Is Working From Home A Fool's Gold

Why wouldn't you want to work from home? On the surface it may seem like a silly position to say you'd rather go into the office, but once examined closer there are some very good reasons to think this way. The thought behind this is that not only are you getting paid, but you get to work in a relaxed environment and enjoy greater freedom.

Working from home is widely seen as the ideal job situation. The thought behind this is that not only are you getting paid, but you get to work in a relaxed environment and enjoy greater freedom than if you were at the office. However, is that true? Is working from home the paradise it's made out to be? I think the answer to this is yes and no.

You might be saying "What, why wouldn't you want to work from home?" On the surface it may seem like a silly position to say you'd rather go into the office, but once examined closer there are some very good reasons to think this way. Below I've outlined three pros and cons that I've experienced when I've worked at home:

Pros

1.) Complete control of work environment - Usually when working from home the most dressed you have to get is a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Also, you can have the T.V. on in the background if you want and you don't have to worry about how loud your music is. These are just a few examples, but the basic idea is that you and only you are in full control of your work surroundings.

2.) No office distractions - While you may have to dial in for a meeting, or field some phone calls, you are generally spared many of the distractions that plague the average office. Some examples of this would be loud co-workers/office, in person questions from people who don't have your phone number (you get them in a much more manageable email form), and you usually don't get pulled into random meetings.

3.) Set your own schedule - This is highly dependent on what work you do at home, but usually if you need to take an hour and go to the doctors, or run an errand, it's much easier to negotiate when you're working at home than the office. Also, if you don't have any obligations for the day, you can take the day off and make it up over the rest of the week. As long as you get your work done on time and put your hours in, it doesn't make much difference.

Cons

1.) No co-worker interaction - As much fun as it is to work at home, you completely miss out on the social dynamic of the office. Trips to the water cooler, a long lunch on Friday, even a spur of the moment happy hour, all these are much harder to participate in when you work at home. You can miss out on some great opportunities to make friends out of your co-workers.

2.) Harder to get promoted - This is purely my experience, but when you donít' have the exposure to your bosses that your co-workers do, it makes it harder to get promoted. You could be doing a great job, but when you work at home you can slip to the back of your bosses mind because they don't see you everyday. Half of getting promoted is being a constant reminder to your boss of how good a job you're doing, and face to face time is a big part of that.

3.) More limited job roles - The simple truth is that even with the advances in technology, there are just certain jobs that require you to be in the office. While there are plenty of jobs you can do at home, you might find that the next job you want or project you want to work on requires you to work in the office. For example, a role where you have to do a lot of client face to face interactions would probably require that you be in the office. You need to be prepared to accept the fact that there are certain career paths you won't be able to take by working at home.

In the end, you and your company have to decide if you can meet your career goals and work at home. I leave you with this piece of advice: Put serious thought into this decision, as it can change the shape of the rest of your career.

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