The Pros (And Cons) Of Working From Home

home_workingWhat brought you onto this blog today? Maybe you have heard tales of my fantastic free flowing prose and witty social comment? Erm… maybe not! More likely you were looking for tips on how to make a success out of an online business. And for many the ultimate aim of starting up online is to quit their day job and work from home!

Working from home certainly sounds appealing right?

Well, as someone who has been self employed for 7 years and for the last year of that has actually worked from home (or at least between home and various coffee shops) I feel I am well qualified to look into whether it’s actually all it’s cracked up to be.

So here are some of the main reasons people want to work from home, the pros and cons of each and the questions you need to ask yourself about whether working from home is right for you.

1. You Don’t Have To Answer To A ‘Boss’

This is probably the number one reason why people want to work from home. If I had a pound for every time I got an email with the subject line ‘How I Fired My Boss’ I could… well… fire my boss (if I had one!).

The Pros

No one likes working for ‘the man’ and it’s certainly a good thing to not have someone breathing down your neck.

The Cons

Not every boss is a slave driver and a good boss can inspire and motivate you.

The Question

Are you good at self motivating and driving yourself?

2. You Can Set Your Own Hours

There’s no such thing as bed time, no such thing as dinner time… sleep when you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry right?!

The Pros

On a roll with something? Then work on through the night and sleep in the next day.

The Cons

Maybe you can take today off and catch up tomorrow…

The Question

It doesn’t matter when you work, but do you have the discipline to make sure you are doing enough?

3. No More Daily Commute

Many people spend an hour or so travelling to work in the morning and the same again travelling back. This adds 2 hours on to your working day!

The Pros

No more being stuck in traffic jams. No more overcrowded buses, trains or tubes.

The Cons

Sometimes that hour in the morning can be a good thing. Switch off, read the paper or plan your day in your head.

The Question

Do you hate your daily commute or do you see it as a bit of ‘me’ time?

4. No More Child Care Costs!

If you are a parent, then working from home can mean you save on child care costs.

The Pros

You get to spend more time with your kids and save money on nursery/after school are fees.

The Cons

It can be rather difficult to concentrate with a screaming 2 year old running around!

The Question

Will you be able to get your work done and carry out your parental responsibilities at the same time?

5. No Additional Overheads!

This is really one for those who are already self employed. If you are running an office you will obviously have rental costs, phones, electricity, gas etc whereas working from home this is already in place.

The Pros

Why pay extra for an office when you can work in the comfort of your own home without incurring any additional overheads?

The Cons

Going to an office puts you into a definitive ‘I am working’ mode, whereas being at home can bring unwanted distractions… the TV, newspapers… the fridge! On the flip side, leaving the office puts you into ‘I’m out of work’ mode, while when you are working from home it can be difficult to switch off.

The Question

Will you be able to separate your working life from your home life?

6. You Can Make Your Own Lunch

Eating out is expensive and taking your own tinfoil wrapped soggy sandwiches to work each day can become a little tiresome. Working from home you have full access to your fully stocked fridge and kitchen!

The Pros

Make whatever you want for lunch and you’ll also be saving a load of money on those expensive take away meals.

The Cons

It’s pretty good having someone else do the cooking sometimes and you’ll probably soon fall back into the cheese and ham sandwiches routine. And who are you kidding, you’re hardly Gordon Ramsay anyway!

The Question

Can you be bothered making your own lunch every day?

7. You Don’t Have To Deal With Other People

People… they’re annoying right?

The Pros

No more boring office chat about the weather or what the result of last night’s X factor was.

The Cons

Most people meet their future spouses at work. No chance of an office romance when it’s just you and the cat. No work nights out either!

The Question

Do you enjoy your own company or will you soon realise you’re actually a bit annoying (in the same way that Hitler was ‘a bit’ naughty)?

8. You Can Work In Your Pants

Does your morning routine involve an hour in front of the mirror preening yourself just to make yourself presentable? Well working from home the only person you’ll have to worry about seeing you at your worst is the window cleaner – and let’s be honest, if your window cleaner is like mine he’s no one to judge.

The Pros

Roll out of bed and you’re ready to work! And man, those pants are comfy.

The Cons

Be careful or you’ll end up like Homer Simpson in the episode where Marge leaves. Who wants to be a slob?

The Question

Do you enjoy making yourself look good?

My Answers

So, there’s 8 reasons for working at home and 8 questions to ask yourself to find out whether it is right for you. I suppose I better give you my answers before you give me yours!

1. Am I Good At Self Motivating And Driving Myself?

I would have to say that overall, yes I am. I pretty much am in a bad mood if I’m not being creative and if anything find it hard to switch off from work – be that writing blog posts, progamming or writing songs.

2. Do I have the discipline to make sure I am doing enough?

Again, yes. I often find myself working through the night on a project and I’ve never been one that enjoys a rigid 9-5 type day. I’ve also never been a morning person and find I am more creative at stupid o’ clock in the morning.

3. Did I hate my daily commute or did I see it as a bit of ‘me’ time?

As I am like a zombie in the morning, it was a completely wasted hour for me.

4. Am I able to get my work done and carry out my parental responsibilities at the same time?

I have a 4 year old daughter and firstly, it’s great to have extra time to spend with her – amazing in fact. I am no longer with her mother and normally look after her one/two days during the week (as well as getting her at the weekend), but I must admit it can be difficult sometimes to concentrate on my work while I have her during the day. Thank goodness for the Disney Channel.

5. Am I able to separate my working life from my home life?

I find it more difficult to get out of work mode than into it and with this in mind have taken to working more and more in local coffee shops. I’ll maybe spend on average half a day working in the house and the other half in a coffee shop. This makes it easier to separate things.

6. Can I be bothered making my own lunch every day?

No. I still go to Gregg’s

7. Do I miss working with other people?

Yes. Well sometimes. I miss the office ‘banter’ and in particular I miss having a business partner – someone to bounce ideas off.

I don’t really miss employing people at the moment. At one point I (well me and my business partner) employed around 24 people and it was, to say the least, a nightmare. And yes, I am annoying.

8. Do I enjoy working in my pants?

Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not on a webcam right now 😉


Overall, I do enjoy working from home and certainly don’t think I could go back to working for someone else now. Can you earn enough money online to quit your job and work from home? Absolutely! And you’ll find loads of tips on this site to help you do just that, so make sure you subscribe by email or RSS and follow me on twitter!

How About You?

So, that’s my answers… now it’s your turn! Feel free to leave them in a comment below and hopefully this article has helped you work out whether working from home is right for you!


About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

Bernard Z. - September 5, 2013

Hi Dave,

This is a great article! I love the layout of it.

Anyway, not every can be their own boss and not everyone wants to. But whatever floats your boat right? In this world be need both employers and employees so its a good thing. It takes a lot of self discipline to be your own boss and it requires a person to be proactive not reactive. I also think that if you want to work from home, whatever it is you have to really enjoy it. It has to be fun to you since you have the choice of not doing it and saving it for tomorrow as you say. A lot of core values come into play here.

Those are just somethings I noticed noticed when it comes to working from home.

Thank you for the great article Dave.

    David McSweeney - September 5, 2013

    This is true! also I’d like to think that when I was employing people I was a good boss to work for. But maybe my employees would say differently…!

Suresh - September 10, 2013

Hi David,
Great article indeed. Despite drawbacks I would love to work from home. I enjoy doing it. Thanks for sharing insightful views with us.

Cole Wiebe - September 12, 2013

I left working for a boss for working with many bosses (clients) sixteen years ago. For the days I work from the home office I can certainly identify with both the pros and cons.

I have struggled with separating the office from the solice and comfort that should come with being home, just on the other side of the door.

Jo - March 5, 2014

Great article, which ends up with a really useful list of questions for anyone thinking about working at home. Number 5’s a big one for me but in terms of resisting the tendency for non-work stuff to encroach on the precious few quiet hours while my son’s at school. It’s way too easy to find myself bobbing to the shop, tidying up, taking the car to the garage…

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