Why is it that companies are loath to let their employees work from home? I think the biggest fear that they have is that they ‘lose control’ of their employees; they are just not sure if the employees are really being productive. This is a bit silly because if the employees are working to a definite objective or task within a given time frame, they will deliver, even if they seem ‘invisible.’
Technology has made it possible for people all across the world to work from the comfort of their own homes. Skype and FaceTime have made it possible to even have meetings amongst people at different locations.
Quite frankly, there are a large number of benefits of working from home, as I will cover in this article, and companies should have the courage to explore the option of letting some people work from home.
As it is, working from home is now mainly confined to freelancers. In some countries, stay-at-home moms and college students are benefitting from the fact that they can earn a pretty good amount of money by just working at home. From telecommuting to small business entrepreneurships, working from home has become one of the best and more comfortable ways of earning a livelihood. There are countless advantages associated with home-based employment; however, there are people who still value and prefer going to work every morning as it gives them the feeling that they are really working.
As an example of earning from home, freelance writing can get you to earn money working from home. All you will be required to do is spend a certain amount of time in front of your computer, research on subjects and write articles that pay good money. You do have the pressure of deadlines but you also have the benefit of being comfortable while working from home, allowing you the time to take care of a host of other chores.
I am listing below some of the rewarding factors that make working from home a good option:
Working from the comfort of your own home can be extremely economical. Home-based working individuals save a lot of money especially when it comes to automotive maintenance, repairs and fuel, among other things. Also, people who work from home do not really need to shop all the time as their attire would normally comprise of home clothing. Freelance writers and telecommuters save a lot of money because they use their own resources, utilities and workspace to perform the duties that are tasked to them. Therefore, there is so much extra money that can be saved and used for other productive purposes, thereby allowing home-based workers to lead a more comfortable existence.
Working at home means that you can avail of flexible hours which then gives you time to tend and see to other pending activities. This is especially true in the case of parents with toddlers and young children. They have the luxury of breaking away from their jobs to focus on picking up their children from school or taking them for football practice. Also, it gives them the opportunity of spending some quality time with their loved ones without being constrained by regular office timings. Home-based workers can pay the bills at the right time, be there when the delivery man shows up or can even take their significant others to the doctors for their regular appointments.
It should also be noted that people who work from their homes can train and equip themselves further by attending helpful workshops and training seminars that will make them more adept at their jobs.
Individuals who work from the comfort of their own homes are more relaxed and at ease as compared to their office-bound counterparts. Therefore, there is a reduction in the amount of stress that they encounter, thereby keeping them healthy and happy even as they work productively. Also, home-bound employees do not have to worry about making their way through traffic or fighting health issues or even worry about their loved ones at home. They have the luxury of taking care of all these issues while also doing productive work at home. They can also enjoy some good home-cooked meals instead of eating junk food from the street that can lead to a whole host of health issues. Home-based workers are exposed less to diseases and the chance of accidents.
Working from home can be quite challenging at times as we can tend to become a little lazy owing to the fact that we are not constrained by work pressures and bosses breathing down our necks. In fact, working from home requires a great deal of discipline. However, if discipline is your forte, then working from home can produce some amazing results as you then have the luxury of setting your own time schedules. If you even work late into the night to complete some urgent work, you do not have to worry about getting up really early the next day. People working from home can avoid annoying and talkative co-workers, frequent phone calls and office meetings that can cause them to lose focus. They can concentrate on doing the best job possible during the hours they spend working.
There are studies that show that there is a particular hour in the day that is considered as the ‘peak hour’ of productivity. During this hour, people are usually at their productive best. Therefore, for home-based employees, this peak hour can be used to its full potential. They can choose to work without any disturbances during this hour and produce effective results in lesser time, thereby ensuring that they put forth their best. They do not have to worry about the pressures of an office setting cutting into their peak performance hours.
Choose your work
This benefit is usually for those people who work as freelancers. Freelancers have the luxury of choosing the jobs they want while earning the amount they want. They do not have to have an affiliation to one particular company; instead, they can work for 2-3 small enterprises. They can also choose to stick with the project they have or leave it if it is becoming counterproductive. This allows them the chance to choose the clients they want to work with, thereby avoiding unsavoury working partnerships. In fact, there is a high demand for freelance professionals who are willing to take up assignments without actually being tied to an organization.
There are so many individuals who feel less than productive owing to the fact that they are bound to a wheelchair. However, with work-from-home opportunities becoming increasingly popular, these individuals can use their inherent talents and skills to earn a living without having to feel inadequate. Working from home is among the most efficient options available to people with disabilities.
Home-based employees really enjoy the time they spend working at their own leisure. It also helps boost morale as they enjoy their work responsibilities better as compared to working in an office environment. In fact, work-from-home employees are much happier and tend to perform better when they are not restricted by the distractions that an office environment may provide.
On this website, there is an excellent talk by Jason Fried on ‘Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work.’ You should watch that talk as should more company managers. Companies will then realise that letting their employees work from home is not that bad an option.
I hope some Indian companies will take the lead – it could well be a game changer.