The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Photo credit: Steve Burt (Flickr)

Photo credit: Steve Burt (Flickr)

I was randomly researching topics for articles the other day when I stumbled upon a Microsoft survey about working remotely from a few years ago. Per the survey sixty percent of the respondents said working from home was actually more productive and efficient.

Now, I know that article was from a few years ago, but with all the advancements in technology working from home is becoming increasingly easier and more popular. So the question is, does it help or hinder an employee? And, what about the employer?

Speaking solely from personal experience as someone who once worked in an office but now works from home, there are a number of pros and cons of working from home. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The pros:

  • More time for work. Staying a little later to finish a project isn’t as big of an issue since there’s no commute or the antsy desire to leave the office at the end of the day.
  • Better attendance. No commute means not dealing with delayed trains or traffic so you’re never late for work.
  • Faster turnaround. There are fewer distractions which means you can concentrate fully on a task until it’s done.
  • Less stress. Sure, work is stressful but you don’t have to deal with all the outside stress factors (i.e. traffic, a commute in bad weather, etc.).

The cons:

  • Less human interaction. Working from home can be lonely and you have to conduct all meetings via the phone or some other use of technology.
  • Lack of office synergy. Employees aren’t there to interact with one another or to observe what’s happening with business and clients.
  • More communication via technology. Since meetings and other office related activities will most likely be conducted through technology, you have to be comfortable using it on your own. It can also be expensive to be sure everyone has the proper technology to work from home.
  • Self-discipline. You have to be able to complete tasks on your own without anyone checking in.

In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons here so it kind of seems like it helps more than hinders. Granted working from home isn’t for everyone, but the thing about the pros is that they are all better for the employee as well as the employer. The pros also help to sweeten the overall work experience and that’s a long term thing.

What do you all think about working from home? Does anyone else have experience with is?