The Benefits & Pitfalls Of Home Working
Home working is becoming more and more the norm, in some cases some international organisations do not have desk space for some individual contributors or managers who manage international teams and thereby expect people to work from home. For others it’s a work life balance choice, choosing to allow parents in particular to have more flexibility and be around for children more than they would do if they were within a conventional workplace.
If you are thinking of requesting home working or are part of an organisation where it is encouraged, it is worth having a trial before committing yourself as for many home working seems like a good idea until they actually do it. For many, the sociability and the overseeing aspect of the workplace is one of their driving factors and some find that when at home they are either too distracted by other things within the home or cannot get the motivation to work as they are not in the workplace. Home working is an alien concept for many and has to be managed carefully.
When you are given the go ahead to work from home it’s important that you make sure you have a specific place to work and are not just working from your dining room table. If you do not have the designated space, not only will your work start to take over your home and this could perhaps cause problems with other family members who feel that their space is being taken over, you also are not able to separate home and work. If you, for whatever reason, have to work from your dining room table, a good tip would be to ensure that you tidy all work products away so that it is not detracting from the family home when you are out of work
In addition it is important to ensure that you have a strict work routine and timetable when working from home, have strict start, finish and break times and stick to them. Otherwise it becomes too easy to just slip into the office at any time and become immersed in work and again you never feel that you can get away from work. Whilst this may or may not bother you, it may be a source of irritation for your family.
However for all the things that have to be considered home working does allow parents in particular the ability to be at home during school holidays for example and therefore the cost of childcare is reduced. This of course is more significant if the child is older and able to go out with friends etc. Where a child is small then consideration has to be given to the demands and unpredictability of a small child and when they don’t do what you want or sleep when you want, this can upset your plans and cause stress. However if you have the ability to flex your hours and can work when children have gone to bed and this works for you as well, it can be a great way to work.
There are many benefits and pitfalls to home working and its worth remembering its not just something you do, it needs to be planned and organised so that you get the benefits you wanted from it.