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Working at Home: Pros and Cons

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Ever since I quit my job to work from home, people have asked me if it’s as awesome as it sounds.  After all, I no longer have to put on makeup, pack a lunch, or wear ridiculous things like wear panty hose.  My new commute is approximately ten seconds from my bedroom.  And most importantly, I don’t have to deal with customers, coworkers, or bosses.

But, working at home certainly isn’t perfect.  And, while it does solve some of the problems that I used to deal with, it has merely created others.  So, here’s what I like and don’t like about working from home:

What I Like About Working From Home

Working at home is awesome for a lot of reasons.  First of all, I like having the freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  I like taking breaks when it’s convenient for me and planning my work around the other (important) things that need attention in my life.  I’m fairly self-motivated so I don’t mind the fact that no one is breathing down my neck either.  And, although I liked my coworkers at my old job, I don’t miss having to wait on other people or deal with their various shenanigans or problems.

I love being able to stop what I’m doing and take a bath in the middle of the day.  Or, I can go to the grocery store, call a friend, or clean my house.  If my dog is getting on my nerves, I can scream “SHUT THE HELL UP” at the top of my lungs about five hundred times.  And, I don’t have to worry about offending anyone since no one else is here.

What I Don’t Like About Working From Home

Working at home can get lonely and sometimes I really do miss having people to interact with.  I also struggle with the fact that I don’t have a specific schedule to follow and am basically in charge of creating my own.  And since I get distracted easily, I have to be careful not to get too carried away with projects around the house.  You know, one minute I’m working and the next minute I’m out in the yard picking weeds.  I have to work really hard to stay focused!

Working at home can also be boring.  I don’t have anyone to talk to, joke around with, make fun of when they’re at lunch.

My Dream Work Scenario

I know I can’t have it both ways, but I do wish that there was a way to work from home and still be around other people.  Sometimes I wish that I could rent an office space near my home just for work.  My dream office would have a big wrap-around desk that seats two and lots of filing cabinets and shelving to store my stuff.  Oh, and my coworkers would rarely talk yet insist on buying me a veggie sub and fries from Penn Station every day.  In addition, the copy machine would always work and no one would ever complain.  Ever.  A girl can dream, right?

What do you like about working in an office?  Or, what’s your favorite part about working at home?  What’s your dream work scenario?

 

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20 Comments

  1. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction says:

    My fiancé works from home, and honestly I don’t know how he does it. I was able to work from home at my old job (but not for myself) and some days I was a machine – other days I wanted to watch cat videos all day… and sometimes I did.

    The problem we come across is what to do in the evenings. When I get home from work I like to relax and am content staying in. He on the other hand wants to get out because he has been in the home all day. I try to relent a bit otherwise he could probably be in the house for a week straight at a time without outside contact. Haha.

  2. Have worked from home full-time since 2003 I can totally relate to this Holly. About 5 years ago I was close to going Jack Nicholson in The Shining mad and decided that I needed to get out more and socialize. So I joined out local Rotary chapter and get to go for lunch 1 a week and network with other business owners. It forces me to shower and get out of the house!

  3. I am also struggling with the fact that working from home is a pretty lonely job and I do miss human interaction. Add to that the fact that I am basically a professional blogger and all of my friends have no idea what that means (they still find it difficult to believe that I can make money from writing on my blog) so we don’t have many work-related topics to talk about. Fortunately, they like beer as much as I do, so in the end, it’s not that big of a problem 🙂

    1. I think even if you are an introvert and therefore would much rather be suited to working from home, you are still going to miss human interaction on some level. I might try for a reduced work week before trying to “fully quit” to see how that works out.

      Mr C – Does anyone really talk so much about their jobs?! It usually gets glossed over pretty quickly in my circle of friends anyway and topics are moved onto more interesting subjects. I’m sure no one wants to hear about that particular javascript issue I’ve been working on all week, yawwwwwwwwwwwwnnn! 🙂

  4. I don’t work from home full-time, but I am allowed to work remotely from time to time. The two biggest drawbacks for me are that when I work from home a lot, my power bill suffers and I end up eating a lot more than I do at the office!

  5. Hi Holly! A great deal of my work is done at home, and I’m only at the office teaching lessons for four hours per day. I think that I have very close to my ideal working situation. We are able to exercise in the morning, have coffee at a coffee shop and write, then come home and prepare lessons, eat lunch, and still have time in the afternoon to finish up lesson prep or do other things around the house. We get to see other people at the office – our customers who are always happy to see us. I think your post just made me realize how much I appreciate what I have. Thank you, Holly. Sometimes I need those reminders!!! Happy Friday!

  6. I also relate to the feelings of isolation. It helps me to stay active with church and networking to have some interaction with people. The missed work relationships is definitely the biggest downside.

  7. The only other EE we had at my work just left for a different project the other day. Because of this, I have a lab all to myself. It’s kind of like working from home, except I have to follow company rules and the computer. As an introvert, I really don’t mind working by myself. It’s kind of nice.

  8. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

    Right now, I would love to work from home, mostly because I’d be able to do something I’m actually passionate about: PF writing.

  9. There aren’t many things I enjoy about my workplace. I used to have a separate office with my coworker, which was nice, but now we are in cubicles. It’s also freezing because the landlords don’t care about us. I guess I would go with not being lonely, the possibility of a pizza Friday, and getting free cake when it’s someone’s birthday. Yay free food!

  10. Although I do not work from home, I would love to. I certainly will when I retire form my day job.

  11. Hi Holly,

    I notice a lot of the same positives and negatives that you do. My last position was 3 days in the office, with two at home. It was a good balance, though I think that kind of set up is sufficiently rare that I shouldn’t expect to have it again. As my company does have an office here in Phoenix, I’m considering trying to arrange one day in that office somehow (maybe booking a small huddle room all day). The rub is that I don’t know anyone in that office, and no one from my division is there…I doubt there’d be much meaningful interaction, so I might be just as isolated as at home…

  12. I have also been at home for 5 years and do understand what you mean by being lonely at times. I figured out ways to get over that hump however. I get up and stretch, take a step out onto my porch for a nice breath of fresh air. Play with my two boys for an hour or so but I make sure that my time spent working from home and running my business is not wasted. I love the flexibility of not having to leave the home to commute. Enjoyed reading your article. Looking forward to reading more.

  13. I personally love working from home however the one thing I do not like about it is the fact that I do not really have a steady income, yet. With my work I can supply a good income however I want to make it stable out so I know how much I have to play with per month.

  14. Holly, I have worked from home before and I share your same feelings of boredom. I too, like people around, maybe you can look for some networking groups in your area. Groups that cater to people who work independently, if there are none around, why not start one?

  15. I’ve worked in an office for the past three years and hate it. I would much rather work at home; it would be much more relaxing and I honestly believe I would be much more productive.

    It seems counter-intuitive that someone would be more productive without direct supervision, but my desk is literally in the middle of the office. No privacy whatsoever (not even a cubicle or partition). So I’m constantly being bothered by coworkers striking up conversations, yakking on their cell phones, digging through the file cabinets, swearing at their computers, etc. It drives me crazy.

  16. I would like to work from home maybe 1-2 times per week. Other than that, I would get lonely and feel out of touch. Sometimes, I just need to vent to people, you know? But, I think the pros do outweigh the cons, especially financially – fewer work clothing shopping trips, gas, etc.

  17. I know what you mean. It’s a good thing that I have 5 side hustles. It keeps me on my toes. About your interaction woes. I heard about this thing called cospace. It’s a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Maybe you can consider it.

  18. Since I still have small kids, I am very appreciative of working at home. I am contented of being able to personally take care of my kids and look after them at all times. Although, I also find time to meet with some friends at times.

  19. Having a hard time thinking about something I like about work, other than vacation days and holiday parties. Would it be inappropriate to yell “shut the hell up” at your co-workers or staff? Sometimes I’m right on the edge 😉

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