Work From Home vs at the Office

Today, more than ever before, we can choose where to work. A growing number of businesses are allowing their employees to work from home, thanks to tech developments that have made it possible to do pretty much any job that requires using your head rather than your hands from any place. Working from home has its advantages, but so does working at the office. Basically, what’s good for one person, is a problem for another, like most things in life. Here are three advantages to each option worth considering if you’re given the choice to decide where to work.

1. Work from home is cheaper and allows for more flexible hours

You don’t have to commute — a serious economic consideration in a world of rising gas prices — and you don’t have to restrict your creative activity to a solid set of eight (or more) hours. If you’re a night owl, working from home would be perfect for you, as long as the career you’ve chosen allows it, of course. Still, even if you have some time-sensitive tasks, chances are that if you’re working from home, you’ll have the freedom to decide on your work hours.

woman on computer and making meal2. Work from home helps with the chores

If you work from home, you have the opportunity to do house stuff between tasks and, if you have kids, you’re much more available to them. This actually sounds deceptively easy, like you hardly have to work, doesn’t it? Well, you will have to work, it’s just that you’ll be free to choose when and how to do it. And you could do the washing, the shopping or dinner while at work.

3. Work from home lets you filter your contacts

Imagine having a very annoying colleague, say, a chatterbox that wouldn’t let you get on with your work. It’s something you wouldn’t be able to avoid at the office, but working from home you’re free to limit irritating conversations to the minimum. After all, most communication in these circumstances is indirect, by phone, e-mail or some online message service.

Flip the point of view and we have:

1. Work at the office keeps you up to date

You have to be on the spot to know what’s going on at your company, especially if you have serious career aspirations. Letting your superiors see how good you are first-hand is important, and so is keeping an eye on the competition. Plus, traveling to and from work you get to see how the world around you happens.

2. Work at the office is socialization

Staying at home endlessly is probably the shortest way to becoming antisocial. Working in an office is a great way to maintain contacts and create new ones, to practice your social skills and develop friendships and partnerships in a direct, face-to-face manner that’s infinitely superior to writing or phone calls — you can see the body language of whoever you’re talking to and get their message much more clearly than you would on the phone or on Skype.

3. Work at the office divides career from family life.

That’s probably the biggest advantage of this option. It’s exhausting to feel like you’re at work at all times, right? Well, once you’ve put in your eight hours at the office, you can go home with a clear conscience and have quality time with your family without troubling yourself with thoughts about unfinished business. After all, tomorrow’s another day at the office.

It’s obvious that the advantages outlined here are as general as possible. There’s a multitude of other factors that would influence your choice of workplace and sometimes one advantage could turn into a disadvantage — the flexible hours of work from home mean you’re at work all the time — or disappear altogether — if you have a cell, then your boss can reach you after hours, can’t he? Still, it’s good to know you have the option of choosing the workplace that would best suit your ambitions, personality and lifestyle.