In today’s post, I am going to share the top 37 advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
As an individual who works from home, I receive lots of questions, comments and looks.
Some people give an air of disdain, and others emit an attitude of jealousy.
I have had people say, “You probably don’t make much money,” and others who exclaim, “Wow, a permanent vacation, huh!”
When I first started working from home these attitudes and comments often affected my sense of being, but I finally realized that they are just being ignorant. I have since learned to ignore or joke and laugh about them.
After all, why should we allow other people the control over our emotions, morale and income?
Personally, I love working from home, but it does have some disadvantages. It’s definitely not for everyone.
That being said, I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
In today’s post, I am going to share the top 37 pros and cons of working from home.
27 of them are advantages and 10 are disadvantages.
I believe you should evaluate each one of these things to help you decide if working from home would be the right choice for you.
I will be the first to say that working from home is not for everyone. Some people need structure. Some people need to be around others. Some people can’t work from home and have no desire to do so.
If that describes you, that’s okay.
I will begin with the 27 advantages starting at #27 and work up to #1, and I will then do the same with the disadvantages.
27 Advantages of Working at Home
#27: You Can Pick and Choose Clients and Jobs
When you are your own boss, you can pick who you want to do business with. No, you can’t discriminate against people, but you can be selective about which jobs you take and who you work with.
Some vendors and clients are a real pain in the ass and aren’t worth the headaches and frustration, even if the money is good.
You definitely don’t have this option in a job or traditional business.
#26: You Can Take Breaks When You Want
You can take breaks whenever you want to. If you want to take an extra-long lunch break, or watch a certain television show that comes on during the day, you can do that.
You won’t have a boss standing over your shoulder telling you to report back to your cubicle.
Of course, you can’t take constant breaks. You still have to complete the work!
When you work from home, the IRS allows you to deduct your home office space, and many of the tools you use to perform your tasks.
The tax savings alone from having a home based business could easily justify HAVING a home based business.
I am not a tax attorney or CPA, so I do suggest you consult with one, or both before tax time.
#24: You Are Helping to Save the Environment
By working at home, you are doing your part to lessen the environmental footprint left by the corporate world: less gas consumption and less pollution from your vehicle.
#23: You Can Take Your Pets to Work with You
Most businesses will not allow employees to bring their dog, ferret, squirrel, cat or monkey to work with them.
When you work at home, you can have Maurice the monkey sitting on your shoulder if you want to.
Pets are great companions. It’s nice having your dog or cat sit next to you in the office and keep you company while you work. They’ll be glad you work from home too!
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#22: It Is Quieter
Working at an office or factory can have its share of noise. The phone is constantly ringing. Your fellow employees will visit your cubicle to strike up a conversation. Some offices are really loud and annoying.
There are so many distractions and interruptions.
By working from home, you can normally work in a much quieter atmosphere, something that is peaceful and calming, rather than stressful.
#21: You Control Your Income
When you work at home, you can work a lot or a little.
You have complete control over your income when you work at home. You can work a few hours per day or around the clock.
To some people, this is really scary: not having a secure, steady income.
To other people it is very exciting to know there is no cap on their income.
#20: Save Money on Childcare
The cost of daycare can be astronomical, especially if you have more than one child.
Some parents have found it cheaper to quit their jobs then to pay for childcare.
Working from home can solve that issue.
Even if you make less money working from home than you did at your job, the money you save from not needing child care can more than make up for it.
#19: Vacation When You Want
You have your heart set on visiting the Bahamas, but your employer says that the only time you can go is in the midst of hurricane season.
When you work at home, you can choose exactly when you take that Bahamas vacation.
Even if you can’t take time off, you can go somewhere nice and work while you are there.
#18: More Motivated
For the majority of us home based business owners, our motivation levels are higher because we are in our natural surroundings. We control our own scheduled and our own destiny.
We have the ability to not accept negative people into our work zones.
In an office setting, we have negative forces around us that we cannot completely ignore.
#17: Schedule Appointments When It is Convenient for You
When you work at a job, it can be difficult to schedule doctor, dentist and school appointments without upsetting the boss.
Working at home allows you to schedule those appointments when it is convenient for you.
If you need to take time off during the day to go to an appointment, you can work that evening to make up for it.
#16: Set Up Your Office the Way You Want To
No more rules about what you can have in your work-zone.
If you want a picture of Grandma doing a back flip, you can do it!
If you want to play Heavy Metal music at your desk while you work, go for it!
#15: You Can Use Your Own Tools and Equipment
Some may consider this a disadvantage, but I have a different outlook.
I would much rather use my Compaq Presario with Windows 10 than I would an ancient computer with Windows 98.
We have our tools and equipment adapted to fit us.
And, nobody else is using them without our permission.
#14: The Challenge
I love the challenge I get working at home.
It is a constant challenge and it brings out the best in me. I must perform if I want to eat!
#13: You Can Wear What You Want
Be it a suit, pajamas, underwear or nothing at all, you have that option.
Try going to an office naked and you will end up in the back seat of a police cruiser.
#12: No Office Politics
Need I say any more?
#11: Less Distractions
I guess this could go either way but overall, I do believe there are less distractions in a home office environment. If nothing else, there are fewer interruptions from other people.
#10: Meetings Are More Productive
Let’s face it, meetings normally suck!
They are usually full of meaningless stuff, and employees ask stupid questions to drag them out so they do not have to go back to work.
And then you have those people who love meetings because they love to hear themselves talk!
It is much different when a meeting is done via Skype, Go to Meeting or one of the other software programs.
You can keep meetings to a minimum, or not have them at all. Best of all, you are in control of it!
#9: No Micro-Manager Bosses
This is a huge plus!
The only one looking over your shoulder is Maurice the monkey.
By the way, you got those TPS reports for me?
#8: Work Anywhere in the World
If you want to work on your balcony, roof or even your toilet, you can do it.
Heck, rent a sailboat and work from the middle of a lake.
This is one of the best things about owning your own home based business: flexibility of location.
#7: Better Health
You don’t have to breathe the air of that person who came in to the office with the flu.
You will eat better since you won’t be eating out of the company’s vending machines.
You can take a long lunch break to go for a walk.
It has been shown that home-based workers have better health.
#6: More Family Time
If your child wants to get pushed on the swing for a bit, you can play with them.
If your spouse wants romance, you can make it happen.
If you want to go to a movie at the cinema at three o’clock in the afternoon, you can!
#5: Save Money on Gas and Vehicle Maintenance
The wear and tear on vehicles can be costly.
Gasoline is expensive.
Just add up all that money you save by ditching your commute!
#4: Less Stress
Some people may claim the opposite but for yours truly, I find that home is much less stressful than a workplace.
If you find the opposite, tell us in the comments at the end.
#3: No Commute
The average person spends several years of their life sitting in traffic, driving to and from work.
Many people commute more than an hour to and from work each day. How crazy is that?
When you work from home, you can take a few steps from your bedroom to your home office. It’s great.
The time that you save from commuting can be used for extra sleep, meditation, reading, relaxing, or generating more income!
#2: Work When You Want
Not everyone enjoys waking up before the sun comes up. In fact, some people are night owls.
Also, some people might not want to work 10 hours continuously. When you work from home you can break up your schedule and work when you want to.
You can work a few hours here, an hour or two there, and a couple of hours before you go to bed.
As long as you get the work done, it doesn’t matter when you do it!
#1: You Are More Productive
As long as you have the right frame of mind, with all these other advantages, you will naturally be more productive.
Again, that is totally up to you though. You are now in control of your own time and schedule!
If you fail to get things done, you have no one to blame but yourself.
10 Disadvantages of Working from Home
Now, for all you people that have the idea that working from home is a complete bed of roses, I have news for you. You are right!
Only sometimes it is the rose thorns and not the flowers.
You just read the advantages… now you need to know the disadvantages.
While the tax savings can be huge by working from home, as compared to an employee, you now have to pay your own taxes. ALL OF THEM!
Nothing gets deducted out of your pay. It’s up to you to set aside enough money to pay your quarterly taxes or once a year taxes.
If you don’t put this money aside throughout the year, you will be screwed at tax time. Don’t let that happen to you. Pay your quarterly taxes and put aside at least 20% of your earnings for taxes.
#9: Not Being Part of a Team
When you have a job you work with a bunch of other people. You might not like all of them, but you are part of a team.
That gives a lot of people a purpose, sense of identity, and belonging.
Once you start working from home, you are now the lone ranger.
#8: Collecting Payments
The union I belong to, Freelancer’s Union, has been working on the non-payment issues many of us have faced.
Sometimes as a home-based worker, you also have to become a collection agency.
Don’t make me send Guido out there to get the money you owe me!
One of the best things you can do is put all of your work into written agreements and contracts so there is no confusion about payments.
#7: Cultural Barriers
The way we work in the United States is not the way people work in Japan or in Europe.
Every country has different customs and courtesies.
As a work from home professional, we often work with clients from other cultures.
It is imperative that you gain an understanding as to what those clients expect and how they communicate.
#6: Communication Issues
This somewhat goes along with #7.
We work with people in other time zones and different languages.
Some translation programs can change the meaning of sentences.
Communication can be an issue.
Emails can be misinterpreted. Some clients live on the opposite side of the world, so getting them on the phone can be a challenge.
You must learn how to communicate effectively if you want to succeed.
This is not so much a problem for me, but many home based business owners have not considered their posture and the way they work.
Make sure you have a good chair, and don’t spend the entire day sitting down. Stand up when you can and make sure you move around.
Okay, it is confession time.
I am a procrastinator!
The key to defeating procrastination is to develop a daily plan and follow it religiously. Create a work schedule for your business and stay on point!
When Maurice the monkey is doing something cute or your child is acting out, concentrating on the task at hand can be difficult.
This can also be a problem at an office, but usually not as extreme.
It would really help if you had a designated work area where you could close the door and eliminate distractions.
Sometimes we need social interaction and Facebook really does not count.
While some folks enjoy isolating themselves, other people NEED to be around others.
This is one of the biggest issues with working at home, so it is smart to get out of the house at least once or twice a day.
Go to the gym, the post office, the library, or for a walk in the park.
You might even want to join some civic organizations to make new friends.
While I said there were less distractions in the advantage area, I have to say that depending on your environment, there can be work stoppage distractions.
I am considering the loud-mouthed neighbor we have as I type this.
I feel like yelling SHUT UP, but that would just cause a war.
If need be, you need to find a way to cut out distractions.
In review, these are the top 37 advantages and disadvantages of working from home, as I see it.
Personally, I believe the advantages highly outweigh the disadvantages, but you may think differently.
What are your thoughts?
Do you have any advantages or disadvantages you would like to add?
If so, just post them in the comment area below.
About the Author
Greg Boudonck is a freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He writes on many different topics, but business subjects are one of his primary areas of writing expertise. See Greg’s biography here.