Working from home: the good and the bad

Office space & design Business advice
Estimated read time: 4 mins
Published: 16/03/2016

There are any number of reasons to set up to work from home, whether it is simply a case of trying to cut costs, or whether you crave the flexibility that you only seem to get from a laptop on the kitchen table. No one would argue that this style of work has no discernible benefits. Here are a few of the main containers:

No commute – when so many people complain about the stuffy tube carriages and the gridlocked rush-hour motorways, it’s no wonder that the option of working from home stands out as a shining beacon. No commute also means more time spent at home with the family (on top of all of the time you will now spend at home during working hours), which can be a big bonus for professionals with young families.

Cutting costs – perhaps THE big reason for working at home is the need to balance the books. When working from home you save money on the commute, you can save money if you’re no longer needing to buy formal attire, and if you were already a freelancer/entrepreneur, deciding to work from home can save you from paying out on office space.

Flexibility – another big advantage people mention when asked why they work from home is the flexibility it grants them. Working from home you get to work at your own pace, you can choose how and when to work on projects (be that 4am, 9pm, or ordinary office hours) as long as you get them done by the promised deadline.

Rethinking sick days – there are many occasions on which you won’t make it in to work. Whether you’re feeling queasy, have a splitting headache, or are simply hungover, going into the office can seem like an unappealing prospect. When you’re working from home, there’s no such threat. Sure, you can’t face work now, but you might pick the laptop up in a couple of hours. Rather than taking a day off in bad, you can take a few hours to recuperate and still get work done!

But life isn’t perfect when you’re working from home; there can be some pretty significant disadvantages too!

Self-motivation and slacking – Working home can be a real test of your will and determination. Even with the best intentions in the world, in an environment with so many distractions it can be easy to lose your way. While working from home it can feel like you have been busy working all day without ever really accomplishing anything work-related. There is no pressure to start or finish at a certain time, there is no one counting the number of breaks you take, it can take a lot of self discipline to keep yourself on task hour after hour, day after day. In these circumstances productivity can go out of the window. The lack of a routine can be a surprising drag and depending on what kind of person you are, you may find it difficult to switch off from work (or struggle to ever ‘switch on’).

Personal chores – those jobs you just can’t put off – but would put off if working away from home – suddenly seem unavoidable. While you’re working at home, it can seem difficult to avoid the endless list of household and personal tasks that mount up. Other people also seem to have less respect for your time, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to do more by loved ones with the excuse of ‘well if you’re at home anyway…’.

Human interaction – a big disadvantage of working from home is the lack of human interaction and the feeling of cabin fever setting in. When you’re working with colleagues and like-minded people, there is a communal and sometimes competitive spirit, this interaction keeps you sane and can even enhance your productivity. Like working from coffee shops, working from home also lacks the benefits of a workplace environment: You get to discuss work with people very readily, rather than waiting for a reply to an email (which may or may not come), not to mention an escape from any stresses which may linger at home.

The challenge is to find a happy medium! You want to keep as many of the advantages of remote working and freelancing, while not accepting the disadvantages. This is why we created Flex! Bringing the workplace to your doorstep so there is no need to commute, Flex makes the working infrastructure available to you on demand, to use as much or as little as you like. This is a unique membership option for freelancers to join our collaborative workspace. There is no sign-up fee, the tech behind your memberships seamlessly combines the best bits of Uber and Oyster Cards and applies them to your world of work. On a pay as you go basis (for only £3.50 per hour!), Flex is here to give freelancers proper workspaces 7 days a week: ninja-fast wifi, standing and sitting desks, leave-me-alone focus booths, and private phone booths. This gives you everything you need to run your business, with access to printers, meeting rooms, and somewhere to bring clients. Throw in the fact that you get free locally-roasted coffee and free bagels and it’s a no brainier.

Get the best out of working from an office, while only paying for the time you are there. Fancy working from home today? Great, go for it! Want to work around others for a couple of hours? Need to meet a client? Come to Simple.

If Flex might be for you, why not stop by for three free hours and check it out?

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