Companies are asking workers today for longer hours which means that they get less time for their families. When you take the typical 8 to 10 hour work day and then add in the commute time, there’s barely enough time to get home, check the kid’s homework, have a meal, and read bedtime stories. Weekends are spent trying to make up for lost time during the week, and sleeping.
Employees are very concerned about the lack of time they have for their families, and companies must now offer options that allow some employees to stay at home during the workday, and do their work there.
Employees looking to work from home, are presented with a new set of circumstances they must deal with in order to get their work done effectively and on time. The home environment is very different than the office and many find they need an adjustment, for them to get up to speed. What are the differences between working at home and working in the office?
Pros: When you work at home, there was no one looking over your shoulder and constantly badgering you. You can take a break if you need, go to the restroom, get some exercise, and even take a nap. This type of work schedule might make you much more productive as opposed to what typically occurs in the office.
Cons: The downside is that with no one making sure that you get your work done, if you are not very disciplined, your productivity can fall off a cliff, with more napping than typing. You really need to be disciplined and be a good time management person.
Pros: When you work from home you can control the amount of distractions in your environment. You don’t have to be concerned about the person in the next cubicle talking too loud on the phone, telling bad jokes, or interrupting you when you are in the middle of something important. Your focus can be 100% on the job at hand, and again your productivity can skyrocket.
Cons: if you do not have an environment at home that you can control, it can become very difficult for you to get your work done. Screaming children, a nosy mother or mother-in-law and the stay-at-home spouse who is constantly asking you to take a break, can all work against your productivity goals. For this reason you need to make sure that when you work at home, your family understands your need for focus. The best option is to work in a quiet room with all of the necessary business tools and furniture at work needed for you to do your work, and a door that locks.
Pros: When you work at home you can mute is from your bedroom to your kitchen to get a cup of coffee. No worries about traffic jams, long lines at the gas station to fill up your car, and worries about finding a good parking space. With no time needed for commute you can spend more time working. You also save money on fuel and car maintenance.
Cons: Many people use the commute time to prepare themselves for work. This 15 minutes to an hour can be very valuable and many use that time to go over upcoming job tasks, creative ideas, and important issues around company projects. Without this preparation time, you might find it hard to get started in the morning.
There are many pros and cons for working at home, or working at the office. The key is to understand how to make each environment the most productive. As more and more employees choose the working at home option, they need to also understand how to best maximize the environment so both they and the company wins.