Author Imagine rolling out of bed in your pajamas and getting straight to work on your laptop to meet that deadline for work, while watching "Live With Regis and Kelly"...Nice huh? To many this may seem like a very easy decision to make: it would be perfect to have time for yourself and be able to do your work on your own time schedule without your boss looking over your shoulder? right? well maybe not. There are some companies in the US and Canada that allow their employees to work from home: "IBM" and "AT& T" are two big companies in North America that allow this option for their employees. What these companies have done to create resolution they have embarked on a program aimed at getting more employees to work from home and other off-site locales, joining the growing ranks of companies to catch the virtual-workplace wave. About 14% of the U.S. workforce gets its job done at a home office more than two days per week. Roads leading to these major corporations simply weren't designed to handle the 75,000 commuters who report for work there each day.

Smaller companies are picking up on this option for their employees now: American Airlines, TDS telecom, Sprint, Xerox, and Aetna- to name a few. Though this would probably take the stress off a busy work environment for the employee, this would be an advantage to the employer as well. There are a number of reasons why companies are introducing this option: It helps the business save money, increases productivity, reduces overhead costs, there is a less turnover for the company, and there would also be bigger advantages in recruiting. It also fosters the employee retention, boost worker productivity, and slash real estate costs. Many conduct online conferencing and utilize a collaboration software that makes it easier for people in different locations to work together and conduct meetings .Another way to bridge the physical distance is to provide a worker with the essential tools needed to stay connected to colleagues. For the virtual worker, a laptop, high-speed Internet access, and a personal digital assistant or mobile phone.

There are many disadvantages and advantages for working from home for the employee as well. Some virtual workers can feel lonely, isolated, or deprived of vital training and mentoring. And communication breakdowns can impede innovation, trust, job satisfaction, and performance .IBM discovered that workers who spend three or more days without talking to a manager or colleagues start to feel disconnected. For one, you are more susceptible to get easily distracted by things around you: a popular distraction: the phone! When you first start working at home job or business, it will be very tempting to allow personal calls and other household chores to crawl into your workday when your not looking. It is necessary to make sure that you do not do personal business during office hours. Besides when you are in a work setting, you leave home duties until after you punch out right? So the same rule applies when you work at home. For the hours you dedicate to your job, you need to focus on those hours. A second disadvantage of working from home is that you may not have time to spend time with family or leisure activities. Some individuals may become to wrapped up in their job, that they may end up neglecting their family and any leisure activities. Another disadvantage of working from home could be that some individuals may attempt the balancing act between work life and private life. People may underestimate the difficulty of trying to do too many things at once. This just requires too much time and superman willpower that alot of people would not be able to give. There is a need to have a high level of self discipline. Working from home is not all bad: there is definitely a flipside to it as well.

There are many advantages as well such as some turn to a combination of mobile devices, e-mail, instant messaging, and collaboration software to help colleagues stay in touch. IBM teams use tools that provide customizable online team spaces, or portals that can be tailored to a specific project--complete with calendars, task lists, discussion forums, and document libraries. One advantage of working at home would be saving time on commuting. With working from home, you would have more time to focus on work during the day, and then also have time for yourself for leisure activities in the evening; not be stuck in traffic like everyone else. When working from home, there is another plus side: expenses are then deductible. For either employees or self-employed individuals, you can deduct your internet, phone, supplies and even the square footage you use in your home to work. You can always ask for your company to pay for your internet access , phone line and needed supplies. This saves you a ton of money that would've been spent on these items. A third advantage would be that you will experience less anxiety and stress. By being in a work atmosphere, there is always so much competition and gossip going on among co-workers that it may take a mental and emotional impact on individuals. So it really seems like working from home has its advantages and disadvantages: its in between hard and easy.

Farheen Qureshi
JID Editorial Team