The pro’s and con’s of home working

by Katherine on August 12, 2010

As I come to the end of another working day, where I have spent the majority of my day in my home office, I have come to reflect on the virtues of home working.   Today I spent a few hours with a client away from my home office and also stayed for lunch. Here  I was able to catch up socially with colleagues and feel that I belonged to the outside world rather than just being tied to my PC!    Other days can be more solitary.  For me this can be a little lonely, although much of my work is spent with people, so it can also be a blessing and allows me to get on with crucial report writing, projects and general admin work.

For some home working may work really well with advantages including no travel time or expense, flexibility of when to work, time to undertake domestic tasks or leisure pursuits during breaks and peace and quiet  to concentrate fully on your work.

For others the negative factors of home working make it totally unsuitable for either their type of work or their own individual preferences.  Disadvantages include lack of face to face contact (which may reduce moral and motivation), poor physical environments to be working from (i.e. working from a laptop on a breakfast bench in the kitchen), disruptions from family members, loneliness, lack of natural posture breaks and a problem with switching off from work and/or working too long.

With more people working from home the dangers of home working must not be forgotten.  Some self help tips include:

  1. Ensure you have fully assessed your working environment and are able to adopt good postures.  It is worth investing money on a decent desk and chair.  If employed your employer is liable to pay assessment and equipment costs if you have an official home working agreement.
  2. Ensure you split your work and home activities into rigid blocks.  Stop emailing clients at 10pm in the evening and likewise don’t get carried away doing the laundry when you should be finishing your invoicing!
  3. Meet up with people during the day, either networking groups or meeting friends for lunch.  This is particularly important if most of your work is undertaken at home.
  4. Get up from your desk regularly, move your body, change your posture.  It is so easy to forget to break when you work alone.  Try installing break software if you easily forget this.

Does home working suit you?  I am very interested in your comments.

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