Posted by: louiseheasman | January 21, 2010

Pros & Cons to working from home

Following the Dead Bird Incident yesterday (my fluffy boy cat, Adrian, decided to reward me by bringing in a present…), it really got me thinking about the pros and cons of working from home as it’s been a real eye opener for me since I started doing this last September.

With today’s technology having a home based business or working from home is getting so much easier to do.

Here are my 3 pros to working from home:

It’s a great time saver

Whilst this is very obvious for those who’ve had years of long commutes, don’t underestimate the time drain that a 20 minute trek each way to your serviced office can have. Over the course of the week, it all adds up and if you’re like me, my working week is no more than 25 hours, those hours are crucial.

I’ve also reduced my amount of time I spend travelling by keeping face to face consultancy down to an absolute minimum. Working online with clients or by ‘phone from home, is so much time effective.

It saves you money

No more rental costs! Every business owner should keep an eye on operating costs so if you can avoid having to rent an office by working from home, you will save a lot of money each year.

It’s so much more comfortable and convenient!

If it’s snowing outside you can wrap up in comfy clothes, switch the heating on full blast and keep cosy inside whilst you make money.

And on a glorious summer’s day, you have the flexibility of taking your laptop and ‘phone outside and setting up your office in the garden. Bliss!

OK, working from home definitely has its advantages but there are a few disadvantages too…

Here are my 3 downsides to working from home:

Cabin Fever!

At times, it can get a little bit lonely and if you’re lacking inspiration or motivation from time to time, the cat isn’t really going to be much good in giving you a bit of a pep talk!

Living and working in the same environment can be quite challenging in that it can be difficult to switch hats too. Seeing the washing in the machine needs to be hung out can be a distraction! But that might just be me!

If you work from home, you’re not ‘serious’ about your business

Again, it might just be me, but I find that when people know I work from home, they immediately don’t think I run a serious business than if I were scooting off to an office straight after doing the school run. Friends and family love to ‘drop’ in and I seem to be a convenient delivery/drop off point too as ‘I’m always at home’!

You don’t have the physical support infrastructure

Now, I may sound rather pathetic on this one but I’ll still mention it, as for me, this is a definite downside to working from home…

It’s not having the ‘people who can’ around to do or sort out all those little jobs that crop up from time to time. From moving desks around, to putting up white boards, to changing fuses – you know the kind of thing I mean!

I can only outsource so much virtually but my poor long suffering husband does get roped in when he gets back from his day at the office to help me with all these mundane but necessary tasks!

So what are your pros and cons to working from home? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share!

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Responses

  1. Pro: Exploring the universe from the safety of my own desk!

    Con: The doorbell goes while I’m on the phone (and can no longer maintain the illusion that I’m a multinational corporation).

    As it’s become acceptable to even be a small (or micro) company over the last decade or two, so it’s now starting to be acceptable to work from home. They will smell the coffee soon!

    • Louise, these tips are to Work-at-Homers are fantastic! Thank you for posting them. I work from home too and have built up a great business. If I can add to your section on “Cabin Fever”: I find that getting out and taking a walk or a jog for a bit does wonders. And certainly stepping away and maybe going out to a nice dinner with the family helps me break away too!

      • Thanks very much for your feedback and also for your great suggestion. I’m going to try and get into the habit of doing a power walk around our local nature reserve at lunchtimes – just to clear the cobwebs! Thanks again for sharing that.

  2. Pro: I can listen to my music while working if I want to, and I won’t bother other colleagues.
    Con: When the family arrive home from school/work they demand my instant attention and don’t appreciate I might be in the middle of something or on the phone to a work client.
    Con: My hours spread into evenings and weekends when people need to see me about wedding photography.
    Pro: I too do household chores in breaks, but mostly get the basics done before I start. Sometimes this means I don’t start before 11.00!


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