Pros And Cons Of Working From Home

Our employer allows us to work from home one day per week, with manager approval.  My manager has approved us working from home, with one caveat. We are not allowed to work from home on Monday or Friday.  This is designed to prevent abuse in the form of beginning or extending the weekend without using time off.

I like our policy and it seems to work well.  I don’t take advantage of it every week.  I’d say I probably use it about half the time.  Over time, I’ve come to realize there are pros and cons of working from home.

Pros Of Working From Home

  • No commute.  This is the obvious one.  I don’t have to drive to and from work.  As my commute is around 10 minutes each way, this isn’t a big deal.  Still, every minute avoiding crazy drivers is better, right?
  • No co-worker distractions. Our office is pretty open.  On top of that, some of my nearby workers can be quite loud.  Having some peace and quiet one day per week is definitely welcome.
  • Casual dress.  I can dress in comfortable pants or shorts and a t-shirt when I work from home.  Not only is it more comfortable, but it keeps my nicer and more expensive clothing to last longer.  After all, I’m wearing it less!
  • I can have lunch with my wife. Last week, my work from home day was sunny and warm.  My wife and I grabbed subs and stopped to eat at a nearby park.  That was spontaneous, fun, and all within an hour.  It wouldn’t have happened had I been in the office!
  • Longer gym time.  I go to the gym before work on days that I work out.  When I work from home, I can stay a little longer.  Even that extra few minutes helps me feel like I’ve gotten a better workout.
  • Breaks up the workweek.  My work from home day is on Tuesday.  This provides a nice way to break up the week.  This makes the normally dreaded Wednesdays and Thursdays a bit easier to take.

Cons of Working From Home

  • There are other distractions.  Just because my co-workers aren’t there to distract me doesn’t mean I’m free of diversions. There are plenty of other things to distract me at home, and discipline is required to avoid them.
  • Disconnect from co-workers.  There’s just something about seeing the people you’re working with that you miss when working from home.  Or, if you have a question, sometimes it’s just easiest to walk over and talk.  I miss this when I work from home.
  • Other costs.  Even though I save on gas, there are sometimes other costs.  My home office is in the basement.  In the cold months, I turn on a space heater to keep warm on days I work from home.
  • Harder to get re-motivated.  If I lose my concentration, it’s harder to get back in the swing of things at home than if I’m at work.  At work, I can use my hard working colleagues as motivation. If it’s just me, this can be more difficult.
  • Lonely.  I enjoy being by myself, but only to a certain degree.  There are times when I’m in the house for the whole day, and I miss human interaction.  I’m not sure I could work from home each and every day!

All in all, I think working from home one day per week is perfect.  It’s just the right balance for me.  I’m glad I have the opportunity to do so.

Readers, do you work from home?  If so, how often?  What are some of the things you like?  What about drawbacks?  Let me know your experiences in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

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12 thoughts on “Pros And Cons Of Working From Home

  1. I work in an office, and work with the public. I never have work at home days. I like the interaction, but sometimes feel suffocated by people. I don’t know how I would function from home – if I would focus, or be distracted! The cons of working in the office are those definite structured hours – I’d love a little more flexibility.

  2. I work from home inconsistently usually topping out at one day a week though sometimes more. I have the freedom to choose on that front. That being said I still don’t choose all the time. The big one for me is face time with management. Presence is the best way to ensure promotion.

  3. I work from home every day, I absolutely love it – the best is being able to do errands during the day when the lines are much much shorter. Places like the gym are much better because there are fewer people, less of wait, and more time actually working out!
    Jim Wang recently posted..How to Buy an Engagement Ring OnlineMy Profile

  4. I started a company in 1996 (sold it in 2014) and our 25 or so staff all worked from home. The spanned six states, and for a bit two countries.

    We had discussions over time about whether to get office space so we could all work together in an office. Not a single person ever wanted that option.

    Done well – and that’s key – working remotely from home (or wherever) can be awesome.

    If not handled well, it can be rough.
    Brad – Financial Life Planning recently posted..How 8 Key Investing Indexes Performed In The Past 10 YearsMy Profile

    • Exactly. You definitely have to build structure around a work from home environment. That’s amazing that it worked so well for that big of a group. Kudos to you.

  5. I’ve got similar flexibility too – my boss is fine with me working from home once per week. I think I appreciate it more because I can go into the office a few days and also work from home once per week. I get the pros and cons of both scenarios!

  6. I work from home and love it and I agree with all of your points. I also have a one-year-old and it is hard at times. What helps? Working at night or crazy early in the morning. Thanks for sharing!

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