Being your own boss, not having to punch a clock, avoiding the daily commute and doing work you enjoy. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? That’s what being able to work from home conveys to most people. But, as in all utopian scenarios, there is much more to it than meets the eye.
First of all, are you the type who is cut out to work from home? Do you have the self discipline to set yourself a regular work schedule and stick to it? It is easy to allow yourself to be distracted and start changing your schedule. There are times when you will be tempted to do something else today and make up for the backlog tomorrow. You can do it once. You may be able to do it a few times. But sooner or later, the backlog becomes a regular part of your life and replaces your schedule. Don’t let this happen to you. Your schedule must govern you and your work.
Secondly, are you the kind of person who can work alone? To work from home means to work in solitude. No office gossip and politics to spice up you work day. No colleagues to take a break with over a cup of coffee. No one at the next workstation to help you out when you get stuck. Are you prepared for this? It’s not as bad as it sounds. With no distractions, you will be able to focus better and, hopefully, perform to your best. Being alone with your thoughts allows you to be more creative. Being able to set your own schedule means you can work at times that suit you best. You can do more in less time, thereby freeing you to be as sociable as you want once your work is done.
And then there is the risk factor. If you work from home, you are not part of an office. If things go wrong, and they will, there is no organization to fall back on. You are on your own and will have to find your own solutions and ways to repair the damage. On the other hand, when things go right, the rewards are all your own. Another thing about working from home is that you can’t hand over unfinished work at the end of your shift or distribute excess work amongst your team. You are the only shift and you are the team. The buck stops with you. It’s difficult to leave the pressures of office behind and relax at home when home is the office. And yet, when you finish your assignment to your satisfaction, the feeling of accomplishment you get on your single handed achievement is immense.
So before you decide to work from home, think about these and the myriad other problems and benefits that wait you. Weigh not just the pros and cons but also be objective about your self, are you suited for this lifestyle? If your findings are positive, then take the plunge.