I work from home nearly exclusively. I love it. I spend zero money on commuting to work, and don't waste any time sitting in traffic. My husband and I actually only own one car at the moment because we simply don't need two with our lifestyle. I also enjoy spending my day with my dog, getting to cook a big pot of soup all day while I work, and just generally having a more flexible schedule than a normal office job requires.
I have a good relationship with my boss. We have biweekly status reports where I let her know what I'm doing, and she gives me more to do if I need/can handle it. A lot of people worry about not being "disciplined enough" to work from home, but I think most people do their jobs correctly when their paychecks and coworkers depend on it.
I'm in software sales and I work out of a home office. My company is HQ'd in Los Angeles and all of the sales people work out of home.
I really like it. I travel quite a bit, so being able to be home with my house critters is a huge plus. I have learned to be quite disciplined and when I am working, I am careful to have no distractions. As much as I joke about being at home in my pajamas, I feel better when I actually prepare for work, minus the make up!
The biggest pro is in not having to commute. To me, there are no cons, other than not getting to know my co-workers as well as when one is in the office every day. If you don't need to be "social" at work, if you have the option to work from home, you should!
I work from home as a financial consultant and overall, I love it. I have my horses at home, so having the flexibility to run out to the barn and check on the horses or bring them in if the weather turns bad is great.
I generally start early in the morning while still in my pjs and generally work in my riding breeches so I'm dressed to ride at the end of my work day, or sometimes I ride over lunch. Since I'm paid by the report, not by the hour I can pretty much set my own schedule unless I'm up against a deadline.
There are downsides, however. Sometimes I feel isolated since not only do I work alone, my work doesn't involve many opportunities to converse with anyone. I remedy the isolation by scheduling lunch with friends when I can.
In order to work from home successfully you have to be disciplined.
Oregon, sitting on my couch looking out the window at a mountain
Both Mr. PoPo and I work from home. I have a very PT job as an executive assistant for a startup and he is a software architect and runs his own company. We get to be with each other as much as we want, I can take care of the animals, ride, do chores, cook, clean whenever I want and have a very flexible schedule. It works well for us and we consider ourselves very lucky to have our lifestyle!
Echo other posters. You have to be disciplined to focus on work. I work for a bank as a software tester. Our team is spread all over the world, which makes our two daily meetings very interesting. Especially as we are essentially working 24 hours a day and so we are receiving constant updates on our progress. Our manager has a telephone meeting with each of us once a week. So the wierd part is I talk to this manager more than I did to prior managers when worked in the same office.
One downside is it can be hard to turn off at night. Most companies will allow you to work as many hours as you wish - if you are overtime ineligble.
I really appreciate working from home instead of driving a minimum of 3 hours each day (1.5 hours each way). Hope it works out for you.
"Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
Courtesy my cousin Tim
I work at home a few days a week and meet with clients a few days a week. I love the days I work at home. I agree with other posters that you have to be disciplined, but generally my schedule is fairly packed so I really can't be anything other than disciplined or I'd never get it all done. I do love being able to work in jeans, run at lunch, throw in a load of laundry in between meetings- it just allows me to fit all the pieces of my life together a lot more stress-free (work, kids, household maintenance, my own fitness, my horse). On the days I'm meeting with clients, I'm setting my own meetings so I tend to get up early, work at home for a few hours, let traffic clear out, and not schedule anything before 9 or 10am.
I agree though with whoever said it can be hard to "turn off" work. For me though, being able to work at home is such a benefit that I never mind answering emails late at night or getting up at 5am for telecons with Europe.
I work from home occaisonally. Last winter it was a God send when I had ankle surgery. However, I really don't like it. For one, do appreciate what little social interactions I get at work. I have pretty good discipline about what happens at work stays at work - I don't often bring work home. Working from home is almost an intrusion, and it is easy to work overtime without realizing it. Third, much of my work can only be done on site. The work I can do at home is often busy-work. The mind numbing crap that only gets done when you have nothing else available, and if it doesn't get done no one really notices anyway. I have one of the worst commutes in the country, but it's not enough to make me work at home all the time.
I had the option of teleworking the last couple days due to Sandy. Only problem was that nothing I had going on could be done at home.
One of my co-workers teleworks from several hundred miles away. It is far from ideal for me as a project lead. The stuff I work on does require periodic meetings. Some can be done over the phone, but often face-to-face is needed. Having to run travel requests for every meeting is a PITA. Also I am limited at to what information I can have him process due to his location. Many, many times I have cursed the manager who set this arrangement up and then quit to work for someone else.
I have worked from home since 1994 & my husband has worked from home even longer. It was a godsend when my children were younger - I trained them to respect office time and to check to see if I or their pa were on the phone before they barged into the office. As other have said, the flexibility and lack of commuting are wonderful.
Downsides? Well, if you are a social person, it can get lonely. I coped with that by making sure that I developed a good lunching network with friends and colleagues and got out at least once a week. That's about the only downside I experienced.
I have worked from home since I got laid off from my office job in 2009. I freelance for two companies doing transcription. I transcribe everything from True Blood episodes (woot) to corporate earnings calls and legal stuff. If I were on my own I would not make enough to live on but with teaching riding lessons and my husband working a 'real job' that has benefits and a steady paycheck it's the perfect situation for me. If anyone's interested in this line of work be aware that the typing speed and grammar knowledge requirements are quite high. If I hadn't been trained by my friend who was already working in the field I would never have gotten a job.
And since one of my companies is in lower Manhattan and the other depends on some work from NYC I am on enforced vacation this week. boo!
Glimmerling, how did you get into doing transcription? It's something that I've been interested in for years (I was an English major in college and type incredibly quickly), but most of the job postings I see for it seem to be scams. Thanks for your post!
This input has been so helpful - thanks to everyone.
I'll be fine without the office interaction. I used to be such a social butterfly, but lately I'm leaning towards hermit....well, let's just say I'm more particular about my social life. I only spend that time with people I truly care about.
The discipline won't be an issue - money is a great motivator.
And not having to wear pantyhose anymore...well, what better benefit than that?
I worked for a large multi-national company with fully 20%of the work force working from home in roles from Project Mgmt to software development to tech writing to...you get the drift.
You do have to be disciplined, but you also have to watch for burnout and working TOO much. You should/must establish an office in your home- not the sofa. Not the bed while you check morning email get. Get up, get dressed, go to your office and work. You'll last longer that way
Truly, I would ask my peeps working at home- are you still in your PJs?? LOL, don't make your work your life, be mindful that you aren't blurring that line too often, too much.
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
I've worked at home for about 8 years now, and the oatmeal nails it in one, especially the lack of regimen. And every advance in technology is another way to work in inappropriate hours.
But I love it and it isn't called the golden handcuffs for nothing. Other job offers are looked at in the light of how many 10s of thousands of dollars would it take to get me to voluntarily commute? So far the answer seems to be a lot more than anyone is offering!
Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.
I worked from home for 4+ years and loved it. It was pretty flexible for me -- I had to be "on" (meaning sitting at computer with undivided attention) if I had a call/meeting, and I had to get my work done. Oh and I had to answer my cell phone. But they didn't mind if it was around lunch time and I answered it from the feed store.
I blurred the boundaries of work and home but to my advantage or at least I didn't mind. Quit at 3 p.m. for the farrier or vet, then work from 5-9 p.m. Run an errand over Friday lunch that takes 2-1/2 hours, oopsie, put in a couple of hours Saturday morning while waiting for the horses to finish breakfast.
I was laid off, now I have a job with a bad, expensive (25 miles each way PLUS $7-10 in tolls) commute and I hate it. I was so spoiled. Working at home is not this company's "culture". Bah. They also don't support it with infrastructure -- I'm actually working from home today due to possible road flooding (which didn't end up happening, yay) and it's hard to get stuff done. At my old company I could manipulate large files on my laptop with near in-office speed and stability. That could get old fast, so be sure that the companies you're thinking of have home work down from a technology POV.
The only downside I found was that everyone thought I was at their beck and call. The landlord would call and ask if I could let the cable guy in. Other boarders would expect me to check on their horses or hold them for vet appointments. Hello? Still. A. Job. Pretend I'm not here.
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
I work from home two days a week and I love it. I'm only slightly tempted by the Interwebz, because I am seriously busy. it was great today--I actually got some solid hours of writing done without anyone interrupting me.
I forward my office phone to my work BlackBerry, so it's seamless. No one knows I'm working from home unless they knock on my actual office door. I make it a point to be super-responsive. If I wander out to throw the boys some more hay, I take the BB with me, and I answer calls and emails that come in while I'm out there.
In general, I wind up working more hours on my WAH days than I do in the office, and they are higher quality hours because I have fewer interruptions. I don't like working with my office door closed, by it's on the corner of two heavily trafficked corridors, plus it's across from a conference room. For some reason, people like to stand outside my door and have a little pre- or post-meeting. Or they wander by and start talking to me, even though I have my best "I'm concentrating" frowny face on. I've been known to snatch up the phone and start talking to the dial tone when I see out of the corner of my eye that someone is approaching.
Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.