Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Levine
Did you enjoy getting up this morning? Ha! Thatâ€™s a trick question. Of course you didnâ€™t. Nobody likes getting up in the mornings; Hauling yourself out of bed, trying to scrub and groom yourself into a shape like a respectable adult while your brain still feels like it belongs in Frankensteinâ€™s monster, then trying to navigate your way to work through traffic jams, nightmarish public transport networks and British weather.
Itâ€™s usually while youâ€™re doing this that you start to fantasize about working from home. But is working from home really for you? Let us take you through the pros and cons.
|No morning commute. This is an obvious one – while everyone else is stuck in traffic, you can simply wander through from your bedroom to your office and set up shop. This has certain other sub-pros with it. For instance, not having to travel to get to work means you can stay in bed till later. It means you can turn up to work in your dressing gown and nobody is going to complain.||The risk of going stir-fry crazy. If your work-life and your life-life both take place in the same building, you can risk becoming a bit of a shut in, particularly if you live alone. If youâ€™re working at home, you need to make sure you get out in the evenings and meet up with other people sociably on a regular basis, otherwise you run a very real risk of turning into Jack Nicholson from The Shining.|
|Being your own boss. Thatâ€™s right! Youâ€™re working in your dressing gown; the tyranny of the trousers is over. You can work when you want, for as long as you want, and if you want to nip off to the pub at lunchtime, who is going to stop you? (Although seriously, put some trousers on before you try that). Working from home means being your own person! Fight the power!||Which is fine until about the sixth game of Words With Friends. You might be the sort of incredibly motivated person who is going to do nothing but achieve all day. But itâ€™s more than likely that, no matter how hard core your work ethic, you need the occasional boot up the bum to keep you focused. Working from home means you have to kick your own bum, and that takes a lot of effort and flexibility.|
Cave Troll by Kevin Dooley
|You control your workspace. I donâ€™t think anyone has ever actually listened to Heart FM by choice. It just doesnâ€™t seem realistic. The only times Iâ€™ve ever heard that radio station have been in shops, factories and offices where the employees werenâ€™t allowed any say in the choice of music. Well, no more of that. You can switch to Radio 6 or Radio 4 or you can spend the first hour of your working day carefully arranging the perfect productivity playlist. Personally? I have a randomized playlist made up of orchestral movie soundtracks, because it makes typing seem epic. But it goes beyond that; Working from home means that your desk, your chair, the pictures on the walls, everything is your choice. No longer will you have to look at that God forsaken â€œHang In Thereâ€ kitty. Instead, hang this picture (above) of a Cave Troll over your desk! You want to look out the window while you work? Now you can stick your desk right next to the window! The office is your playground, by which I mean you could literally install a swing in your office should the whim take you.||You live in your workspace. Unless youâ€™re doing pretty well financially, you probably wonâ€™t have a spare room you can use purely as an office. This means your desk is going to be in the living room or the bedroom. Now again, itâ€™s possible youâ€™re fastidiously clean so that this isnâ€™t in any way a problem. But if not, then itâ€™s equally possible that youâ€™ll enter your workplace in the morning to find last nightâ€™s dishes waiting to be cleared up. Likewise, as you work at your desk youâ€™re bound to build up a nest of crap. Mail that needs reading, drafts of things youâ€™ve written, and personally, mountains upon mountains of empty Diet Coke cans (although admittedly, when I need a break itâ€™s fun to line those up at the opposite end of the room and shoot them down with a NERF gun!).|
At the end of the day, working from home isnâ€™t for everyone, but for certain kinds of creative jobs, if you can hack it, thereâ€™s definitely a lot of fun to be had there. The last office I worked in, for instance, never really bought into my fantastic idea for â€œNaked Tuesdaysâ€. Now theyâ€™re a fixture of the working week.
Chris Farnell is a freelance writer who works from home for companies such as Marketing Jobs London.