So, is working from home all it’s cracked up to be?
Okay, first off: you can work in your pyjamas. This is great for some people, the worst thing ever for others; but either way, you get to wear what you want to work. It seems like a surface issue but being comfortable at work can be key to success. Plus, for those with social anxiety, avoiding the idle chit-chat and scrutiny of others is a blessing.
You’re also likely to still be lounging in bed or indulging in a cooked breakfast whilst other people sit in a traffic jam. Commuting to work causes a lot of stress for many and working at home relieves you of this, whilst freeing up a couple more hours of your day.
Your day is flexible. Once the job’s done, you’re done and it’s up to you how much effort you put in. If you’re not feeling it, you don’t have to hang around looking busy; you’re only accountable to yourself.
You’re on your own
One of the big issues with working from home is the lack of support. You don’t see your colleagues every day, you may not have a business mentor to coach you and you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off. It can get pretty lonely working from home, so it’s important to make sure you don’t isolate yourself completely.
Another main issue with working from home is that you may find yourself easily distracted. If you’re looking after children this is a no-brainer, but other distractions like cooking a decent meal, watching ‘Homes under the Hammer’ and putting things off until you feel like doing it can get in the way of your productivity. On the other hand, living in your workspace means it can be difficult to switch off. Time with loved ones becomes guilt-ridden as you think about all the things you have to do and as soon as your head hits the pillow, you’re counting stock rather than sheep. If you work from home, make sure you have a designated office or workspace so that you can mentally separate the two.
Privacy and respect
Another draw-back of working from home doesn’t become too evident until you Google yourself. When Google indicates that a business address is a semi-detached house in a cul-de-sac miles from anywhere, reputation tends to take a hit. For some, a professional trading address is important and a PO Box can help fix this. You can’t, however, hold a meeting inside a post box.
If you’ve read the above and think that working from home would drive you nuts, there are some alternatives to working remotely.
They’re kind of cosy, there’s a sense of anonymity, they have free Wi-Fi and you can get food and drinks whilst you work. You can get away with meeting a client in a coffee shop too. If you’re looking for somewhere quieter, supermarket cafes can also do the trick. Drawbacks do include limited opening hours, serious GDPR issues and looking like ‘that douche with an iPad’. There’s also a lack of printing facilities and you may be encouraged to buy more in order to justify the time you spend there.
Like the coffee shop, the library brings about issues of GDPR and limited opening hours. You probably can’t take calls or have skype meetings either, which is a bit of a downer. On the plus side, libraries are very quiet, they usually have free Wi-Fi and there are printing facilities.AFESANh
There are a few drawbacks to coworking spaces, first and foremost being the cost. Depending on what package you take, you may only pay as-and-when you need it or be beholden to a monthly subscription fee. Either way, they cost money.
There are usually different types of space available depending on your needs. A hot-desk, for example, means you just work in any free space, whereas many co-working spaces offer personal desks, offices and meeting rooms on a tiered price plan. Co-working spaces often have set operating hours, but occasionally you can find one such as the Propeller Hub that allows 24-hour access. Perfect for night owls and international traders. Most of them offer free drinks and Wi-Fi and have printing facilities too.
If at the end of this article, you still don’t think it’s for you, maybe a traditional working environment is the way to go. Either that, or a hammock on a beach somewhere.