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What it’s really like to work from home – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Written by: Sandra Lewis

goodbaduglyThe beauty of the internet and technology is that it allows employees to work remotely in an effective manner. It also allows employers to accurately monitor remote workers to ensure that productivity is kept high.

But what is working from home really like? To be honest, it’s different for everyone and depends on a number of variables. So let’s have a quick look through the basics – the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

  • You can work the hours that suit you (within reason) – some people work better at night, 9-5 isn’t for everyone and working from home can accommodate this
  • No commute – well, unless you count the stairs as a commute
  • You can set up your workspace as you see fit
  • No annoying co-workers to put you off or steal your sandwiches
  • Can be a great setup if you have family /other commitments back home

The Bad

  • No annoying co-workers to put you off or steal your sandwiches – we all like a bit of human interaction
  • Relying on emails or instant messaging services to communicate can be tough when you’re not used to it – nothing beats a bit of face-time
  • You rely on yourself to get into a routine – if you can’t motivate yourself then working from home isn’t for you

The Ugly

  • No annoying co-workers to put you off or steal your sandwiches – seriously, if you’re the sort of person who needs constant human interaction, working from home might not be for you
  • Cabin fever – if you haven’t got a separate office area at your home, it’s very easy to get cabin fever. Sleeping and working from the same room is an experience not everyone deals well with

In a nutshell, working from home can be whatever you make of it. For some, it’s the perfect solution and for others, the flexibility and lack of structure it can entail is simply not conducive to a productive environment. If you’re thinking of working from home, you need to be honest with yourself about your own limitations and working habits to decide whether it’d be a suitable working setup for you.

Updated on January 5th, 2014

About the author: Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Boldly. She's passionate about helping Businesses, Organizations and Executives increase productivity and move their work forward with the right skills and resources. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working remotely, she’s been leading her entire team on a virtual basis for the past decade.