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Everyone Wants to Work from Home, But Can it Hurt Your Career?

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A new survey from found that people are very eager to work from home. Seventy percent of workers would rather telecommute than work in the office. For workers between the ages of 35 – 44, the numbers jumped to 81 percent but only 66 percent of those between 18 – 24 wanted to work remotely. It also found that 70 percent of parents would rather work from home.

Another study from TeamViewer found that people are also willing to do almost anything to telecommute. Five percent of people said they would give up their spouse, so basically get divorced, in exchange for working from home. But giving up your spouse was just the beginning: 34 percent said they would give up social media, 30 percent would give up texting, 25 percent would give up their smartphone, 17 percent would give up a pay cut, 15 percent would give up half of their vacation days and most importantly, 29 percent said they would give up chocolate.

The survey also found that 57 percent of respondents said that working remotely spurs jealousy among remote colleagues. For workers over the age of 65, the numbers jump to 65 percent.

But is working from home all it is really cracked up to be? It sounds like a dream, but can you really get your work done with all the distractions of home surrounding you? And can you move up in your career when you aren’t in the office? On the other hand working from home could reduce a lot of stress. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.


You can determine your work space

No more badly lighted cubicle for you. You are building your own office. Katrina Taylor is a web designer (and Levo contributor!) that has been working from home for years. She told Levo, “My favorite thing about working from home is being in an office environment that feels comfortable and relaxed. I can hang crazy curtains, burn scented candles and listen to my favorite music. I tend to be way more productive in this sort of setting, as opposed to a cubicle where I feel “trapped” and like I’m being forced to work instead of choosing to work.”

No stressful commute

According to a new study by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the longer people have to be in a car, train, or bus to get to work, the more miserable they feel. It not only hurts your body but it also starts to take a toll on your mental health, making you not as productive throughout the day. If you didn’t have to commute, you may find a lot of your stress will reduce very fast.

No interruptions from co-workers

We love our co-workers, but at the same time they can be a huge source of distraction. From home, everything can be done over email or a scheduled Skype chat. Working from home, you won’t be the first to know the office gossip, but you may be the first to finish that project.


Less human contact

Most people need to interact with other people in order to be happy. You start to go a little stir crazy when you have no one to talk to. Taylor told Levo, “My least favorite aspect is the lack of human contact. Working from home can be incredibly lonely and isolating. This is why I teach group exercise classes at my local gym after work–it feeds my need to socialize!”

Your house is distracting

I suppose if I worked from home every day it would be different, but I find in my apartment I can easily get caught up in cleaning or playing with the dog. If you work at home, you really have to set up boundaries and a clear, established work environment so you can get done what you need to get done. There is a reason Marissa Mayer banned working from home at Yahoo earlier this year.

You may not get promoted

A recently published study conducted by Stanford University showed that employees who work from home are more productive and happier, but they are 50 percent less likely to get promoted compared to those who regularly come into an office. Even though technically the remote employees actually worked more and performed well, their in-office colleagues were promoted more often. From Business Insider:

Despite all of the advantages that resulted from people working from home, the study showed that those who came into the office were promoted twice as often as those who preferred to work from home.

This could have a lot to do with the fact that when you work from home, you lose the face-time that you would normally have with others at the office. Without these regular physical contacts, you’re less likely to build relationships or make connections with your co-workers. It’ll also take you longer to hear about upcoming opportunities. This is why networking is so important in today’s job market.

Well, there are major pros and cons for working at home and in the office, but hopefully if you are given the opportunity to work from home you can consider some of these findings. Like any work environment, nothing is perfect. You have to make it work at work.

Do you work from home? Are you able to be productive? Tell us in the comments!

Ask Maggy Frances Schultz about working from home versus in an office!


#Study #Telecommute #Flexible Work Schedule News Career Advice
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Join the conversation:

As a freelance writer, I work remotely, and I'm very productive. On the inevitable days when I feel distracted, I have the freedom to work from a new space, like a coffee shop.

The biggest problem I have is separating my 'work day' from the rest of my day. I sort of always feel like I'm on call, and it's hard to ignore any work-related messages that come in after 6, even when I know they're not urgent. I feel less like I work from home, and more like I live in my office.

Nina Sidney
Nina Sidney

It's so strange how many people would relish working from home. I kind of hate the idea of it! I like getting ready for my day and having a somewhat clear distinction between my private and professional life. I'd imagine it would be increasingly hard to relax once "at home" areas also become "at work" areas.

I think that you bring up some great points about the fact that working from home is not all it's cracked up to be! My company has a virtual workforce model, and while they do have a lot of employees that work in the office, many of their employees (including myself) work from home and are located around the country. I have so many friends tell me how envious of the fact that I work from home, and I'll admit, there are a lot of perks! However, some days I do miss the social interaction and I feel like there is no separation between work time/me time some days, which can be really draining. But overall, for me the positives of working remotely definitely outweigh the negatives--I love not having a commute and being able to work from anywhere!

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