Working from Home vs. Office

September 9, 2014

Before you go running to your boss telling him that studies show you will be more productive if you work from home, ask yourself if this is really so.

On the one hand, you can miss the unproductive meetings that managers and head honchos seem to think are so important but, instead, take up valuable time, accomplishing little or nothing.

You can also avoid all the ASAP emails that you feel compelled to answer immediately simply because everyone knows you’re at your desk. Along the same lines, if you work from home, you automatically eliminate all the office distractions, e.g., people stopping by your desk to chitchat or to ask you something that they would have to find out for themselves if you weren’t there. Then, too, your numerous calls can go to voice mail until you’re ready to return them.

On the other hand, there are probably as many reasons why you would be more productive working from the office. Studies show that many people get depressed if they don’t have the interaction of other people, but more especially, if they sit around the house in their pajamas all day and don’t feel the need to get dressed.

One of the biggest factors in the working from home vs. working from the office debate is whether someone is a self-starter, capable of turning out the work without someone looking over his shoulder and without someone scheduling his time.

There are probably as many people who need someone to structure their workload as there are people who feel stifled by someone managing their work schedule.

If you are in a job that requires great creativity, that’s not something that can be turned on and off like a water faucet. Creativity often comes in bursts of ideas, at any time of the day or night, and it usually doesn’t conform to schedules.

There are several drawbacks to working from home. Some people aren’t self-disciplined enough to do their work without someone supervising them. Then, too, if there are small children in the house or other adults, these can be major distractions. It’s also more likely that you’ll have to answer your numerous phone calls instead of letting them go to voice mail.

So before you opt for working from home, ask yourself if it’s really to your benefit.

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