you will want to review a few successful home office requirements to help create the perfect office space. The office space needs to not only promote efficiency but needs to be professional working space.
The first step is to make a list of your vital home office needs. What should be on your basic needs list you may ask? Well, it needs to include must-haves such as a desk, fax machine (if required), computer, telephone, etc. For example, if you are a graphic artist. You might need both a larger table or workspace to keep and work on your art and a small table or desk for your computer. If you are a consultant or similar you would need a filing cabinet that is fireproof and that locks. Depending on your work you might even need a space for clients that you need to meet with.
The next step is to choose a dedicated area for the work office. After you have completed the critical needs list, you will have a better idea of how much space you will need for your home office. With this in mind, you will be able to now choose said work office space that works for you. The space itself should be in a quiet area with some sort of privacy barrier such as a partition or door. If there are others in the house that will be home during the time you will be working this is extremely important.
The last few steps are to be creative and look at balancing the workspace and storage requirements. Do you need cabinets or any kind of storage bins for your work? You need to ensure you create an organized office space that works for all your needs. Brighten your home office with proper lighting. If at all possible you want to set up in a place that has lots of natural light. Use a dedicated phone line for work versus personal. Make sure you have a completely different number for work whether it’s by a second line on an existing phone or by using a softphone on your computer. Keep time by hanging a clock. Establish office hours and let everyone know when you will be working to avoid distractions. Utilize formal processes and procedures.