Transformational Leadership

Working From Home: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Jeff Burdic asked:

Before the invention of the internet, it was nearly impossible to have a successful career while working from the confines of ones home. However, today, we see more and more people working out of home, and a number of large companies and organizations are in fact even encouraging such a trend. The primary reason for this working out of home phenomenon is the unprecedented growth of technology and communication. We can now stay connected to the world no matter where we are, and lots of people are now taking advantage of this to stay out of the confines of an office and work out of their own homes.

The pros and cons of working from home are quite obvious. Lets talk about the advantages first. The main benefit of working out of home is flexibility. If you are working from home, then none of the restrictions which are usually associated with working from a traditional office apply. There is no in-time or out-time which simply means that you can wake up at your own leisure, and finish working whenever you please. This kind of flexibility is almost never achieved while working away from home. The other advantages out of working from home would also be that since you are working from home, you are always near your family. In metropolitan cities today, people spend a huge amount of time commuting to and from work, which can be eliminated if one works out of home.

Working from home is also greatly advantageous for women, who want to maintain a career without compromising on their family, as this system strikes a perfect balance between the two. Traditional work places are also usually hot-beds for office-politics and unnecessary tension, which are avoided by working from home. It is also important to note that even the employers are usually quite happy if the employees want to work from home (of course the deadlines and targets have to be achieved!) since a lot of overhead costs can be reduced by such an arrangement.

However, there are quite a few disadvantages linked with working from home. The first disadvantage is again the first advantage that we talked about earlier: flexibility. Too much of a good thing is deemed to be bad, and this maxim applies here also. When there is too much flexibility, and you become your own boss, it often becomes difficult to keep up with deadlines and targets, and work becomes lax while working from the comforts of home.

Further, a boss or supervisor is usually required to monitor the work of subordinates which is not possible when working from home. Team work is also extremely important and working from home does not permit this. Often, teleconferences and emails are not sufficient, and working from home is not possible for those in areas such as the marketing sector, where a person to person interface is required.

Therefore, while working from home has both its advantages and disadvantages, it ultimately depends from person to person. If one has the will-power not to get distracted while working from home, and manages to overcome the other associated problems, then working from home can be a great proposition.

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