27 Work-from-Home Advantages and Why I’ll Never Go Back

homeofficeMany of us who freelance or run our own businesses work from home. And while working in the confines of your living quarters can present a very unique set of challenges, I think most of us really appreciate our situations. But how often do you stop and think about all of the benefits you get by working on your home turf?

In honor of August being National Home Business Month in the U.S., here are my top 27 reasons why I love working from home and would never want to trade my work-at-home status for anything.

  1. I can be here for my kids and manage my time so when we’re together it’s quality time.
  2. I am more productive.
  3. It’s easier to plan time to exercise.
  4. I don’t have to commute.
  5. I make my hours and can always find time to get things done, even if it’s in the middle of the night.
  6. Some of my days are immensely challenging, and I love every minute of it.
  7. I don’t have to deal with innocent, but still inaccessible websites due to company firewalls.
  8. It’s easier to schedule personal and household appointments during the day without losing out on work time.
  9. I find my home-based work environment significantly less stressful than any of the corporate jobs I’ve had in my life.
  10. I have more time to volunteer and spend time on my personal causes.
  11. I can schedule downtime, days off and vacation when it’s convenient for me.
  12. I eat healthier (and save money at the same time).
  13. I don’t have to worry about “big brother” watching over my shoulder.
  14. I am in complete control of my own income.
  15. My pets love the extra attention they get during the day.
  16. No office politics (well, for the most part).
  17. Weekends in my household are usually less chaotic because many of the usual weekend errands and tasks can be done during the week.
  18. I get to do what I love to do every single day.
  19. There are tax advantages because I can deduct some of my home’s operating expenses as business expenses.
  20. I can use whatever OS, platforms and software I want.
  21. I can wear comfortable clothes (no, I never work in my PJs!).
  22. I have more time to get actively involved in networking, conferences and other professional development activities.
  23. I get to make dinner for my kids every night and not have to worry about making it home on time.
  24. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about business and personal finances and financial planning.
  25. I get to choose my clients and not have them assigned to me.
  26. When I need to work from somewhere else, I can take my office with me.
  27. I’m fulfilling every dream I’ve ever had in terms of work success and being my own boss.

So, what are your favorite perks of working from home?

Image credit: Louis Hall

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  • wwb_99

    Two that apply to me:

    1) I gain an extra hour (at least) in the day. I get up at the same time, etc, and start working when I’d be starting my commute.

    2) I smoke. At home, I can smoke while I work rather than having to go outside. This saves probably an hour a day all told. Does have the net effect of turning me into a 2-pack a day smoker though.

  • http://www.idea15webdesign.com idea15

    I was on my way to a client meeting on the train and I overheard a conversation between two women who were half asleep or half dead (or a little of both):
    Woman 1: Hello, how are you?
    Woman 2: Not bad. How’ve you been?
    Woman 1: You know, same old same old. You?
    Woman 2: Not much.

    And that is why I’ll never go back to office life.

  • http://www.clearwind.nl peach

    Especially with the hot weather over here, the main advantages of my home office:
    1. shirt not mandatory
    2. pants not mandatory

  • agelfand

    I can go cycling on weekday mornings and make up the work time later at my discretion.

    Great list!

  • engkiat

    in singapore, working from home saves you tons of money because:

    1. office rental in sg is crazy, a small office is $1000 plus excluding tax, utilities.
    2. commercial broadband is much much more expensive than the residential ones
    3. travelling, parking is crazy and very expensive.

    Working at home means, no rental to pay, cheaper utilities and internet, absolute freedom and flexibility.

    But, as an agency, we cant really live with just 1 person, and not everyone stays in your place, your client sees your office as a status quo, well…in Singapore, getting out of home to work is almost a must…unless you’re a one man hero.

  • curtismchale

    All of the above. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to negotiate any type of work from home time with my employer. Ah well.

  • http://bwhWebDesigns.com surelybwh

    Great list. I agree w/ most of it – though I have no kids. I also never work in my PJ’s – at least not during the ‘normal’ work day.

    I’ve found one more advantage, though it’s more about working for myself. I’ve found that most of the people I deal with are more serious about their work than when I worked in ‘corporate America’. Maybe it’s because many of them are small business owners themselves. I really enjoy them more than the people that are just working in their job counting days til retirement.

  • webbiegirl

    I can identify with all of these reasons. The biggest business advantage (and maybe this is more about working for yourself than working from home) is being able to meet the needs of the ‘customer’ more directly without layers of management calling themselves ‘Executives.’

    Working from home is challenging and stressful at times, just like working anywhere else can be, but the benefits you can apply to your personal life can help you be better in your business life.

  • http://www.twotalldesign.com/ cjaquess

    flexibility, freedom and autonomy top my list

    but #1 would be never having to hear that you’re losing your job because…

    my living no longer depends on the whim of one person!

  • Jamie

    @cjaquess – the trick about working at home is that your living DOES depend on the whim of one person: you. In my experience, it takes a very special type of person to maintain a successful home business, especially one that just involves sitting in front of a computer. I tried working from home for a while and found that I just couldn’t keep myself motivated; there were too many distractions, it was too easy to “just do something else for a while”, etc.

    Granted, many people can keep themselves motivated, but the success of a home-based business does still depend on that one individual.

  • dwich

    Well, the biggest challenge is to separate work and private life. Working at home is tricky. There’s always something to do, improve, fix, read, answer..

    If you work at home, you live in your office.

  • M

    1. Get up in the morning knowing you are never late.

    2. Choose where you work, when you work.

    3. No vacation limits.

    4. Hit swimming practice twice a day!

    5. Basically have total control over your life.

    6. The company no longer decides when you take a dump.

  • dwich

    Work-from-anywhere advantages:

    I have my laptop (Dell with worldwide Next Business Day warranty), it’s easy to buy a local SIM-card to get internet connection.

    Let’s talk about work-from-anywhere advantages:

    1. You can do anything you want.

    (sleep in a van, wake up in the morning, hang out with mates, grab surf-boards, ride some waves, then do some work, later on have a bbq and then work at night when you can really do something because you’re surrounded with silence)

    I’m not kidding.

  • http://www.twotalldesign.com/ cjaquess

    @Jamie Ok, maybe I should have been a little more specific…it’s always been up to me. “In my experience, it takes a very special type of person to maintain a successful home business” Survival is a great motivator. If there’s no work done, there’ no getting paid.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve made me love my work again. I was forgetting why I chose being a freelance. It’s not just a work, it’s a life style.

  • versute

    I do feel like I have gained my life back. When I first started working out of college, I had a job where you had to be there at 7am every day. And my second job was the same. Now that I work for a company that enables anyone, with supervisor’s approval, to telework, I have gained my freedom I thought I had lost forever.

    My wife has a job where she has to be there from time A to time B. Sometimes she has nothing to do, but just sits there. What a waste of everyone’s time! And she has a camera almost above her cube, that points at the door, where they can watch people come and go. It freaks her out. Companies that are opposed to enabling and trusting employees to get the work done really need to examine what they have their employees for. Are they just babysitting some adults, making sure they sit in their cubes from 8-5 ever day? Or do they actually measure productivity by deliverables? The company I work for does consulting, so we work based on projects and deliverables. If you get the work done on time, they are happy. If you don’t, there might be consequences.

    Another advantage- working when I want. I have found that I do my best work, and think more clearly, late at night. I might go to the store and run errands during the day, but work three hours from 11pm-2am. Then I go to bed and get up when I wake up. Not getting up early is a huge plus! When I worked in an office, I would never get enough sleep, and would sit there in the afternoon just yearning for my bed!

    I have a comment on some who might say it’s difficult to work from home, from being tempted to do other things, like work around the house. This situation was more real to me when I would only work from home occasionally. It was during that time that I used my telework day more as a get a lot done around the house, and do some work, than a day where I just sat in my home office and worked all day. I figured I could make up the work when I went in the office the next day. Working from home full-time, I have gotten used to the freedom, and don’t feel as tempted to take care of other things, because I know I don’t have but just one opportunity- I can do those errands anyday!
    I wish all of you who are unable to work from home will one day have that opportunity.

  • karl

    i can sit in any position am comfortable of.. :D

  • http://www.homesecurityreviews.net/ versute

    I do feel like I have gained my life back. When I first started working out of college, I had a job where you had to be there at 7am every day. And my second job was the same. Now that I work for a company that enables anyone, with supervisor’s approval, to telework, I have gained my freedom I thought I had lost forever.

    My wife has a job where she has to be there from time A to time B. Sometimes she has nothing to do, but just sits there. What a waste of everyone’s time! And she has a camera almost above her cube, that points at the door, where they can watch people come and go. It freaks her out. Companies that are opposed to enabling and trusting employees to get the work done really need to examine what they have their employees for. Are they just babysitting some adults, making sure they sit in their cubes from 8-5 ever day? Or do they actually measure productivity by deliverables? The company I work for does consulting, so we work based on projects and deliverables. If you get the work done on time, they are happy. If you don’t, there might be consequences.

    Another advantage- working when I want. I have found that I do my best work, and think more clearly, late at night. I might go to the store and run errands during the day, but work three hours from 11pm-2am. Then I go to bed and get up when I wake up. Not getting up early is a huge plus! When I worked in an office, I would never get enough sleep, and would sit there in the afternoon just yearning for my bed!

    I have a comment on some who might say it’s difficult to work from home, from being tempted to do other things, like work around the house. This situation was more real to me when I would only work from home occasionally. It was during that time that I used my telework day more as a get a lot done around the house, and do some work, than a day where I just sat in my home office and worked all day. I figured I could make up the work when I went in the office the next day. Working from home full-time, I have gotten used to the freedom, and don’t feel as tempted to take care of other things, because I know I don’t have but just one opportunity- I can do those errands anyday!
    I wish all of you who are unable to work from home will one day have that opportunity.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  • http://www.logoraman.com electroskan.com

    but then everyone cannot work from home. Some people get easily distracted with all the other things going around in the house.

  • WFH

    to each is to own. Why waste away worrying about 401k, benefits, retirement, “stock” options, etc.

    Great list of advantages, and great comments. The comments that mentioned working with others who own their own business rather than a corporate employee is spot on. Its crazy how passion and working for something that is your OWN changes things.

  • greg

    Working from home is great all the freedom i need, no bosses on my back and time to spend with my family, its the best thing i ever did.

  • http://www.jasonbatten.com NetNerd85

    Thank you Alyssa for the great list.

    I wish all of you who are unable to work from home will one day have that opportunity.

    Thank you!

    but then everyone cannot work from home. Some people get easily distracted with all the other things going around in the house.

    It only takes self-discipline, most people have not heard of it (or so it seems) but it is something people that work from home tend to have. Anyone can gain self-discipline by simply changing the way they communicate to themselves.

  • http://www.bolducpress.com PartDigital

    I love working at home too but I also miss engaging with other people in the work place. That’s the biggest drawback in my opinion.

  • http://www.tyssendesign.com.au Tyssen

    Alyssa already covered most of the advantages I enjoy (although the pets don’t get that much more quality time ;) but this one:

    The biggest business advantage (and maybe this is more about working for yourself than working from home) is being able to meet the needs of the ‘customer’ more directly without layers of management calling themselves ‘Executives.’

    is similar to how I would’ve put it. In my previous jobs I never really had any direct customer interaction, it was always handled by somebody else, and even though I’ve never really though of myself as a particularly people-oriented person, I’ve enjoyed the getting out and meeting new people and forming direction relationships.

  • http://www.HereNextYear.com lerxtjr

    Security from Theft is another benefit of working from home.

    I had a shared office, meaning, other business owners had offices in the same location and we shared a receptionist, fax machine and copier. Although the door to my office was locked, the cleaning people would come in at 9pm and leave ALL the office doors open while they vacuumed. Then, they’d leave for an HOUR and someone else would come back later and get empty all the trash cans.

    I was a late worker to witness this several times and could’ve walked into anyone’s office…lucky for them I’m honest! I’m SURE a few things were missing from MY office though and finally moved out after repeatedly trying to get the building management to change how their cleaning people cleaned offices and made no progress.

  • http://www.jasonbatten.com NetNerd85

    Alyssa is trying to focus on the positive points here guys!

  • Abdul Aziz

    Wonderful List… Hope we all get the opportunity one day … :)

  • devAngel

    I totally agree on the list! I miss working at home since I handle my own time and I dont need to get dressed up and face the traffic jam.

  • webberoo

    Here is a great tip to help with those, like myself, who suffer from procrastination.

    the simple alarm clock can help you conquer procrastination and is especially effective for computer related tasks. Schedule your work in half hour blocks. Thirty solid minutes on one project, five minutes break, then thirty minutes on the same, or a different project. Use your alarm clock to get through a morning or even a whole day like this and experience amazing increases in your productivity.

    Quote taken from ‘Flying Solo’ a great blog for us micro-business owners. You can find it here

  • http://www.gdltec.net gdltec

    Thanks for sharing, I agree with all of your points. I do have a wife, kids and pets and they all get more of my attention than ever before. Now my wife also works from home, we both own small businesses and we love it! We just came back from a one month vacation to Europe and none of our clients didn’t even knew we were gone. God bless working from home/anywhere and Wi-Fi.

  • http://www.rujakmanis.com/forum/showthread.php?p=125293 Debt Consolidation Arizona

    really? I don’t think so.

  • Anonymous

    Not that I’m “freelancing” per se, Im still expected to be here during the official office hours, but I like working from home.

    Everything is just so comfortable and casual, its awesome.

    Ive put on weight though, since I started working from home….

  • http://www.websurveypro.com versute

    Yes, as Anonymous said, I have also gained a little weight since I started working from home full-time. The fridge is all too close, especially when work gets stressful. I hope to lose the weight I’ve gained when the weather cools off and I can go to the nature trail near my house during lunch(or whenever!)

  • Marc

    My wife and I have worked in our home for 8 years. There are some downsides to working at home. Especialy when you have a lot of work.

    – Work never stops, clients call you at any hour, when they know you work from home
    – Less social contacts is a mayor downside too.

    So We rented a small office space at walking distance from our home. I t has all the advantages of working at home(we bring the dog along) But now, I close the door of the office, and I know work is done for that day.

    It’s rather a psychological issue, but If there is a lot of work waiting on your desk it is difficult to stop working.

  • CWW

    In between the lines of your list is the ability to pursue my professional passions without having to justify them to anyone except myself (and my spouse on a really bad month).

  • http://www.buyviagrageneric.com Ritintosy

    yeh right.. great post, Thank You

  • WAH Mom

    This is an excellent article!!

    I have worked from home for more than 10 years. It’s the best thing that I have ever done! Big companies are cutting costs by hiring home workers. Below is a link to a FREE list of hundreds of LEGITIMATE stay at home jobs offered by known companies. These jobs do NOT cost you money. They are employment positions. I hope this helps some of you find success at home.

    http://www.stay-home-income.com

  • WorkAtHomeWriter

    The answers to this question never cease to amaze me, even after writing on the subject for the past several years, as you can see from my reader’s responses to the question, “Why Do You Work from Home, or Want To?”

    I have a couple more that I didn’t see on your list or in the other comments:

    1. It seemed like when I was in the office, I always ended up making the coffee or adding paper to the copy machine. Most people seem to just walk away from these things figuring that the next sucker that wants coffee or needs to make a copy will take care of it.

    2. I despise public bathrooms. Thanks, but I don’t need the attacks on my senses that sharing a bathroom with other people brings. And no matter how good the cleaning crew, they aren’t there to clean up everyone’s messes or odors as they occur.

    Other than that, traffic is one of my biggest pet peeves and the fact that I haven’t needed an alarm clock for the past 6 years has been heavenly.

  • Alice

    You are right, there are many advantages of working at home. There is so much flexibility and you don’t have to deal with obnoxious co-workers or a long commute. I am going to work from home as a medical coder once I am done with my degree and certifications.