Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home

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Quick Reference

Part time work from home jobs or businesses can be difficult to deal with. Working from home is something that impacts an entire family in a way that would otherwise be impossible, even part time work.

Everyone has at home business success somewhere on their “wish list.” According to an online Harris poll, over 72% of adults in the United States are seriously thinking about starting a home-based business. It’s probably just as high in other parts of the world, too.
I have worked from home for almost 20 years now, helping my wife, Pam, to raise our children and having the opportunity to spend more time with her.

For some people, working from home can mean extra income that would allow them to…

  • purchase special items
  • pay off student loans
  • buy a house or a bigger one
  • stay home with the kids
  • vacation somewhere special
  • save for their children’s education
  • retire comfortably
  • and the list goes on and on.

Who doesn’t dream about freedom, about “doing your own thing,” about making a positive change in your life/work style, about personal fulfillment?

Most people enjoy working from home and many are more productive when they work from home. Some people enjoy working from home, are very productive, and don’t have a boss. These are the people who own home-based businesses.

The Advantages of Working from Home

There are many advantages of having a part time work from home job or business. If you can do it full time, there are even more advantages. Among them are:

  • Closer relationship with family
  • No dress code
  • No more commuting to and from work
  • Save money by not commuting, not eating out, and perhaps, not paying for daycare.
  • More flexible schedule—if your work is time flexible, you can work around your schedule instead of working during office hours.
  • Less likely to get sick
  • Possibly higher morale from not having to deal with a boss or coworkers
  • Increased productivity, according to studies
  • Fewer negative influences

The Disadvantages of Working from Home

Before you make the decision on a part time work from home job or business, however, consider the potential disadvantages of working from home:

  • The social factor—don’t underestimate the advantages of being able to socialize in the office. Being around people is very important. If you are to work at home, have an active and varied social life. If your business is centered on meeting people and you work at home, your challenges to leave your home will be even greater.
  • Lower motivation—there is no doubt that interaction with other people is a motivating factor for many people. The synergy that results from interaction with co-workers can spark greater productivity. Having no interaction with people could lead to boredom, which could decrease your motivation.
  • Merging your work life with your home life—in addition to the risk of lower motivation, there is the opposite risk of working all the time since you are in the office all the time you are home. You might be spending more time in the same house as your family but actually spending less time with your family.
  • More distractions—the home phone rings, the kids come home from school, the refrigerator beckons you, or the repairman rings the doorbell. Life can easily get in the way of doing what you have to do in terms of your work.
  • Lowers discipline—all these distractions, plus you don’t have a boss who is expecting to see you at a certain time and neither do you have to open a store at a certain time. These facts can result in lower work discipline even for the initially highly motivated.

It is important to take these potential disadvantages into account. You have to be a certain type of person to work successfully from home without a boss. Be careful in assessing whether you are that type of person.

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