That is a bold statement, I know! Yet, in case you were wondering which of these two is the winner, I’ll save you the suffering and doubt (ok, you were not actually in pain, were you?) and tell you that working from home is my best friend, most of the time. I will share with you my experience as a freelance worker and tell you the good, the bad and the ugly of this.
Every day more and more companies are offering Remote-Work privileges. If your job does not require you to be in a specific location and interacting with certain people, then you can probably accomplish your tasks from home. Even interacting with people has been solved with a wide range of video-conference technologies available today.
All you need is a computer, internet access and discipline (lots of it!).
This is a great solution for stay-at-home mums and dads that need to take care of small children and want to spend more time in their homes. It is also a great opportunity to work for a foreign company and not having to leave your own country. It has expanded the way we look at the work environment; and it has saved the businesses a lot of money, not having to procure large offices to fit their entire staff.
In my case I’m not using a company’s work-from-home policies, since I’m my own employer. I work as a freelance writer and enjoy every bit of it, even the eventually scary not-so-stable times.
One of the best parts of my job is that I get to do it from anywhere I can plug my laptop and have internet access. That is a particularly great feature for an ever-nomad like myself. I enjoy travelling a lot and getting to know how people actually live in the places I visit. I try to make it a habit to stay at least two or three weeks in one place (sometimes months, if my savings let me…) and that allows me to balance life and professional life. I stick to my work routine and when I’m done, I go out to a different place each afternoon.
This is not an overstatement (well, it might be…) since that is how I feel when I finally find focus, like there’s nothing that can draw me away from my laptop and time goes by super fast.
It took a long time for me to have a productive day of work from home. I would get distracted by the smallest things; and making your own schedule would in fact fool me into thinking that just because I had the whole day, I would actually work all day. “Sure, I can stop for a couple of hours, I’ll make it up tonight”, then I wouldn’t and I’d have all this work backed up. Then it would happen that I would in fact work until late hours of the night, but that would simply ruin my next day. Whatever activity drove me away from work was never worth being tired the following day.
Even if there’s no manager or no clock-in-machine to tell you when your day starts and ends, you should keep a regular schedule that will help you focused. Your body and mind find a rhythm and help you through the process. It’s 8.30 am, and your head is already in work-mode.
I was never too corporate, so I dedicated a short time in my career in big office environments. Yet, when I did, I enjoyed spending time with other people during lunch breaks or after office meet-ups. Some of my closest friend came from work spaces. I do sort of miss being surrounded by people, but then again, if I think about it, more and more people are working from home. Would there even be an office to go to?
So what it comes down to is pretty simple. Are you able to work from home? Does your company offer this possibility? Are your tasks something that can be accomplished from home? Do you need the office environment to step away from home-life? Do you enjoy the social factors of the corporate world? Do you need to be at home? Would it be hard for you to find discipline and focus in a home-office environment?
These are questions that you need to ask yourself in order to know if you, like me, can have the home-office as your best friend.
Featured Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/justsketchy/6639461851
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