Figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest that almost 2 million of us now work from home, accounting for 7 percent of the UK’s working population1. With more employers than ever before embracing flexible working options, a growing number of healthcare communications professionals could find working from home is a perk of their job. Here, we take a look at the pros and cons of being a homeworker:
Work/life balance: many people struggle to get the right balance between their home and working lives, and for healthcare communications professionals – especially those in agencies – it can be even more difficult as the 9-5 concept doesn’t really apply. For working parents, people with pets or regular volunteer roles, working from home offers a more flexible approach to the working day so they can ensure their home life doesn’t suffer at the hands of their working life and vice versa.
Peace and quiet: working from home can provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of the office environment, not to mention the frequent interruptions from colleagues. If you have trouble concentrating when surrounded by lots of distractions, working from home in your own quiet space can be a God-send, particularly when you have complex copy or documents to write.
Commute-free: one huge selling point for working from home is that you can cut your commute down to less than a minute and reclaim all those hours you had been wasting travelling between home and work every day. The time saved can be used more productively for work, its much less stressful and better for the environment too.
Cost savings: when you start adding up all the money you spend daily on your commute, parking charges, popping out for lunch and coffees, lunchtime trips around the shops, drinks after work etc, you soon realise that going to the office can be an expensive business. Without all the necessary travel costs and the temptations to spend money, working from home is a very cost efficient solution indeed.
Motivation: to work from home you need more than just an internet connection and a phone – you need a big helping of self-motivation. With no-one watching what time you are starting at your desk and no pressure to be busy, homeworkers need to be disciplined, self-starters to ensure they are as productive at home as they are in the office.
Social interactions: while they may not be your first choice for BFFs, your work colleagues provide an important social circle for you. You need to connect with these people professionally (and personally if you like), to establish good working relationships. This can much be harder when you don’t have facetime with them on a daily basis and it can also lead to feelings of isolation.
Missed promotions and opportunities: unfortunately, it can be a case of out of sight, out of mind as you can’t be included on conversations about new projects and promotions when you don’t have a presence in the office. It’s also more difficult to impress the boss and show them how hard you are working when they don’t see you working late.
Interruptions: working from home can have its fair share of distractions, and this was aptly demonstrated in that BBC interview where the expert’s children paid him a visit while he was live on air. Working from home is not always the picture of tranquillity you imagine it will be, and if you are on a call with a client when an unscheduled interruption strikes (be it child, pet, doorbell etc) it can be particularly embarrassing and appear unprofessional.
Blurred line between home and work: just as you would leave the office at night, you need to ensure there is a defined cut off between your work and home life, even though they technically occupy the same space. If you are not able to draw the line, you’ll end up dipping into work in the evening, at weekends and when you are on leave when you should be resting and relaxing.
If you think working from home might work for you, get in touch with us about opportunities with flexible employers today.