Be careful what you wish for
By Aaron Taube
For many office workers, telecommuting is a dream opportunity, one they believe will offer them increased flexibility and allow them to skip the morning commute.
But despite the appearance of freedom, working from home might not be the right option for you.
In a post on Linkedin, JobAdvisor.com.au founder and CEO Justin Babet explains why he tells people they're better off going in to an office, even if they are running their own business.
1. There's no separation between work life and personal life.
Babet writes that he was excited to work from home when he first started JobAdvisor.com.au, but soon found that being at home all day made it impossible for him to get away from the anxieties of his job, even if it was one he loved.
Now that he works out of an office, he appreciates being able to come home and focus on his personal life.
"While it might not feel like this for the first few weeks of working from home, pretty soon what started out as your sanctuary from the world will start to feel like your office," he writes.
2. Being at home can encourage procrastination.
Babet says that while he spends more time working when he's at home than he does in the office, he's not always more productive. That's because having the carrot of being able to go home from the office for the day gives him a deadline and pushes him to finish things in a timely fashion.
3. Even with all of the technology we have, collaboration is still harder at home.
One of the benefits of working at an office is the energy you get from your peers who are working to achieve the same goal say you, Babet says.
And even if you have Gchat, Skype, Slack, and other communication tools, there's still the inconvenience of either needing someone's undivided attention or having to wait for a response from them. Plus, Babet points out, if you're not using a video chat tool, you could miss out on important non-verbal communication.
"I've found when working with web developers and designers that being in the same room as them when they're working will make them at least twice as fast because the feedback loop is instant – they don't have to message or email me and wait for a response, I can give them an answer on the spot while they're still focused on the issue at hand, and I can be a lot more precise about what I want," he writes.
4. It can be lonely.
Despite the headaches of so-called "office politics," it can be nice to be connected to the people you work with.
Plus, who wants to spend all their time sitting at home alone?
"I also find when I work from home I rarely leave the house and that's just plain unhealthy, particularly if you do it for weeks and months at a time," Babet writes.