Working from Home: Advantages

Working from home presents numerous benefits as well as some significant challenges. Success in working from home ultimately depends on the person’s drive for success, personality type, and willingness to accept a higher degree of risk.

  1. A sigh of relief: Most of the office goers, specially the women have a tough time in the morning planning for the day—making breakfast, packing lunch for kids/husband/self, and planning for the day.  So the realization that when they rise up in the morning, they no longer have to put in all the effort to rush for office on time and face that daily commute to and fro office has a soothing affect. Not only the omen, but the men also can breathe a deep sigh of relief.

No rush to complete work in an hour or two, no honking horns, no traffic to face, no road rage to contend with. Instead, you can have you cup of tea/coffee in comfort. It’s a great feeling!

  1. Better work/life balance: Most of the professionals these days have ample money and stress, but no time for rest or for the family. Gone are the days when fathers (and working mothers too) leave for work at about 8 in the morning and come back home at about 5 or 5.30 in the evening, and spent the rest of the evening with their families.

Work/life balance is a thing of the past. Even when they get back home, they are surrounded by numerous meetings and deadlines they have to attend to. So, work/life balance is an aspiration of the modern professional. It can be achieved through a working from home arrangement. The   time saved in commuting, social discussion with team members, extended lunch/coffee hours, etc, enables them to spend quality time with family, do physical exercise, read books, listen to music, or follow a hobby of your choice.

  1. Flexibility: This doesn’t just relate to the flexibility of the work timings, because the factor that determines the work hours(to some extent) is the time overlap employees have with their the working hours of their team members.

Here, we are talking about the flexibility in terms of the work environment, the interiors, lighting, room temperature, setting, mood, etc.

4.    Avoid hidden cost: One of the greatest advantages of working from home is cost efficiency. By working at home people save on many hidden costs associated with working folk (especially working couples). If they are good at focusing and multitasking, they can balance child care and supervision with the demands of the job, thus saving on added cost.

Added cost saving include costs of commuting, vehicle servicing (due to wear and tear), fuel costs. There are other indirect costs such as professional wardrobe (if they have to wear formal to work), dry-cleaning costs, day care for smaller kids, activity class after school for older kids, their transport arrangement, etc.

  1. Save time: If the office is just 20-30 minutes drive from home, they will still have put in the time getting things ready for their family and themselves and then travel to work. Working from home means saving the time lost on road in travelling and waiting at traffic signals.

It also saves time that gets wasted in meeting and talking with co-workers, elaborate lunch and coffee breaks, and other possible distraction. When they are done with their work for the day,  they can back to their loving families in an instant.

  1. Proximity to home and family: For many professionals, the physical proximity to family and the convenience of being at home is comforting and makes them stress free. For those with kids, it can be pacifying and comforting to know that they are and available to their children if there is any emergency.

Also, the thought of not sending the children to day care is very comforting and stress free. This thought also applies in case there are elderly people are at home.

  1. Less stress: Commuting in traffic during rush hour causes stress and lead to disgruntled employees. They get exhausted and worn even before they begin their day at work. This is especially true where the workplace is far from office.

Other stresses factors can include unfriendly coworkers, work environment, constant distractions, work pressures, and other tensions.  Thus stress is extremely counterproductive.

  1. Less distractions: There are a lot of distractions in the office. Some of them are:
    • Gossip and chatter with coworkers.
    • Helping out a co worker.
    • Longer breakfast, lunch, tea/coffee hours.
    • AC not working.
    • AC at full blast.
    • Disturbance because people around talk loudly.

Less destractions, means less stress, meaning, more focus and better work.

  1. More productive: Working from home reduces distractions at work place, stress (at work and while traveling), and time that goes in preparation and travel.

It also provides flexibility to work independently in their preferred environment at their own pace. Less distractions mean better productivity.

  1. Miss office politics: Office politics is a fact of work life in any organization. Whether you hate it, admire it, practice it, or avoid it, you just cannot ignore it—it will poke its head every now and then. Like it or not, all employee need to understand that it exists in some form or the others, understand it, and as far as possible try to avoid it.

Not being physically present at work, helps them to be away from office politics—I doubt if anyone will miss it, specially negative politics!

  1. Better health: These days, most of the metros or cities have severe traffic jam. Long commutes of 1 to 3 hours or more a day spent only on getting to and from the workplace is tiring not only physically, but emotionally as well. Apart from long sitting hours at work and the travel also causes back related problems. The smoke and stress associated with travel also adversely impacts health.

A survey summarized in the Microsoft whitepaper, Work without Walls, indicates the top 10 benefits of working from home from the employee viewpoint.

  1. Work/home balance (60%)
  2. Save gas (55%)
  3. Avoid traffic (47%)
  4. More productive (45%)
  5. Less distractions (44%)
  6. Eliminate long commute (44%)
  7. Quieter atmosphere (43%)
  8. Less stressful environment (38%)
  9. More time with family (29%)
  10. Environmentally friendly (23%)
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