Does working from the comfort of your own home, while
in your jammies, sipping a hot cup of coffee after seeing the kiddies
off to school sound like the ideal way to start a work day? Before you
walk into your boss' office and tell him to take your job and hand it
to the next person in line, there are a few things to consider.
going to take this work from home thing step by step. Let's face it,
this is a big decision and it ought to be well researched. We're going
to take it from start (the idea) to finish (Dear Mr. Boss, please take
this job...). I've outlined below, important items for you to consider
1. Thinking of working from home?
2. Am I cut out for the work from home life?
3. How will it affect family dynamics?
4. How much money do I need to make?
5. What Type of Business?
6. I've decided on my business what do I do now?
7. Alternatives to Working From Home
8. Links and helpful sites for the work at homer
Let's start at the beginning. What makes people consider working from home?
How long is your commute? Are you one of the lucky ones whose daily
commute is less than 15 minutes each way? Listen to this, oh lucky one.
If you were working from home, you would save yourself two and a half
hours each week or about 10 hours a month. Wait, let me rephrase that,
your commute is equal to working an extra day and a half each month.
extra hours each month equals 16 days of extra work a year (based on a
7.5 hour work day). That means you're putting in a little over 3 work
weeks each year commuting. Three weeks each year isn't really too bad
when you're on vacation, but spending that much time commuting is a
If you're not one of the lucky ones and have a
more average commute (according to the US Census Bureau) of 30 minutes
each way (and we all know someone whose commute is longer), you spend
32 work days, or 6.4 work weeks commuting.
As bad as that sounds,
many people (and I'm sure you know at least one) have much longer
commutes. There are folks who commute 90 minutes or longer. Please
don't depressed, by converting your commute time into a currency that
is real to you helps you to understand just what you might be
getting/giving up by working from home.
You may be spending a lot of time commuting to somewhere where once you arrive, you would prefer not to be there.
Oh, by the way, how much does it cost you to commute? This one is a lot
easier to calculate. How much does your monthly commutation ticket
cost? How much is parking? How much are you spending on gas each month?
How much does it cost to get on the subway? You do the math. Calculate
it daily, weekly, monthly or annually. Unless you walk or bike to work,
you are taking some of your hard earned income and spending it to get
to a place where you would prefer not to be.
When you get to work, how much of your work time is productive? There
are meetings, chatting with employees, fire drills, birthdays, smoke
breaks, coffee breaks, who jammed the copy machine, the computer
systems are down, someone lost the key to the mens/ladies room,
farewell parties, baby showers, interruption, interruption,
interruption. If you work a 7.5 hour day, how many hours are really
Based on a recent Microsoft Office Personal Productivity
Challenge, out of a 5 day work week, workers productivity equates to 3
workdays a week. Yes, three workdays. You are spending 5 days
commutation time and money to accomplish 60% of the work you could have
accomplished in a week.
Let's think out loud for a moment. If you
accomplish 3 days of work per week, multiplied by 4 weeks in a month
(12 days) multiplied by 12 months, (144 productive days), that is 7.2
work months a year. Theoretically, you can complete your job, in 7.2
months in a given year. Just what would you do with the remaining 4.8
Physical Wear and Tear: How do you feel, by oh
let's say, Wednesday morning (especially those with long commutes)? Do
you leap out of bed feeling full of pep, energy and ready to go to
work? Feel as refreshed as you felt on Monday? No, I don't think so.
Usually around Wednesday your energy level begins to wane and you drag
your self through the rest of the week limping to make it to Friday. Is
that any way to live?
Family: How much do you really get
to spend with your family? What time do you leave the house and what
time to you get home? Do your kids call you Mr. Daddy or Mrs. Mommy
because they don't see you? Working from home will help you to better
manage your time. You can schedule meetings around little league or
dance recitals. You don't have to take a day off care for a sick child,
or to take a much needed mental health day. Chances are, if you're
working from home, your mental health will improve and your child's
health may too.
Reduced Stress Level: Got Feng Shui? You
can design your workspace as you see fit. No need to worry about
offending your cubicle mate with your decorative style.
Does your work environment promote creativity? Do you work better when
your music is playing or your favorite candle is burning. Do you need
to go for a run outside to get creative juices flowing before you sit
in front of your computer? Working from home will allow for all of your
Now that you're thinking about working
from home, realize that not everyone is cut out for it. Next in the
series we'll address "Am I cut out for the work at home life?"