Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center

Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/24/2017

It's easy to romanticize working from home. There's a sense of freedom that comes with telecommuting that's nearly impossible to fully duplicate while working at a corporate facility. As a starting benefit, when you work from home, you forego the morning and evening commute.

This benefit alone is enough to make setting up a home office worth it. Added freedom and lack of commuting costs and time could be behind the mystery of why some workers are more productive while working from home versus working at a corporate location.

Productivity doesn't increase for all home office workers

There are studies that show that people who work from home generate a greater work output than employees and consultants who work out of a corporate office or an industrial location. Yet, working from home isn't always a win.

In fact, there are instances when working from home may be a bad idea. Difficulty staying focused is a leading reason as to why working out of a home office may not be a good idea for everyone. For example, do you produce at the highest levels when someone is nearby to watch your activity or monitor your progress in person?

Should this be the case, you might be better off working at the company site. Other reasons why working out of a home office might be a bad idea include:

  • Insufficient funds to maintain telephone and remote connections
  • Young children who are present for more than half of the workday (and you are unable to afford daycare or a babysitter)
  • Unclear agreements between you and other family members (an example of this is when your spouse or relative continues to stop by expecting you to run errands because they aren't clear that you're actually working)
  • Poor computer technology (a slow computer or a slow computer connection could easily add 30 or more minutes to your work day)
  • Perceptions that working out of a home office means that you can conduct household errands, leave home and pay bills or watch television for as long as you want or whenever you want

Take a complete look at home office arrangements

Employers review work from home arrangements on an individual basis for good reason. Telecommuting or work from home arrangements can alter the chemistry of an entire team. Some team members may resent that they weren't approved for a telecommuting arrangement while you were approved.

This could cause team members to question how serious people working from home are about their careers and their contributions to the department that they are assigned to. Perhaps even more important than the perceptions that work from home arrangements create in other team members is the level of discipline that people working out of a home office possess.

If you're easily distracted, think twice before you enter a home office arrangement. Make sure that your home office is comfortable and filled with the right tools and resources. You may steer clear of questions from management if you stay active on your work computer throughout the day. Reason for  this is that managers could monitor your activeness by checking your IM or Outlook status.

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