Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer started a firestorm when she said Yahoo employees could no longer have working at home as an option. Whether it was due to a lack in productivity in workers it still is worth wondering whether other companies will be followng her lead as a result. Even still working at home may be an option you want to consider in the future. As the advent of technology is allowing people more opportunities to be closer to home; its important to consider your options when making the transition from to working to home. The following are some important things to consider:
Do I have a support network
It is difficult to work from home when no one wants you there. If you have a family at home who has their own system will your transition make things difficult for them or will they be supportive in this endeavor? Not having family support will make your job much harder and possibly risk it if you are not careful. Make sure if this is a decision you would like to try, you get the feel for the climate in your home first. That way everyone is communicating on the same page, and when you are home, those already there will not expect things from you, you cannot deliver.
Financially will I be able to support myself
If your company is stable, working from home doesn't seem to prove to be a problem. Find out if the pay is going to support being at home. Will you use more electicity, bills, food? Is it cost effective? In this economy, some positions are more likely to end up on the chopping block first. Will it be a stable viable employment option? Count the cost, will you lose money or save money? Do you have a contract with your employer, meaning is the option to work at home a stable paying choice or will you be viewed as more of a contract non essential employee? Will you put your future at risk if you are no longer in the office.
Do you have the proper equipment
Regardless, technology is expensive, before you consider this option make sure you know what is expected of you. Will the company provide all that is needed in order for your job to be accomplished. Are you required to foot some of the bill. Will you compensated for energy costs, paper etc. if not, have you factored this into the cost versus savings. Make sure you get all the information upfront to avoid any unmet expectations. Will you be required to attend meetings in-house and will this be factored into your budget. You may find over time you are spending around the same amount of money in the long run so it may not work.
Consider your motives for working from home
Is your field very difficult to find in your area? Do you have family concerns that need to be attended to? Perhaps working from home will give you more energy to focus on all you have to do instead of a tiring commute. Factor in all the viables that help you come to a decision.
Will I be fired, is my job security at stake
Many workers at home may be at risk for not being in the loop on the most current information. Have you investigated your company culture. Will you be a valued employee? Being at home sometimes can breed isolation and may bring an 'out of sight out of mind' attitude towards some company members. Are you a self starter, some evidence states, as with Yahoo's example, that being at home may produce poor work habits and being in the office helps give more acountability. Will it be the best for your needs and personality? Evaluate your company culture, are you at risk for cliques getting the first promotions or does your company have a means of measuring company productivity equally so as to not allow your reputation to suffer. Are 'work at homers' looked down upon, will you be as committed or will it put you at a disadvantage.
It is important to evaluate your own needs in deciding on whether to work from home. What works for some may not work for all. Find out the options in your area and which companies support this type of work. Being armed with information will help you make the best decision possible; as always happy job hunting.