Working from Home: Good or Bad for Your Career?

Working-from-HomeA new survey from found most people are very eager to work from home:

  • 70% of workers would rather telecommute than work in the office
  • For workers between the ages of 35 – 44, the numbers jumped to 81%
  • 70% of parents would rather work from home
  • Only 66% of those between 18 – 24 wanted to work remotely

Another study from TeamViewer found that people are also willing to do almost anything to telecommute:

  • 34% said they would give up social media
  • 30% would give up texting
  • 25% would give up their smartphone
  • 17% would take a pay cut
  • 29% said they would give up chocolate.
  • 5% would give up their spouse (ouch!)

But is working from home all it is really cracked up to be? It sounds like a dream, but can you really get your work done with all the distractions of home surrounding you? And can you move up in your career when you aren’t in the office? On the other hand working from home could reduce a lot of stress. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

Pro: You Can Determine Your Work Space

No more badly lighted cubicle for you. You are building your own office. Katrina Taylor is a web designer who has been working from home for years. She told Levo, “My favorite thing about working from home is being in an office environment that feels comfortable and relaxed. I can hang crazy curtains, burn scented candles and listen to my favorite music. I tend to be way more productive in this sort of setting, as opposed to a cubicle where I feel “trapped” and like I’m being forced to work instead of choosing to work.”

Pro: No Stressful Commute

According to a new study by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the longer people have to be in a car, train, or bus to get to work, the more miserable they feel. It not only hurts your body but it also starts to take a toll on your mental health, making you not as productive throughout the day. If you didn’t have to commute, you may find a lot of your stress will reduce very fast.

Pro: No Interruptions from Co-workers

We love our co-workers, but at the same time they can be a huge source of distraction. From home, everything can be done over email or a scheduled Skype chat. Working from home, you won’t be the first to know the office gossip, but you may be the first to finish that project.

Con: Less Human Contact

Most people need to interact with other people in order to be happy. You start to go a little stir crazy when you have no one to talk to. Taylor told Levo, “My least favorite aspect is the lack of human contact. Working from home can be incredibly lonely and isolating. This is why I teach group exercise classes at my local gym after work–it feeds my need to socialize!”

Con: Your House Is Distracting

I suppose if I worked from home every day it would be different, but I find in my apartment I can easily get caught up in cleaning or playing with the dog. If you work at home, you really have to set up boundaries and a clear, established work environment so you can get done what you need to get done. There is a reason Marissa Mayer banned working from home at Yahoo earlier this year.

Con: You May Not Get Promoted

A recently published study conducted by Stanford University showed that employees who work from home are more productive and happier, but they are 50 percent less likely to get promoted compared to those who regularly come into an office. Even though technically the remote employees actually worked more and performed well, their in-office colleagues were promoted more often. From Business Insider:

Despite all of the advantages that resulted from people working from home, the study showed that those who came into the office were promoted twice as often as those who preferred to work from home.

This could have a lot to do with the fact that when you work from home, you lose the face-time that you would normally have with others at the office. Without these regular physical contacts, you’re less likely to build relationships or make connections with your co-workers. It’ll also take you longer to hear about upcoming opportunities. This is why networking is so important in today’s job market.

Well, there are major pros and cons for working at home and in the office, but hopefully if you are given the opportunity to work from home you can consider some of these findings. Like any work environment, nothing is perfect. You have to make it work at work.

Do you work from home? Are you able to be productive? Tell us your working-from-home story!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Levo League!



meredith leporeAbout the Author: Meredith Lepore is the former editor of the women’s career site, The Grindstone. Before that she was on staff at Wall Street Letter and Business Insider and was a contributing writer for Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University after graduating with a degree in Brain and Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, shopping and playing with her puppy, Otis.



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