Working From Home- The Pros and Cons

Working from home definitely has its benefits. Some companies actually allow you to set your own schedule. You save money on gas, plus wear and tear on your car. There is no need to spend extra money buying your lunch, or time making one. There is no workplace attire to purchase. Your appearance and wardrobe are not an issue. It does not matter how your hair looks, and you can wear pjs and bunny slippers to work. No need for regular manicures, or frequent trips to the salon. If you have small children, you get the chance to stay home with them, which saves on daycare costs. There are no annoying or boisterous co-workers, no boss looking over your shoulder. You can select where you would like to work in your home, although most companies prefer you set up a “home office.” You can even work in bed if you like, just as long as there is a phone nearby. I do not mean a cell, either.

Now the downside. The average, basic work from home company does not permit the use of cell phones. You have to have a landline, which will cost you extra money. Forget about the Magic Jack, because those too are prohibited. You will need a headset, and may have to upgrade your computer. Expect an increase in your electric bill, due to using your computer for prolonged periods of time. Some companies require a drug test and/or background check. Do not look to be automatically reimbursed. Chances are you might not be. There will often be paperwork to fill out, which will need to be mailed or faxed back. Some might need notarizing. In short, there is expense before you get started.

The biggest misconception is working from home is “easy”. Think again. It is WORK. Your full and undivided attention is demanded. You cannot play around on Facebook, or chat with family and friends. You must be on top of your game, as with any job. You cannot arrive late, take breaks at your own leisure, or leave early, without permission. This kind of behavior will get you fired. Your actions are documented. There are certain metrics you have to meet as well. For example, your handle time cannot be too long. You have to assist the customer, get them off the phone as quickly as possible, and move on to the next caller. Each company has their own individual set of metrics, which will be explained to you at the beginning. Call volume might get high, and when it does, you have to sit there for lengthy periods of time, taking call after call, with no immediate break in sight. Then there are the callers themselves. Some are nice, others are indifferent, while others are plain rude. You will interact with all three regularly. No matter the kind of call you are on, you must remain professional. Another fact is when you work from home, you are inside a lot. You might feel start to feel “cooped up.” Also, there must be zero noise coming from where you work. There can be no barking dogs, noisy kids, or loud music heard by your callers. That too could be cause for termination.

Here are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, treat your work at home position what it really is, which is a job. Give it the same respect you would a job outside the home. Next, reach an understanding with the people in your life, so they will know what to expect. Stress to them you are working. Let them know you will be isolated from them, often for long periods at a time. This will no doubt alleviate any resentment or misunderstanding on their part. Also, keep in mind you do not have live, in person co-workers. Some you may never know or communicate with. If you do, it’s all online. They will be in a chatroom.

Before making the decision to work from home, know what you can and cannot handle. Be honest with yourself. For example, if the physical interaction of others is a must, this might not be for you. However if that, nor any of the other cons, would be a problem for you, go for it. It could be a rewarding experience. Good luck!

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~ by kmnnz on April 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “Working From Home- The Pros and Cons”

  1. I like this article. There are so many distractions when you are working from home. You were right in pointing out Facebook and stuff.

    • Thank you! Yes, those distractions can be a person’s biggest obstacle. You really have to get a handle on them.

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