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working from home

We all go a little mad when we’re locked away for hours on end. You just have to ask my imaginary friend, who for legal reasons will remain nameless. But on the subject of making a living from home and the social choices we make, is there a cost of sheer loneliness? (Sad face).

Studies show that since 2010 there are around 15% of us working from home in the UK, most of who are self-employed. This is an increase from 2001 of over 20% and shows signs that more and more of us are making a living from the relative comfort of home; relative because not all home life is a happy life. Of course some may have to work from home in order to look after a loved one, too.

The question is; what is better? Choosing your hours at home or having the security of a fixed routine and team at a place of work? Both prove to have their good points:

 

Positives Working from Home

Positives Going to Work

Choose your own hours (can be awkward). Keep to a routine set out before you (you leave the house most days)
Be there for family and neighbours. Keep away from demands of family and neighbours.
Live a healthy life by cooking proper food (and much cheaper). Get to visit your favourite places to eat and socialise at lunchtimes.
Having your own space and choice of atmosphere (les ambience). Less time to procrastinate and worry.
Guaranteed flexibility. Guaranteed income.
Plan your housework/tidy at your own pace. Good chance the children or partner does the housework.
Don’t have to listen to idiots. Get to enjoy your day with others.
Choose your own hours (can be awkward). Keep to a routine set out before you (you leave the house most days)

 

The point at which the debate comes to a cul-de-sac is when we factor in personal preference. I’m sure some of you may well work from home yourselves, and your opinions and insight could well differ from Joe Bloggs’ over the road who does the same. Also, one of you is the more lonely (Sad face).

There are people across all ages now in self employment and building their own businesses and portfolios from home. You could argue that true work experience can only be gained by being out and about with other like minded and talented people.

Yet we know from our own accounts of the workforce that sometimes our bosses and colleagues drag us down. I guess it depends on how lucky you are with the people that surround you through your working hours. It can feel like they inspire you or it can feel like they hinder you.

Depending on personality and experience there is the higher probability of becoming depressed when shackled alone at home. On the other hand, there are highly stressful scenarios that occur when travelling to and from an office, or alike. Traffic jams, for example, are something you’re going to experience fewer times as a home-worker.

Everything is pretty low-risk when remaining indoors, except for the grueling risk of failing to make ends meet. In parallel, whilst you’re less likely to be in a horrible accident or get mugged you’re also less likely to experience the thrills and joys that make urban life so appealing. By staying at home you can become ‘out of the loop’.

What I have found is the temptation to do almost nothing is too great some days. Staring at a blank screen for half an afternoon leads me to sink into a panicky state of disarray. Other notions of my experience are with sadness and frustration; I prefer to stay in generally but not having a workplace to go to means I don’t meet new people and don’t get to express myself as much.

What would you choose, or what have you chosen? Do you enjoy how you make a living or wish you can make the drastic switch to either be less or more sociable? And what does working from home mean to you in terms of ideals?

photo credit: Zepfanman.com via photopin cc