With the internet playing a major role in our everyday lives and the freedom that it provides, it's becoming more and more common for individuals to work from home. This is especially true for entrepreneurs. A booming technology industry has made this easier than ever to accomplish. Between Skype, Google Business Apps, and a bevy of online collaboration platforms, doing your work remotely is no longer simply a rarity, it’s a highly accepted norm. It can be an incredibly attractive option for a number of reasons.
Here’s what we consider to be some of the advantages of working from home…
You Define Your Office Space
Working from home provides a more flexible option for creating a work space that is uniquely tailored to you, allowing you to be more comfortable in your work space. Whether it’s listening to your own music without the hassle of headphones, saving yourself some back pain by working on the couch, or having control over setting the ideal temperature, having a work space that is expressly your own trumps working from a cubicle any day.
No Dress Code
Though many corporate cultures are incorporating a less strict dress code, we are all humans with the instinctual desire to portray a “well put together” sense of self when in public, especially in professional scenarios. However, there is much to be said about not having to spend the extra time spiffing up during your morning routine. Rolling out of bed in your pajamas and going right to work can be incredibly freeing.
No Driving, or Traffic!
One of the worst parts about having to go to the office is getting there. Commuting is a pain in general, but between hitting morning traffic as everyone is commuting to work, and evening traffic during rush hour, driving to and from the office is entirely too tedious. Working from home cuts driving out of your schedule and gives you more time to be productive!
There are a lot of aspects of working from home that will give your wallet a break. For instance, not having to maintain an in-office, professional wardrobe leaves funds for other interests. In addition, removing your daily commute saves on gas expenditure. Furthermore, you save on food by not being tempted to eat out as much since you're able to whip up your own lunch from home.
Allowed to Manage Your Own Schedule
When you work from home, you can manage irregular hours and organize your time in a way that best suits you. Whether you’re a morning person or night owl, working from home can work for you. It also provides an opportunity for using breaks to actually refresh and reinvigorate your mind. Relaxing with a power nap, embracing some Zen with a bit of yoga, even taking a ten-minute walk will benefit you more, and the bonus is that you can do it all in the comfort of your own home or neighborhood.
Acquire Greater Knowledge and Independence
Without distracting colleagues around the corner, or the IT department conveniently downstairs, you innately begin to develop skills that you never had before. You gain the confidence to find the answers on your own, becoming more and more productive along the way. Before you know it you become a one-man or one-woman business operations guru! Who needs IT anyway! (Just kidding... we all do sometimes)
Improved Communication Skills
You’d be surprised at how much your communication skills improve when you work from home. Being forced to make a more concentrated effort towards maintaining contact with the appropriate channels helps you to appreciate the value that effective communication has in the workplace. You’ll notice yourself writing more clear and concise emails and being more sensitive to your team’s different schedules because now that your coworkers aren’t just steps away, active communication is more crucial than ever.
More Enjoyable and Effective Meetings
No amount of free coffee and breakfast pastries can make up for having to sit in a congested conference room between the incessant throat clearer from marketing and pen-clicking guy from sales. The beauty of video conferencing allows you to choose both your seat and your breakfast, and with only a few clicks you can bring the entire team together for a meeting that can now last 20 minutes rather than an hour. Don't forget an agenda!
Traditional work places tend to shrink your personal “bubble”. The overwhelming ins and outs of the average office work day don’t allow for much personal space. Having a home work space not only reduces anxiety and stress from the external environment, but also grants you a larger allowance of room to breath, which everyone needs at one point or another. If you’ve ever watched “The Office”, you know what we mean.
Avoid Office Politics, Gossip, and Drama
You’d think high school would have taught most of us otherwise, but somehow politics, gossip, and personal drama always seem to find their way into the workplace. Removing the possibility for idle chatting and time spent whispering by the water cooler helps to create a more positive environment in which productivity can be the primary focus, as it should be.
Those are some of the things we think are most advantageous about working from home. Can you think of any? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned later in the week as we flip the coin and detail some of the challenges of working from home, while also discussing how to overcome them.