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Is Working from Home Right for You?

With the current state of the economy, many employers are trying to cut overhead costs. With Skype, the Internet, and unlimited minutes on cell phone plans, virtual offices are often a cheaper solution to physical offices. Additionally, with the cost of commuting, in 2009, about 35 percent of Americans worked from home at least one day a week and many people began working from home full time. People who lost their jobs in the economic downfall also began starting their own businesses, creating home offices to do so.

But is working from home right for you?

There are many pros and cons to working from home. One of the pros is that you have no commute. This means, more time to sleep in, less time in traffic, and you don’t have to yet again, stand for an hour in a squashed subway car to make it to work on time. Another plus to working at home? Your lunch break!

Many dieters site the work place as the reason they pack on the pounds. Snacking in the staff lounge can do you in, but if you work from home, you call the shots. Additionally, if you take an hour for lunch, you can catch up on chores like laundry. Also, if you have kids at home, or pets, this might afford you time in the afternoon to spend with the people you love!

Not feeling like putting on a full face of makeup and feeling too bloated for your work pants? Again, no problem if you work from home. If you’re not meeting directly with clients or having a video conference, the only person you need to dress to impress is you.

Your boss may even offer you more flexibility. There is always the possibility that you won’t be needed from nine to five and can maybe finish up your work earlier or work when your schedule permits. Though this will of course, depend on the employer, this is often a plus for working mothers.

However, working from home isn’t always the exciting adventure people think it is. First of all, be prepared for many people to not understand what it is you do! People who work in an office setting don’t tend to understand that even though you are at home, you still have work to do, conference calls, and deadlines. They might not understand that though your boss is not IN your home, they are still aware that you are there and are overseeing your work. Make it clear to people that from nine to five, you’re still a busy gal, but just be aware that you’re still going to have pop ins!

Another con is that you miss out on human interaction for hours at a time. Remember being hard at work in your cubicle and not budging for hours? BUT, you didn’t feel lonely because every office has a gossip, chatty Cathy, or a you had a work BFF? This isn’t going to happen when you’re at home. You’ll eventually get used to the quieter atmosphere and for many of you more into solitude when you’re working, this may be a plus!

And one of the work from home “faux pas” if you will that I’m guilty of, working around the clock! Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean that work has to dominate your life. Create a home office that you enter during your designated work hours that you can leave. This is especially important if you find that you don’t leave your home for days at a time when you don’t have meetings outside the house!

Whether working from home is your dream come true or if it has become a necessity, if you are motivated, determined, and a hard worker, anyone can make this the best case scenario for their career!