Working From Home – Pros and Cons

What is good and what is bad about working from home.

Pros

1) You can set your own schedule

This is great if you are somewhat nocturnal like me, or if you just hate rushing in the morning.

2) You do not have a dress code

I do not enjoy wearing shoes all day. Thankfully when I visited Ansca HQ this wasn’t unique to me, so that panned out well – but most work places tend to frown on a lack of shoes. Or pants, in the summer. (It gets to over 40c (104f) here, with humidity reaching 90% – plus my house, which is really kind of a shack, has a tin roof.)

3) You aren’t limited to home

As most of you know I’m a total hermit, although I’ll venture out if there’s somewhere I want to be. I have family in Adelaide (that’s interstate and a two or three day drive, or a flight away) and if I plan on visiting them I can do so without taking time off work.

Cons

1) It can slow you down

There are far more distractions at home than in an office where everyone is working towards the same goal. There’s TV, personal phone calls, various websites devoted to memes, humor, news – whatever you’re interested in. There’s also people who stop by without giving you any notice and do so with such frequency they have actually become accustom to your lack of pants. (This should not happen.)

2) You work too much or not enough

This can go either way – some people who work from home end up slacking off and not doing their job properly because they need supervision. (Which is fair enough, many people function better in an environment with clear expectations and struggle when entirely left to their own devices.)

The flip side of this is working too much, which can be just as bad. In an office you come in, you work, you leave. At home if you are passionate about what you are doing you can end up working far more than is sensible. This is something I often find myself doing and am trying to work on. (Unsuccessfully so far.)

3) It can be lonely

The biggest con for me about working from home is that it can be lonely. Working in a team is the best thing about working at an office and something you miss out on at home. I guess that isn’t always true, though – I hear plenty of people complain about their colleagues or their boss(es) – so maybe it shouldn’t be a pro or a con because it can vary so much place to place, job to job.

At the end of the day the pros of working at home outweigh the cons if you’re happy where you are; and in summer if you don’t want to wear pants ;)

Peach Pellen

PS – This post had literally no point. It was inane babble. I just felt like writing something to take a break from code XD

11 Responses to Working From Home – Pros and Cons
  1. Guy T. Reply

    I gotta say the Pros are making the more convincing argument for me…

  2. Alfred R. Baudisch Reply

    I always worked at home, ever since I was a teenager when I started developing wedding sites. That’s 14 years now working at home.

    Once I had to go to a client’s office (a big company) and there were like 100 tables / computers / hundreds of persons walking. I was in panic. I had to ask the client if I could do everything at my place instead of going there.

    That just tells me that everything is about conventions. Everyone is used to work with other people, talking, etc. But on the other side, are the ones like me that likes to be at home and simply don’t talk while working (meanwhile I TYPE AND TEXT CHAT a lot).

  3. Krista (@kristahouse) Reply

    I worked in a large company in a cube farm, I worked at home in a somewhat solitary confinement and I now work in a office, but it’s my company. This setup is by far the best!

    I took what I liked in working in a group setting and from working at home and mashed them together. We have an intimate office of 12 people, with a fully stocked kitchen and family style lunch table. My company provides lunches so it is literally a family style meal. So far everyone seems to enjoying our setup. I feel as if I have the best of both worlds. :D

  4. Jari Reply

    Why working at home is both awesome and horrible :)
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/working_home

  5. daniel sefton Reply

    Unfortunately I have to go to a ‘day job’, where i even have to wear a suit many days (ugh). Customer interaction and all that.

    My ‘working at home’ is all of my iOS work. I’ve been developing/marketing iOS apps since almost the beginning (late 97) and it’s all after the kids go to bed, so my working at home is late at night. I agree with everything Peach says about working at home, however.

    Day job pays the bills, the late night indie work is the ‘dream’ and fun.

    Daniel

  6. troy nall Reply

    Since I started hunting the UNDEAD, i work mainly nights(except for zombies they pop up at day or night.) i never work at my homes(i have 4 safe houses).

    I mostly work in my mobile armored vehicle of operations doing research and cross referencing information and hunter’s journal on the UNDEAD.

  7. Frédéric Reply

    Working at home could be very difficult when you work in a team.
    I have work 15 years in my own company with 15 guys. Now, I work @home since 8 monthes. I am happy with that because of the Cons that you have mentionned ! I can see my wife (when she’s not working), my 4 children (when they are not at school), i can go to the garden and have a coffee and listen to the birds…
    The main difficulty is to keep more than efficiency with my associate. If we are still doing good job, we feel that we are loosing some invisible links that help us to be creative.
    We have decided to rent again an office and be there 3 days per week. Just because we can then hearing each other working and speak spontaneously about the projects but also about ideas we get suddenly.
    We are also using a lot Skype. Sometimes we are not talking for 20 mn, but we can have some spontaneous exchange because we heard each other grumbling about something !

  8. daniel sefton Reply

    oops, saw a boo boo in my original post – should read, “been marketing/developing iOS apps since late 2007″. Have been programming since, um probably late 79 (yes, seventy-nine).

    Anyway, Frederic, that sounds like a good arrangement. Being with people three days a week, or even on skype is a good way to get that cauldron of creativity burning as well as the essential human interaction. I get my social interaction at work but none for my iOS work. I’ll have to admit I like doing everying myself – development, testing, marketing etc etc.

    Daniel

  9. Sean Reply

    Love the scales of justice being portrayed… don’t forget the other con:
    – never getting out of the house
    – forgetting what time of day it is… or what day it is…

    Pros:
    – Coding in whatever clothing I want… or none in the summer (don’t try and picture it, really, it’s not pretty :)
    – Avoiding the ‘in the office’ swearing when you realise you’ve left your USB drive in your other jacket… at home… hanging on the rack.

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