Working from home: liberating or lonely?

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Remote working is becoming more and more common as advances in technology ease communications and employers cater to modern, variable family lifestyles. In the developed world the standard nine to five is coming to be seen increasingly as a relic from the past when manual factory work made it essential that workers must all congregate in one central location.

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But prevalence of broadband internet and a data-driven output seems to make it less important these days that employees all be located at desks that are physically close to one another. And with the economic difficulties meaning that people are having to work longer hours to make ends meet, there seems to be more of a working-from-home trend than ever before.

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For creative professionals, this might mean home studios or offices. Digital creatives often need only a computer and a desk to work at. VoIP software like Skype and Facetime means that phones aren’t even as important as before. To some, working from home is a dream. But what are the pros and cons of remote working from a home office?

On the downside, there’s less opportunity for human contact. One of the perks of working in a larger office can be interacting with your colleagues and enjoying the conversation that inevitably takes place in the communal kitchen or by the coffee machine. Home workers can sometimes feel isolated and cut off from what’s happening in the company.

But working from home means no commute or travel time. Getting out of bed and going through the morning routine of showering and breakfast need only be followed by walking ten metres to the home office, instead of a lengthy drive or commute on public transport. This could mean more time in bed, or more time spent with family.

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Another thing to consider is your working environment. If you work in a larger office, you probably don’t get to choose how it looks. At home you can create your own work space and choose your own d├ęcor and furniture. You can create your own positive environment. For optimum productivity, maybe you could convert a spare room into a study, or build a small structure in your back garden.

Working from home could mean a less varied routine. Some people enjoy the contrast of home life and their work life. Working from home might mean fewer changes of scenery and a more repetitive routine, with fewer interesting things happening in day-to-day life.

There are both positives and negatives to consider if you’re thinking about working from home. If you work for yourself or are considering starting your own business, the only option might be home working, at least in the beginning. If this is you, and you want an alternative to home working that won’t incur property rental costs, you could also think about working from public places like coffee shops or libraries.

Do you have other thoughts or suggestions? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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