With improving technology and the nature of work, things are going full circle. Prior to the industrial revolution, most people worked at home in the agrarian societies that were prevalent. In 2015, Bureau of Statistics data from the US reports that 23 percent of employees are doing some work from home, up from 19 percent in 2003. This is backed up by the New York Times reporting that telecommuting is fast on the rise. A lot of self-employed professional people also work from home, no longer needing a High Street office location in the Digital Age, where your shopfront is the web or a social media outlet.
This article looks at some of the pros and cons of working from home (teleworking, remote working and agile working are other names).
- Happier and better work/life balance – In a study by Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and James Liang, at-home workers were not only happier and less likely to quit but also more productive. People are desperate to find a better work/life balance and home working provides this.
- More productive – British Telecom and Dow Chemical show that teleworkers are 35-40% more productive, many using the time they save on commuting to work longer.
- Beats rush-hour – From the globalworkplaceanalytics.com website, 14% of Americans have changed jobs to shorten the commute. This is becoming an even bigger issue in Dublin, with congestion levels rising making it one of the worst cities in the world for traffic during rush-hour. People are sick of rush-hour commuting and teleworking helps you beat it. We call it the 10-step commute.
- Quieter environment to focus – Offices can be incredibly distracting places and many people crave the quiet environment to get the creative work done or the difficult report written.
- Not for everyone – Working from home doesn’t suit everyone and is more suitable for people at different stages of their lives. People with established social lives and parents may find it more suitable than younger workers whose social lives are more connected to their workplace.
- Part-time better than full-time – Occasional telework is win for most people. Some of the downsides of full-time working from home are the social isolation and the “out of sight, out of mind” element. An ideal scenario is when you can work from home for a few hours at the start or end of the day to get the work that requires focus while beating the traffic.
- Self-motivation important – When working from home it is important that you have enough self-motivation not to be distracted by things like the TV, fridge, washing machine and even the lawnmower.
- A defined home office space – What else are we going to say, but it is essential. While it might not be a Shomera (ideal) as long as you have a dedicated space and the more separate it is the better. We like the studio because when you’re at work, you’re at work, when you’re home, you’re home.