I’ve been working from home pretty much on a full-time basis for about a year now. Even though more companies are moving towards flexible work arrangements, I still get the same mix of reactions when I tell people that I work from home. On that note, I thought I’d write a two-part post outlining the best (and worst) aspects to being a teleworker.The 7 Best things about working from home from someone who telecommuted for a year:Click To Tweet
Here’s what I think are the 7 best things about working from home:
1) The lack of a commute
Photo Courtesy of Ianqui Doodle
I get to work using the subway – or the Go train depending on which office I’m working at. Some days; it’s a smooth process, I get up, go out, make my train connections and I’m in the office. Then there are days when the subway platforms are so crowded you can barely find a spot to stand without stepping on someone else’s toes.
On those days, you have to wait long periods of time to get onto a subway (or train) and the act of getting onto the train typically involves a form of aggression on your part. That is, use your elbows and push your way through. Otherwise, you’ll be left standing for a while. As was the case for me last week where I waited 40 minutes just to be able to board a subway train.
Working from home, I don’t have to set my alarm as early as “in the office” days. I wake up, shower, have my coffee and then make my way to my in-home office to start my work day. I don’t have to pack up my laptop, my lunch, put on a coat and trudge through the adventure that is commuting on public transportation in rush hour.
2) Less money spent on commuting
A monthly pass in Toronto now costs $133.75 per month. People who sign up for the home delivery plan currently pay $122.50 per month. My Go train costs vary depending on what routes I take and how many times I use it. Either way, transit passes are not cheap.
Working from home, I am no longer reliant on taking transit as many times during the week, which results in more money in my pocket. Who doesn’t appreciate an extra couple of bucks at the end of the month?
3) Spending less money buying lunch
One perk to being in the office is the variety of places to go for lunch. Even if it’s not a full sit-down experience, there can be food courts or other vendors around where lunch can be picked up. Options can sometimes be limited but even if there’s only one or two places to go, it’s still a plus to know that if you don’t feel like packing your lunch, you’ve got a few options.
While working from home, you can still go out and buy lunch but the likelihood that you’re going to put on a coat – or shoes – when you haven’t left the house yet is minimal. The tendency (and I speak from experience here) is to stay home and make your lunch. Unless you’ve got errands to run on your lunch hour, my guess is your butt will be firmly planted at home.
4) Not having to wear work clothes every day
Photo Courtesy of Marc Roberts
I’ve never worked anywhere that required attire to be more formal than business casual. When I go into the office, a pair of slacks with a blouse or sweater is appropriate. Still, having to coordinate which pants to wear with which top – and making sure that everything is cleaned and pressed – isn’t something I enjoy. I’m a casual kind of gal, I really appreciate things like jean Fridays and being able to wear my Converse sneakers at the office.'Oh, you work from home? I bet you're in your pj's all day!' #nonotreallyClick To Tweet
“Oh, you work from home? I bet you’re in your pj’s all day!” I hear that a lot. And I mean a lot. While it is easy to stay in your pyjamas, I tend to wear my jeans and one of my work blouses. Being in my pyjamas makes me feel like it’s time for a nap. Working in my jeans more than just on Fridays is definitely a huge plus for me.
5) The flexibility to be home for appointments
Photo Courtesy of John Carleton
How many times have you needed a plumber or a cable repairman to come to your home and they’ve given you an appointment window of 8 am to 5 pm? Instead of losing a day’s work, I can work from home and be productive while I wait for the appointment to arrive.
6) Fewer distractions leads to greater productivity
Working in a pod of cubicles can be distracting. You hear everyone else’s fingers tapping away on their keyboards, phones ringing, people talking on the phone and with other cubicle mates, and a variety of other noises and distractions. Even if you put on headphones to listen to music, you still have to worry about someone coming up behind and catching you off guard.
Studies show that it can take more than 25 minutes, on average, to resume a task after being interrupted. I’m sure anyone who works in an office, in a cubicle in a busy area, can speak to how often they’re interrupted over the course of the day.
While working from home, the only fingertips I can hear tapping a keyboard are my own. Only one phone rings at any given time during the day. There is no one sneaking up on me when I least expect it (except for the cat) and the only music I hear is my own, which I can play at whatever volume I’d like. I feel like I can get a lot more done when I’m working from home than I would have had I been in the office.
7) More time spent at home results in better work/life balance
Photo Courtesy of Vicki’s Pics
Not commuting can give me an hour and a half back in my day. I can use that time to run errands, make dinner or just sit on my couch reading or watching Netflix. I enjoy the extra time with the cat – even if she often looks annoyed that I’m her space.
Next up, I’ll be covering the worst things about working from home.
I worked from home all last year and these are all spot on except for the no distractions bit. For me, I had more distractions at home. Omg, I forgot to take out the trash can last night. I better run and do it now before they get here. Aww, my dog wants to play, I better take her out. haha. I had to set timers and reminders galore to be even half as productive as I would be at an office.
I still loved it though. 🙂
Pets can be a distraction! Especially when they’re being all cute and needing attention. 🙂
Oh yes. I have one standing on my knees right now looking at me over the computer. Are you done yet?? hahaha
I’ve worked from home before as well and I was definitely distracted more at home than I was at work. Everything else is great though.
That’s interesting. Most people I know find working at home has fewer distractions. I guess everyone’s work style is different. 🙂
I love working from home! I was sick all the time when I worked in a corporate environment…it’s definitely not my thing. The flexibility is the best part of working from home. That, and working in my yoga pants. 🙂 Great post!
xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com
The flexibility really is the best — and not having to deal with anyone else’s germs! 🙂 Thanks for the comment. 🙂
The commute to work can truly be so costly! My husband works outside of the home, and we don’t have any public transportation available where we live, so he drives nearly an hour to work every day. It’s definitely strenuous considering he works 12 hour days, and costly, and it would be so much more convenient if he were able to work from home. Thanks for sharing! <3
Commuting 2 hours a day is horrible. Is he ever able to work from home? During bad weather? Thanks for commenting. 🙂
Yes! This is why I love working from home! Except I do find distractions a challenge at home – a lot of self-discipline is required.
Yes! Self-discipline is a must. I know some folks who won’t work from home for this very reason. They need the structure that the office provides.
The very first point is just so tempting! ;P
It is! Especially if you have to deal with transit delays or congested roads. Nothing beats the “commute” from one room in your place to another. 🙂
Not having to wear work clothes every day is one of the best things, but I will say that if I’m in PJs all day, I’m significantly less efficient! xx adaatude.com
I’m the same way, Adaleta. When working from home, I’ll wear jeans and a t-shirt. So, a step above PJ’s but not the full work attire required at the office. 🙂
Haha. The cat is my distraction at home. Every few minutes my cat comes up to have his head scratched.
My cat will be quiet all day. Then I’ll have my headset on for a call and she’ll start howling. Cats are jerks lol.