Working from home is a pipe dream for many, and a reality for a very few today. That very few is growing in numbers daily, and there are definitely excellent reasons for this happening.
Even in the macro-social sense, people working from home makes a lot of sense. For every person that stays home, there is less traffic, less crowding, less pollution, etc. And it can certainly be a huge time saver for all involved.
But there are still some strong advantages to actually having a separate work place in many industries, and it could be said that working from home may be some but definitely is not for everybody. Here are some advantages of having a physically separate work address that may often be overlooked these days:
Infrastructure and Technology
Everything that a proper office can have that would be difficult or impossible to acquire and maintain in a home office setting, from proper office printers to proper servers to proper conference rooms with projectors, real life offices have much more infrastructure than you could ever aspire to. Technology has been making some major changes and updates into the officespace whether it is adding sensory rooms or even rooms that you can sleep in. Citation has created a very interesting info graphic that you can check out on the bottom.
Everybody thinks that they can focus on their work at home the same way they would in an office, but not everybody actually can pull it off the way they think they can.
Not only do you have to deal with external distractions at home that would never even happen in an office setting, you have your own inner demons that are going to need wrestling with. These include a tendency to procrastinate that can be unexpectedly strong.
And to further complicate matters, other people living with you, be they family members, significant others or even just your roommates, often don’t help matters much. They often assume that because you are working from home they have complete carte blanche to interrupt you whenever and for whatever trivial reason.
If you can’t address all of this, you shouldn’t be working from home. Period.
One of the biggest benefits of working in an office is that you get to that point every day when you leave your office and go commute home or wherever else it is that you are planning on going. The point is that your work day is officially over with a capital O. There are of course exceptions to this rule, but there is a certain psychologically healthy element to being able to say “that’s enough for one day” and calling it a day, with a corresponding change of environment.
This is kind of the other side of the coin of having a hard time getting into the working frame of mind from home. At some point you have to get back out of it. People who do work from home need to know how to set themselves healthy limits on their work time so they aren’t constantly in work-pressure mode.