Pros & Cons of Working from Home

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Imagine that your employer gives you the choice between either working from home or commuting to the office throughout your workweek. You might think the obvious choice is to work from the comfort of your own home. But there are some considerations to think about before you decide telecommuting is right for you.

Advantages
Working from home could end up saving you a considerable amount of money. It eliminates the cost of commuting by cutting down what you spend on gas, public transportation, parking fees and car maintenance. And depending on your company’s dress code, you could save what you might spend on expensive work-related clothes.

Besides reducing some of your daily expenses, working from home could provide you with more opportunities and increased productivity. Telecommuting might mean you are no longer tied to a single location, which could allow you to explore more flexible work opportunities within the company. Working from home may also motivate you to use your time more effectively and accomplish more for your company because you’ll save time commuting.

Balancing work and family could be easier when you work from home, as well. Time that you might spend traveling to work, appointments, and family obligations will be saved when you no longer have to schedule around a daily drive to and from the office. Depending on your company’s flexibility and the demands of your job, working from home may even eliminate or reduce childcare needs, giving you more time to spend with your loved ones in addition to saving you money.

Disadvantages
Telecommuting could affect your work performance. Isolation from the office may result in your professional achievements being overlooked, which could potentially delay a promotion or raise. Plus, distractions around your home can interfere with your daily responsibilities and could result in a negative response from your employer.

Another financial downside of working from home is the prospect of providing your own office materials. Does your company provide you with supplies such as a computer, printer, and fax machine? Will you need to pay for office setup, postage services, or scanners, among other items?

What works for you?
If your employer allows you to work from home:

  • Consider whether your home has appropriate space to accommodate a home office.
  • Understand that you may need to seek remote tech support on occasion to perform your job.
  • Think about whether you’re self-directed and able to work well independently in a home setting.
  • Set expectations for yourself.
  • Be familiar with any company policies that may apply to remote employees.

It’s possible to strike a balance and choose to work from home one or two days a week, thereby reaping more of the telecommuting positives than negatives. You could also ask to undergo a trial period to make sure working from home is truly what works best for both you and your employer.

“Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.”

 

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