NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Working from home seems like a dream job: no commute, no boss following you around and no need to dress up in uncomfortable clothing. But can you be productive sitting in your pajamas and watching television while you "work"? And if you own your own business, does it pay to stay at home and work or rent office space to be more productive? And are all of the costs associated with running a home office worth it?We asked small-business owners to weigh in on why working from home isn't always the best tactic for a successful career.
|Working from home might be convenient, but there are plenty of ways it actually may work against you.|
At home, there are distractions: television, the phone ringing, that pile of laundry to tidy up while responding to emails on your BlackBerry. While distractions exist in an office too, mixing your home life with your office life is risky if you plan on being productive. Genesis Kobos of Kobos PR has been working from home for five years and reveals how troubling that lifestyle can be: "When I first started, I would oftentimes sleep in and start working in my PJs, which never made me feel good and did not lend itself to productivity." There comes a point where you need to separate your work life from your personal life at home, as Andrew Neitlich of the Center for Executive Coaching knows well. He runs his million-dollar business from home and is very familiar with distractions -- he outlines some of them below:
- I start work from 6 to 7:30 a.m., the main quiet time in the house before getting the kids ready for school and driving them. Once the kids are gone, work can resume.
- The cleaners come every week to clean the house. That gets loud.
- Lawn and pool guy comes every week, and that gets loud for phone calls.
- My 2-year old daughter loves to scratch the keys off my computer type pad.
- When the wife wants me, the wife wants me.
Most business requires face-to-face meetings with clients to iron things out. It can be difficult to have people visit your home for business meetings, and it doesn't look professional. Barry I. Mortge, who runs his law firm out of his home, attests to the dilemma of having clients and customers visit his home for meetings: "I do not have a good space to meet my clients, and I don't want people at my home." In the office, chances are you'll have ample space to meet with clients, conduct meetings, give presentations, use the conference room and make a professional impression.