Working from home has become an increasingly popular option for those employees who desire freedom from the traditional 9-to-5 routine. A number of misconceptions about telecommuting have circulated in recent years, so a few facts are necessary to explain further.
Although telecommuting offers the freedom of working at home, keep in mind that it often requires additional hours. According to a number of studies, telecommuters work an average of six additional hours each week. Since an employee is working at home, clients, customers and employers believe that telecommuters are available at all times. Often it becomes difficult to establish boundaries between home life and work. When choosing to work from home, determine a set time when work activities must be completed and stick with it as much as possible.
Similarly, telecommuting requires an individual to have a certain level of discipline. When working in an office, an individual’s mere presence is often considered good enough for his or her superiors. However, telecommuters are usually held to greater standards than office employees because of a lack of visibility. Working from home means that an employee is still accountable for completed work even if the daily schedule has flexibility.
For some telecommuters, working from home feels lonely and isolating. Those who need a little socializing during the workday would do well to schedule a lunch date with friends to reenergize and refocus.
The perils of working from home also include the inability in most cases to pursue job promotions. At the managerial level, it is hard to justify working from home when employees depend on consistent attention. An individual’s salary can stagnate as a result.
It is important to note that telecommuting also carries a few attractive benefits. Telecommuting reduces a number of costs associated with full-time employment. It can save on transportation costs, clothing expenses and restaurant bills. Telecommuters also avoid expensive childcare costs, though many workers still seek out assistance on a regular basis. Having children around will generally create distractions that take away from the task at hand.
This new business trend requires a significant effort for an employee to telecommute successfully. However, the ability to work from home allows an individual to build a private space. This often leads to more efficient operations, which is a desired result for all involved.