Working from home is a respite for many ambitious women. Marriage, restrictions by in-laws on going out and working, having little kids at home to look after are all blocks for a woman who wishes to do something beyond the house-hold chores. The advantages are many. Convenient timings, homely environment, no tension of reaching office on time, being able to spend some quality time with your kids, working at flexible timings etc. But working from home has its own set of disadvantages as well.
Riya is a ‘work from home mom’, that is how she describes herself. She works as a freelance content writer while managing her house and taking care of her 10 year old daughter. Her friends and relatives consider her as lucky as she doesn’t have to rush to office, dress up in office formals, face bosse’s wrath on meeting insane deadlines etc. She can adjust her work timings as and when she wants. But does she feel just as lucky as others think about her is a question only Riya can answer?
On the other hand, Soni, a banker by profession rushes from her house daily at 7 am to reach her office by 8.30 am. She spends nearly 3-4 hours daily in commuting to and fro to her office. Though banks have fixed office hours for public, the staff, sometimes have to put up with extra time to cover up pending work. While she slogs in office, her 10 year son is being looked after by her in-laws at home. After having a hectic day at office, sometimes she hardly has any strength or stamina to run around her growing and ever-demanding kids and family members who have a certain set of expectation. Sometimes she wished she had a work-from-home option available with her bank, so as she could work from comforts of her home while taking care of her son and her family.
Let’s have a look at the advantages of working from home:
- Flexible timings: You can adjust your work timings according to your convenience.
- Fixed office timings: There is no rush to reach the office on time, so it cuts down travel time.
- Money is saved: As you don’t have to go to office, it cuts down your expenses on travel, you don’t have to dress up in office formals, you don’t have to spend a bomb on your personal appearance.
- Near to family and kids: Since you work from home you are near to your kids and family, so you don’t have to send kids to day-care, or hire a maid to look after kids. They too feel content to have you near them.
- No distraction from jealous colleagues: Since you don’t get to personally meet your co-workers there seems to be no rivalry, so the question of jealously or facing office politics seems less.
- Suitable work environment: Since you work from comfort of your home, the ambiance of your home, fewer distractions from unnecessary office meetings and gossip, helps you concentrate more and increases your work concentration and productivity.
Now let’s have a look at some of the disadvantages:
1. Distractions at home: Though you avoid distractions from pesky colleagues, you have to face distraction at the home front. In case of emergency situations you have to cut down your office work and pay attention to the crisis at home. Since you are physically present mostly, it is expected out of you to look at your home first. Work unfortunately becomes a second fiddle which causes you to miss the deadlines.
2. Not taken seriously by some: Some don’t take your work seriously and are taken for granted. They feel since you are working from comfort of your home you are not facing the real situation or are not facing the hardships one face while going to office.
3. You are not considered for promotions: “Out of sight, out of mind” is the best quote for this. While they can see people at office end working hard, they can’t see the efforts you put, so while considering for promotion or pay hike you are not considered.
4. Can’t fix a schedule: While you get to fix a proper time for leaving for office, while at home you just can’t fix a proper schedule to sit down for work. No matter how much work load you have you sometimes just can’t prioritize the office work from house-work.
5. Don’t know what’s happening at office end: Since you are away from the main center of work, you are sometime unaware of recent happenings or improvements at office front.
6. Slackness in work: Since there is no one to boss you or keep a watch on you, sometimes you tend to become lazy and avoid work.
7. Lack of competition: As there is no interaction with colleagues, you don’t face competition from them which results in lack of creativity and production.
Working from home is a better option for many, but one must learn to balance and separate office work and housework. It’s necessary to strike a balance between both and maintain a strict regimen to complete both work.
Just as everything in this world has its pros and cons, similarly every work does have its advantages and disadvantages. Striking a balance and maintaining equilibrium is most important in any kind of job, be it work from home or going to office. Choice is ours, whether we choose to work from comforts of our house or rushing to office.