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Is working from home the right choice for you?

Working from home isn't for everyone, but if you're lucky enough to be given the opportunity ... it's worth exploring

When embarking on your chosen career, you might be lucky enough to be offered the choice to work from home. Or you might be forced into using your home as an office when launching your own business. And while it's great to have the option, working from home isn't for everyone. Those who have worked from home generally report three big pros and three big cons when it comes to telecommuting.

Pros

  • All the issues involved in getting to work and being there at set hours are eliminated. There's no commute, no need to schedule all your personal appointments for during lunch and there's no drama if a water pipe bursts and you have to be around to let the plumber in.
  • Within limits, you're free to set your schedule. If you're more productive early in the morning or late at night, you can structure your workday accordingly. Likewise, if you're most productive working for two hours then taking a 30-minute break, you have a lot more freedom to work to your natural rhythm outside of an office environment.
  • You have a lot less interaction with other people. This is often particularly appealing for introverts who find it tiresome having to attend pointless meetings, engage in small talk with colleagues and laugh at their supervisor's jokes.
  • Cons

  • All the benefits involved in being in a workplace are eliminated. If you're not self-disciplined, you can find plenty to distract you. And without colleagues hovering nearby, the temptation to spend hours in your pyjamas watching daytime television when you should be in front of your computer can be overwhelming.
  • You're out of sight and mind. Fairly or otherwise, it's often assumed that those who work from home aren't as serious about their careers as those who front up to the office every day. Even in cases where managers insist they don't discriminate in this way, the reality is that your hard work is much less likely to be seen or acknowledged if you're doing it at home rather than putting in your eight hours at the office.
  • You have a lot less interaction with people. This is often particularly challenging for extroverts who miss bouncing ideas off colleagues and the sense of camaraderie that comes with spending the bulk of your waking hours with a particular group of people.
  • Working from home isn't for everyone, but if you're lucky enough to be given the opportunity – either through your own business or by an employer – it's worth exploring whether you would be happier and/or more productive working remotely.

    If you're looking for a career that can offer you the flexibility of working from home, take a look at the range of TAFE NSW courses currently available.