Working at home has its ups and downs, but for most people, the pros outweigh the cons. While career paths, home office setups, and childcare arrangements may vary greatly, telecommuter's reasons for working at home are more consistent.
Spend More Time With Your Kids
Working at home allows you to be a part of your children's routines throughout the day; not just early mornings, evenings, and weekends. You can take a lunch break with your toddler, hear all the day's news when they get home from school, and so much more. Work-at-home parents don't have unlimited time with their kids, but they do have more frequent opportunities to be with their children. Working from home also saves money on childcare costs for children who are not yet school age.
Increase or Maintain Your Income
Mothers who left careers to raise children can ease their way back into the workforce by working at home. Working at home might mean taking on consulting work or starting a business while still maintaining your day-to-day parenting style. Working parents who move from an out-of-home office to telecommuting can maintain their incomes while spending more time at home and saving on many workplace costs.
Give Up the Commute
When you travel to work, you're neither working nor spending time with family. Working at home eliminates this waste of time and leaves more time for both working and family. Not only is commuting a drag, but it's also expensive in many cities. By working at home, you’ll save money on gas, public transportation costs, and potential car maintenance issues from frequent use.
Work Flexible Hours
Though self-employed people often enjoy more flexibility than telecommuting employees, both usually have increased control over their schedules. Many who work at home choose hours early in the morning or after the kids have gone to bed. This flexibility allows you to complete errands during the day and travel as you see it, without having to worry about taking paid time off from your job.
Gain a Sense of Control
Make time for yourself as well as your family with the time saved by working at home. The self-employed, in particular, gain a feeling of controlling their own destiny, but telecommuting employees who juggle home and work responsibilities more effectively gain a sense of balance. Plus the income generated by working at home can make a difference on luxuries that you might otherwise forgo.
Save Money on Childcare Costs
This doesn't necessarily apply to everyone, but some parents who are working at home—depending on their jobs and the age of their children—can earn a living with part-time or no outside childcare. Determining how much childcare and what type of childcare you need, then work that into your budget.
Escape the Office's Social Dynamics
This one cuts both ways. Some people who begin working at home miss the social aspects of an office, but others feel the distractions of unnecessary meetings, social gatherings, or unscheduled chats at the water cooler cut their efficiency, further extending time away from family.
Save Money on Clothes and Lunches
Although it's not a good idea to work in your PJs, especially with kids around who look to you as an example, you will likely spend less on work clothes by working at home. Unless you were packing your own lunch (if so, that’s one task off your list), the amount you spend on lunches and coffee breaks will decrease.
The Bottom Line
Now you're all ready to give up the rat race (or maybe join it if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent). Here are 6 Possible Drawbacks to Working at Home.