3 Reasons You Should Work From Home – and 1 Reason Why You Shouldn’t

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Should you run your real estate business from home? Is the daily commute to the office still relevant in today’s work environment?

Mobile technology and the Internet have revolutionized many an industry, and real estate is certainly no exception. With products like the iPhone and the iPad, and apps like DocuSign and Evernote, agents are now able to manage complex, demanding transaction on the go with the same focus and attention to detail as if they were in an office.

Yet, as great as all that sounds, some agents are still hesitant to leave the office, so we’ve listed three reasons that the work-from-home approach is worth considering – and one notable reason why those agents’ fears may be well placed.

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Working From Home

1. You’ll be More Productive – According to a recent report from Inc. magazine, telecommuting increased employee productivity on creative tasks by as much as 20 percent.

2. You’ll Work More Hours – Do you ever grow frustrated with the whole process of waking up, getting reading and commuting to the office? Well, if you telecommute, you won’t have to worry about that, and as a result, you’ll like work more hours. More than 50 percent of telecommuting workers, Inc. found, work more than 40 hours a week, compared with just 28 percent of non-telecommuters.

3. You’ll Save Money – With reduced spending on rent, transportation and other expenses, it’s estimated that telecommuting workers can save as much as $11,000 a year.

The Big Reason an Office Still Matters

Based on the reasons we just listed, working from home seems like a slam dunk. You’re more productive, you work harder and you save money in the process. What’s not to like? Well, one thing – and it’s a biggie.

Working from home greatly reduces the opportunity for spontaneous, beneficial interactions with co-workers, which can be a huge detriment to the creative process. That deficiency, in fact, was the central reason behind Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision earlier this year to forbid telecommuting for all of her company’s employees.

As James Surowiecki of The New Yorker explained, “On the simplest level, telecommuting makes it harder for people to have the kinds of informal interaction that are crucial to the way knowledge moves through an organization … John Seely Brown, an organizational guru who was the director of the Xerox PARC research center for a decade, told me, ‘Those chance encounters that become evocative turn out to be incredibly important. They allow people to get out of their ruts and think about things that they might otherwise have missed.'”

So, that negotiation tip that a co-worker gave you? That interesting marketing style you observed? That chit-chat at the water fountain that yielded a fresh approach to lead generation? None of that is possible if you work from home.

Of course, we recommend you work in whatever environment suits your business style the best, but it’s worthwhile considering the pros and cons of that approach.

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