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.