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The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

For many decades now, women have enjoyed the relative freedom of employment outside the home. And although there are still advances to be made (in terms of busting up the boys club, breaking the glass ceiling, and earning equal wages), with enough determination, women can participate in absolutely any occupation men can. But lately, more and more women in the workforce seem to be searching for alternative ways to manage a full life (one that involves balancing a career and a family). And working from home can seem like an excellent option. However, there are both pluses and minuses to moving your business to your home base. Here are a few things to consider before you commit to leaving the office.

1. Time constraints.

On the plus side, many women who work at home enjoy the ease of setting their own schedule and the flexibility it provides. No more commuting or punching a clock means you can manage your time as you see fit. On the other hand, being at home all day could spell trouble for the mom who must now schedule around her home life. It’s all too easy to get caught up in housework and errands at the expense of your livelihood, so you’ll have to make sure to implement a dedicated work schedule in order to stay on track.

2. Trading distractions.

You will likely be pleased to escape chatty co-workers and bosses that are constantly looking over your shoulder. But you may find that you have only traded them in for constant interruptions by a spouse, children, and friends who know you’re home all day. So try to set office hours during which you are not to be disturbed. This will make it easier to get your work done in a timely manner.

3. Getting the job.

Many people who work from home do so on a freelance basis, which means you have to hustle for work. This can be difficult initially, but if you do a good job, you may build up a loyal clientele over time. But don’t think you can rest on your laurels. It’s a lot easier for businesses to do away with faceless contractors, especially in an economic downturn. You will not only have to be an employee, you will also run every department in your small business (from sales to marketing to PR), so you must be adaptable and open to many clients if you want to continue to earn a living.

4. Health and wealth.

Overall, working from home is not only a decent way to make money (with less expenditure…no more gas-guzzling commutes or three-piece suits), but it can also benefit your physical and mental health. People who work at home tend to be happier and have reduced stress. Not only can you relax at home in a way that you can’t in a professional setting, you will also have more opportunity to eat better and exercise (how many times did you miss lunch for a meeting or deadline at the office?).

5. Focus versus isolation.

Working from home means that you can set up a work space that suits you and implement a plan that will allow you to output at maximum capacity. On the other hand, you may start to miss lunches with co-workers and the ease of bouncing ideas off your peers in neighboring cubicles. While working alone can certainly give you added focus, it can also leave you feeling extremely lonely. However, a flexible schedule allows you time to meet up with friends, take a class, or hit the gym for a little social interaction, so don’t hesitate to schedule in some time away from home.

Breana writes about womens pregnancy and health for Nurture Center where you can find Dutailier gliders and other accessories for your baby.

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