There are several phrases that can be used to describe 2020 – one of the more positive is “the year of working from home”. Willingly or unwillingly, there has been a big transition to working from home – a move that will likely persist going forward.
This article explores the top benefits and disadvantages of having a home office and working from home as an entrepreneur
Primary Advantage: Cheaper and easier to organize
The primary advantage of working from home is that there are no costs associated, and it is easy to get going. While the cost component is relatively apparent, the fact that there are no contracts to sign can be important in allowing you to get going very quickly.
Disadvantage 1: Difficulty collaborating with colleagues
A key disadvantage of working from home is that it makes it harder to communicate with colleagues and to form a culture for your startup. The entrepreneurial culture of startups is one of the key things that sets them apart from more established companies. Losing the ability to bond as a team may negate this benefit, while also making it harder to bounce ideas off one another, potentially reducing your firm’s innovativeness.
Disadvantage 2: The possibility of constant distractions
Another disadvantage of working from home is the distractions of every-day life. Working from bed, having the television on, and undertaking life chores at the same time as working will all significantly impact your productivity.
If you do decide to work from home, it is important to set up a dedicated office for your work. This can help replicate the office environment – helping you stay productive despite working in your own house.
Disadvantage 3: The possibility of loneliness
While you may be fortunate at living with others, working from home can be lonely at times. Sure – you may be able to see colleagues via Zoom, but socializing is not quite as easy as it otherwise was. Being in your own house all day means that you lose the chance meetings with others that would add some social element to work.
Neutral: Impact on your work life balance
Working from home will almost certainly have an impact on your work-life balance. For some, it will be an improvement – you can make work feel more comfortable – improving your general work experience.
However, working from home can also result in your work and ‘life’ burring increasingly together. Maintaining a balance between work and home is already difficult for entrepreneurs where there is a tendency to always feel like you should be working. While going into work can help to separate the two, working from home further bleeds your work into your private life.
Alternative to working from home: Shared co-working spaces
While you may decide the benefits of working from home outweigh the disadvantages of going into an office every day, another option to consider is co-working spaces. These can be ideal options for entrepreneurs who both want to maintain a separation between work and life, while also allowing you the opportunity of meeting other entrepreneurs who are going through similar experiences to you. As life starts to return to normal in 2021, now may be a good time to be considering moving to a shared space.