3 Reasons You Should Never Work From Home

by | BiggerPockets.com

Want to achieve any kind of significance within your business or just a high level of success? You won’t be able to do that from home. I’m sorry. Home is for your personal, private life. As much as you want to portray that you have this home office, desk, internet, separate entrance, and all of that mumbo jumbo, I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe it because you are not in an environment where there are other business professionals on the same page as you.

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3 Reasons You Should Never Work From Home

1. You won’t interact with other professionals in a professional environment.

If you want to achieve success in business or in your real estate, you need to surround yourself with the right people. You need to have people on the same page as you who are going where you are going. You can’t be sitting in your underwear on a couch at home saying that you are working from home. There are just too many distractions like your TV, the great view from your balcony, the pool, the tennis court, whatever. In my opinion, it just doesn’t work because you’re not in a professional environment. You should want to be with other people, be in the zone, focusing on business, on doing the next deal, making the next dollar. You need to surround yourself with whiteboards, write down your goals, write down your to-do lists. Yes, you can do it from home, but it’s just not the same.

Related: Why Virtual Reality is About to Revolutionize the Real Estate Industry

2. You won’t create a company culture.

How about company culture? How are you going to create a company culture from home? It’s almost impossible. You need an office, a landmark within your business so people can recognize who you are and what you do from a branding perspective. So if you want to achieve anything significant in your real estate endeavors, if you want to create a business that will last with a great culture, you can’t do that from home.

3. You’ll encounter distractions and won’t have the same motivation.

Another thing that I don’t believe in is virtual assistance or working virtually. I don’t want anyone working for my companies to be a virtual employee. It’s just not happening. As I said, there are too many distractions at home. I don’t believe in performance from afar. I believe in performance within the same walls, where we can all push each other, motivate each other, and understand each other. And if we all have the same bigger picture goals in mind, then we’re all headed in the same direction.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

Are you working from home? How’s that working out for you? Are you doing well? Are you running a big company? Do you have a lot of people working for you? What’s your brand like? Or do you have a huge office?

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below and hit me up.

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a.”the Real Estate Dingo,” quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.

64 Comments

  1. Three reasons to work from home:
    I can work in my pajamas

    My view of a private ten acre lake from my home office window is unbelievable. Three sand hill cranes just flew by my window! A hungry squirrel is rattling my window screen. I can see a painted bunting in the brush.

    Nobody can tell me, “It’s time to knock off and go home!”

  2. Anna M.

    For me, home actually is the place where I am most productive. Yes it is my personal and private space, but I make my work personal too, else I get little satisfaction from it. My work is an extension of who I am and I am a big fan of work life balance and the ability to carry and complete my work wherever I am vs. having a designated place for work and one for my personal/private life. Granted there are things that you cannot bring to the office, but I see no reason why you cannot take your office to your home, especially if you are fully engaged in what you do that it does not even really feel like work. I will meet clients at the office, when I train, I will go to them, but outside of that, I can do just as much if not more at home and be even more productive. I like the flexibility that allows and I am not big on the 8 to 5, be shackled to your cubicle model.

    Interacting with other professionals? I do that when I go out to train and or around the office working as part of a FLEX schedule.

    Creating a company culture? “You need an office, a landmark within your business so people can recognize who you are and what you do from a branding perspective.” Sorry not buying the argument on this one. Plenty of businesses make it in today’s digital age without a landmark.

    Distractions? That’s where self-discipline comes into play.

    So while I like the article in that it encourages debate, I see things from a totally different perspective, and thus the beauty of discussion :)!

  3. Working at home definitely isn’t for everyone, especially those who lack self-discipline and may be looking for an excuse not to have to get up early, put on the appropriate business attire, and drive across town to the daily grind.

    However, if you are self-disciplined and motivated, wow, what an opportunity. No 30 – 45 minutes drive each way to work in frustrating traffic, wearing and wearing out a suite (Silicon Valley techies excepted), office chit chat, office one hour lunches just long enough to keep you tethered etc.

    At home you can come to your command center, focus and start working. You can accomplish in four hours what most office workers can do is eight.

    As a another post said, smell the coffee and look at the sights. Mine is sitting on Biscayne Bay in Miami watching the power and sails boats go by, listening to the distant laughter of people having fun and knowing I can and am part of it.

    Going to an office is a throwback to the Industrial Age. Back then it made sense to have all employees at a work station, say at 8:00 AM and waiting for a whistle to blow and the production line snap into action. Humans were never programmed to be nine-to-fivers.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Tom,

      Most folks aren’t self disciplined and are better of spending the time in getting to a professional office set up for better performance.

      In my opinion there are just too many distractions when it comes working from home.

      Everyone loves saying “I can run my entire business from my phone and from home”

      Sure you can, but you probably don’t have a business and it’s more of a hobby.

      Much success

    • Moises Benitez

      I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I too probably get a lot more done remotely than I do in one location. To your point, @tomphelan , if you’re self disciplined you can work from Mars. In my humble opinion, the 7 or 8 hour work week most folks (I’m still in it) work 4, and the remaining they’re phone checking, lunch or chit chatting.

      I’d like to hit the pavement at as early as possible, and be the most productive in those hours.

      @engelo rumora you have some valid points as well, just feel it’s all personal preference. Don’t know it’s such hard rule for success. What I see in a lot of the comments is the word “discipline”. Perhaps working remotely doesn’t work if you lack discipline.

  4. jeff pollack

    This is a really stupid article. The world is not black and white, especially in the realm of real estate. For every facet of the business there is someone who swears by a particular strategy or method and somebody else who will insist said strategy or method will never work. I work from home and always will. I get that many people lack the focus and discipline to work from home, but it works great for me. I love the flexibility and there is no amount of money that would would entice me into the prison-like environment of an office. If i feel like walking my dog, I walk my dog. If I want to go for a hike, I go. If want to nap, I nap. You get the idea. I don’t need a “corporate culture” because I have no desire to have employees and the closest thing I’ll ever have to an office is the coffee shop that is a 15 minute stroll from my house. I netted over $1m in 2017 with complete freedom to work on my own terms. For me this qualifies as “success” and “significance” in my business.

    • Jeff,

      I agree with much of what you say but opening by calling someone or something “Stupid” may not be the most effective approach to capture one’s attention and desire to read more.

    • Sandra McGinty

      I don’t want to be a little corporate soldier either. In fact, I help people get the heck away from that lifestyle. There are types who prefer to work in an office. In my experience, those are the same people who lack self-discipline, aren’t self-starters, have trouble making decisions without a whole bunch of guidance from others, etc. I’ll take my bathrobe over a suit any day of the week.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Jeff,

      My whole life people have been calling me stupid, an idiot and uneducated.

      I thrive on those comments as at the end of day my reputation speaks for itself and I make a fortune running multiple companies and providing value for my employees and investors through those various companies.

      It seems like your selfish and have no intentions of creating value for others.

      Being a business owner and entrepreneur is about providing jobs.

      I wish you much success

      ps. $1m is pretty average. You could probably triple that with a leadership team and an actually company

      • Reese C.

        I’m starting to see a pattern in these posts by Engelo.

        1. Post an article from his perspective as fact
        2. Receive criticism in comments
        3. Attack criticizers in comments

        But hey, it gets clicks…

        Back to the subject.
        It all comes down to motivation and hunger. If you are hungry enough you will make moves from wherever your rear rests. using whatever tools you have…

      • Aria Drexler

        You seem like the kind of person who can never make enough money and won’t be satisfied with what you have. $1 mil is a great accomplishment for many. Most folks don’t need to waste money on yachts or large homes. Being satisfied and content with what one has, and the idea of minimalism is a noble cause and valued in many mindsets & religions. Materialism is vain and empty. Let people be happy doing what they do, including setting their own work-life balance. If you are the work dingo, then you probably won’t stop yapping and nipping at the heels of anyone that doesn’t agree with your work methods. You do your thing, but take note that you have alienated your audience, as most of the commenters disagree with you and won’t take your advice. (I am the type of person that absolutely needs the structure and social environment of the traditional workplace, btw. But everyone is different and has different needs).

  5. Working from home (or anywhere) is the future for global commerce and any enterprising entrepreneur in the modern world. Office space, employees and commuting are a total waste of time, resources, expense, effort, adds unnecessary stress, increases the cost of healthcare, and are fast becoming obsolete as companies downsize, cut costs, and adopt more work-at-home models. Almost everything can be outsourced and managed virtually these days. Add to that the rise of AI which will replace a majority of the work force over the next several decades. That is the future and it’s already started. Those that feel they still need that office environment to put them in work mode are Industrial Age dinosaurs or just lack self-discipline to run the business more efficiently. This is the Digital Age. Time to change.

    • Engelo Rumora

      AI is still ages away.

      “We Work” is the next step.

      We Work is a still a professional office environment where like minded folks can collaborate together to get the job done.

      Working together with amazing people is how a business grows

      Working from home is a hobby in my opinion

      Thanks

  6. Susan scavelli on

    I’ve been working from home. You are right too many distractions. I am disciplined too so that’s not a problem. I find using an office phone number to call prospects from and having a nice place to meet my clients is important. My private home is not where I want my clients to come. I also like using the office equipment and the office assistant. I like knowing when I’m done at the office I can go home to only work if necessary. Tried the home office thing -it’s not all that great.

  7. Brandon Hall

    Yikes. Keep an open mind man. A closed mind is one that stops learning. Your confidence can lead to arrogance which can then lead to failure.

    My firm is direct proof that much of what is portrayed in this article is false. We don’t have an office, all employees work from home and in different states, and yet we have extremely high productivity and an awesome company culture.

    When I worked at EY, I managed two people. I thought that if my reports were billing 8-9 hours per day, they must have been productive.

    When I launched my virtual CPA firm, there was no way to track time (without driving myself nuts). So hourly billing and utilization went out the window. Now we measure performance based on what actually gets done. It’s a results only work environment.

    We interact all day over Slack and Zoom video. One of our CPAs recently made the comment that there is more interaction and collaboration in our virtual firm where we are hundreds of miles apart from each other compared to his old firm where they were separated by a small cube wall.

    Maybe your office environment is providing you with false positives? Are you sure that people aren’t free of distractions in your office? That they aren’t killing time with coffee breaks?

    Our culture says that if you don’t have anything to do, you get (1) to pick up an innovation-type project or (2) take the rest of the day off. No point in making people stick around purely for my own satisfaction and “confirmation” of productivity.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your comment Brandon,

      No offense but I would never hire you as my accountant.

      I speak to my accounting team almost daily and we meet in person very often also.

      Your service is great for par time investors and folks investing in real estate as a hobby in my opinion.

      “False positives” I don’t thinks so mate as we have 4x’d revenue from last year.

      I run a pretty tight ship and provide freedom to all to take as many coffee breaks as they want.

      They can also start the day when they want and leave whenever they want.

      We all chase hard and accomplish so much together.

      The Monday morning meetings are the best where we catch up on the week that past and the week ahead.

      I wish you much success

      • Brandon Hall

        You’ve made poor assumptions in nearly every reply to someone challenging your thoughts. It’s interesting you feel comfortable doing so on a public forum.

        We speak with our largest clients every day. There is literally not one reason to do so face-to-face. Our clients work with us because few other CPAs actually help grow businesses.

        In terms of our clients’ sizes, take a look at your goals that you wrote in Brian Burke’s forum post and 10x them.

        Much success.

        • Engelo Rumora

          My apologies Brandon as I didn’t mean to offend you in anyway.

          I’m known to be quite raw in my replies.

          I never claim to be right or wrong and just like sharing my opinions, perceptions and experiences.

          I’m sure you have a very successful business and that you look after your clients in a top notch manner.

          We are still “small fishies” just doing our best to get bigger in the ocean lol

          Have a great day and much success

        • Brandon Hall

          Thanks Engelo – I think things can be misinterpreted via written form (a downside to being virtual lol).

          Agree on the small fishes. Aiming to grow! Good luck!

  8. John Teachout

    Being able to be home is one of the main reasons I’m a full time real estate investor and not working as a pilot. Making my own schedule, wearing sweats and a t-shirt instead of a suit and tie and not having to be up and out of the house at any particular time unless I determined that time. While working at home is not for everybody, it’s also completely wrong to suggest it’s not for anybody. I love it and have no desire to have it otherwise.

  9. Sandra McGinty

    OMG… Really? I work FROM HOME and do deals IN MY BATHROBE. No kidding.

    And, duh, you can’t network one on one with other professionals, but thank God there’s social media, right? Lordie… I got sucked into this article because of the title, but it just ain’t true. Sorry. Big miss.

    Here’s what you should have titled the article: YOU CAN’T START A BIG COMPANY WORKING FROM HOME… Oh, wait, yes you can. That’s how a lot of really big companies began. Oh, like the company behind all those neat-o Apple products and Microsoft goodies. Pizza Hut. Papa John’s. Mary Kay. Lillian Vernon. Am I making a point?

    I agree with an earlier reply… dumb article.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your comment Sandra,

      Yep, those companies have huge HQ’s and Apple is pending $1b on it’s “Space Ship” office.

      Working from home is a hobby and most folks won’t even create a small business let along a big company.

      Much success

    • Laura Verderber

      As for interacting with professionals, there’s Biggerpockets, REIA meetings, going to someone else’s office, chatting at the job site of a current flip… I do a lot of interacting via phone and texts, handing out business cards, saying “Do you have someone you recommend? Oh, you know so and so? Will you introduce me?”

  10. Theresa Minifield

    Like the majority of the responses on here, i love, love, love working from home. While it’s probably not for everyone, it works great for me. In addition to my REIs, I run another business, apart from real estate, from home. i have a virtual office with two live receptionists and for meeting with clients, for staff meetings, for mail, to hang my licenses, etc. I am more productive when I work from home. In fact, I get so engrossed with my operations and management from home that I have to keep a timer to remind me to take a break. I can work as late into the night as I want. Distractions, what distractions? For those who find TV a distraction, there is an option to turn it off. I interact with others just fine via chats, emails, texts, video conferences, and the phone. I have more time to connect with people via technology than I would in person. Company culture? I organize monthly staff luncheons and meetings at the virtual office where I can rent a conference room for a minimal fee. Motivation? I am very motivated because of the savings of not having to pay for a brick and mortar office space when I can do the same for an extremely affordable price, the time saved travelling and wasted from socializing in the office, Self-discipline, time management, work-life balancing, and organization make my work from home very successful.

  11. I am working with a Life Insurance Company and Insurance Agencies who use a Call Center to find people interested in hearing about A major innovation in the industry that can benefit them.

    The live calls are transferred to the Life Insurance Agents in their … home. The Agents gather the basic facts and then make an appointment in the future. The call back utilizes Screen Share for the presentation where illustrations are employed. If a person is interested the application is taken with EApp and Docu-sign is used for signatures.

    The Agent records visual and audio of the entire Presentation and conversation and then emails a file copy to the prospect. The Agent will likely never meet face-to-face his/her clients who might live in another state.

    The days of the “One-Call-Close” by a Life Insurance Agent sitting at a kitchen table will soon be moribund.

    Real Estate as we know it will soon follow and likely the car industry, e.g. no multi-million dollar Dealerships. Everything will be done on the internet.

  12. Brandy Horkey

    I am a professional working for a major telecommunications company. I used to drive at least an hour each way when I was in the office. That all changed when my manager caught wind that I might be entertaining a position with another company that was 5 minutes from where I was living. I have worked from home for 7 years and I have been very successful in my career and I am a happier person.

    I get 2 extra hours of sleep every night so I am more alert. I am home to make sure my daughter gets off to school every morning and I am the first person to greet her after school. If I have a long day, I don’t have to worry about what my family waiting on me. I am already there! I do not have any distractions from coworkers wanting to tell me about their kid’s play last night. I don’t have to rush to get lunch. I walk to the kitchen and get what I want.

    My company has gone through many layoffs over the past 3-4 years and I have survived because I am one of the highest producers. I have a great rapport with my customers because they know I always get the job done efficiently and effectively, even though they are in Indiana and I am in Florida.

    In addition to my full time job, I have opened my own business and so far I have been able to keep it 99% online and I have been productive and profitable.

    I guess I am doing it all wrong….

  13. Angela Hagen

    There are upsides and downsides to working at home. I agree with most of the points in the article. I have a corporate job in which working remotely is an option and do both in office and at home. For real estate I can’t afford office space and my business partner/ significant other is at home with me so currently we office at home. My general rule of thumb is to get myself up on a schedule and dress myself in a manner that I can answer the door or run to the bank or store without looking like I just got out of bed. When I do go into work, I actually like the business casual attire (love to shop) and I usually feel very rewarded by getting to interact with other professional people. I feel the surrounding of professionals does create growth for me as a professional person and that is important to me. Teams can work remotely but there is opportunity in working together face to face. Relationships are key and you can’t build them 100% over the phone or computer.

  14. James Stayton

    I don’t need the overhead and it’s not like anyone stays home 24 / 7. I can review deals and make calls then go down the road a few miles to pick up my daughter from school. One of my team work from home so be can help with his wife’s chemo.

    We all have reasons.

  15. ChokSheak Lau

    This is an interesting thought-provoking article, so good job Engelo! As like in most of the other comments, seems like most people are more for WFH than against it. I myself am pro-WFH but I don’t think it is a matter of right and wrong here.

    What I observed personally without proof are:
    1. The entire world is moving towards WFH. In fact, WFH will give your business an advantage not just in cost-savings but also in employee morale.
    2. WFH depends on your job and industry. Not all jobs are suitable for WFH.
    3. WFH is not for everyone. Some people like it more than others do. No right or wrong here.

    So I believe we should view WFH as a work and business strategy. It is just an important a strategy as any other strategy. We should apply it in the right way in the right proportions according to each business’s needs. But there is no need to brush it off entirely if it works well in practice. 🙂

  16. Andrew Syrios

    Working from home sometimes is fine, but you can’t do it all the time. It’s also hard to completely shut off work if you’re in the exact same place for work and not-work. It’s like you never really completely leave your job.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Agreed Andrew,

      You run your own business and “the office” is where the magic happens.

      Working from home is a false dream.

      Even Tim Ferris does just “ok” lol

      Nothing beats an office environment and a thriving culture.

      Everyone rowing in the same direction

      Hundreds of people believing in the same vision and bigger picture.

      That is business and entrepreneurship to it’s finest

      Thanks

  17. Eric Carr

    Of course what’s written is working for the author, but I think it limiting to use words like “never”, “cant”, “wont work”.
    “You won’t interact with other professionals in a professional environment”: The professional environment is, in my opinion, a construct. And that construct is changing. We have more ways to connect and interact than ever without actually going anywhere. I take exception that this article suggests that working from home also means being a lazy slob. How many people leave their offices to chat in person to a colleague down the hall or on anther floor these days? We have the tools and the choice to interact with professionals, only now it’s a focused effort rather than being stuck in an office. Not being distracted is a matter of mindset change and will and focus. I am much happier writing down my goals and to do lists in my home office.

    “You won’t create a company culture”: You won’t create the old company culture, the one most have known while working in an office – the old way – but you WILL create a new culture. I host annual get togethers at places like Dave and Busters and BBQ’s and dinners, mountain hikes, bike rides, even in the middle of the week meetings at a café. Things are casual, relaxed, and everyone is happy. Happy to see each other, share, and happy to be productive and be part of the team. It’s a privilege, one you don’t keep by being lazy. I believe that needing a building is also, among being an unnecessary cost for my business, is not necessary for landmark and recognition and branding. We know Facebook has an office, Google, but I doubt most can point it out on a map. Many of these companies allow people time and days to work from home and I think it will increase.

    “You’ll encounter distractions and won’t have the same motivation”: Again, this comes down to mindset and will. It’s a skill that can and needs to be developed but once it gets going, my experience is that I’m more productive and happier. Just like anything, it gets easier with practice – another reason I dislike the words, “cant”, “never”, “won’t”. I’m sure there are millions of people that get distracted by the internet during downtime or after finishing a project in an office. When one works, there is results, this happens in an office or out. How many of you have worked during a vacation or during a weekend? I think making statements like “it will never happen in my company” anchors one down in a generation that is about to pass.

    The benefits I see for having a remote workforce: Much bigger pool of talent unless geography and making physical appearances is necessary, more time with kids, more time with pets, getting up in the middle of being productive to handle life or the pool – the days of being beholden to someone in an office are done. We have more tools to be more productive and to do it almost anywhere at any time. Not fighting traffic on a commute or being part of the traffic, gives a person the option to live in a remote community they prefer – which will slowly change the face of real estate, both residential and commercial. Being productive and working for someone shouldnt mean being owned by a “boss” 8 – 14 hours a day in a prison. When people are happier, they do more and do better. Trust me, no one I’ve ever known was remembered for how many hours they spent in the office when they passed. The world is changing, change with it or get left behind.

  18. Engelo,

    Unfortunately I think you have taken too much corporate cool aide.

    I am an evolutionist and believe that most of us like our zoological cousins, chimps, gorillas and orangutans are genetically programed to follow-not lead. Your acquiescence to the corporate ideology
    fits snuggly its mantra. Sort of like the scene in the movie “Wizard Of Oz” when Dorothy’s dog Toto pulls
    backs the drapes to discover that all is not what it appears to be, especially when the man behind the drapes frantically tries to manipulate the levers that control the screen portraying the Great Oz who belches fire and damnation by saying “Pay no attention to the little man with the levers …” For Dorothy that event was life-changing, unfortunately for millions of Americans who crawl through traffic each to arrive on time to an office that dictates what you wear, when you can take a break, when to have lunch, when you can have a day off, when you can have a vacation and for how long etc.

    To me this subtle deception is and always has been, corporate America ploy. “Everyone rowing in the same direction. Hundreds of people believing in the same vision and bigger picture.”

    “That is business and entrepreneurship to it’s finest.” Some of us realize there are many “Little men behinds the drapes” in the corporate world and behind closed mahogany doors one common and dominant theme prevails, how to extract more work from each worker.

    If you work for a corporation as an Employee and do not have a piece of the pie with stocks, stock options, ownership etc. then you are not an entrepreneur, you are an employee, perhaps a highly paid employee.

    Next time while you are in your “.. office environment and a thriving culture” trying going to your boss and say. “You know Boss we had a terrific quarter and it looks like it’s going to be a record breaking year and as a Team we rocked. So I am going to take the next 30-days off and spend it in Paris with my wife”.

    What’s that whooshing sound, it’s the door hitting you in the butt on your way out of that melodious, comfy environment.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Tom,

      You clearly don’t know much about me or my beliefs as an entrepreneur.

      Please keep reading my blogs and contributing and over time you will get a better idea of my style.

      Corporate America sucks big time for sure

      Much success

  19. John Murray

    The author has great points and some of the comments that do not agree. I was never a very good employee. I was a good soldier (a lost art). I’m a great entrepreneur and that is my strong point. The standard for employees is money, money is everything to them. We entrepreneurs like to poke fun at the rank and file, which includes all employees. Yes that is even the managers of people. Corporate culture has always been something that has evaded my interest. I have never been politically astute, as I seemed to drawn to my passions. My passions are what separates me from employees. When employees compete corporations win. When entrepreneurs compete, entrepreneurs win and our passions grow stronger that make us multimillionaires. Work at home, work in the office, direct deposit and play office politics, it’s all the same pointless.

  20. Paul Parker

    I think the key I can take out of this article is that you need a consistent mechanism to have a team of people around you that inspire and challenge you. Discipline comes in many different size packages dependent on oneself. I’m not sure there is a right or wrong to this but in my experience eventually you realize that the more people you have working towards the same like-minded goals the better. I know that is not quite the same as the WFH vs WFO debate but it’s critically important. But when you are first starting out you do a lot of things yourself for obvious reasons…

  21. Thomas Brickhouse

    I have read a lot of comments on this article, both pro and con. While someone starting out may not have any option other than working from home, maybe one should keep an open mind towards the future. I think Engelo makes some good points. Working from home does bring its own set of challenges. However everyone is different. One style does not fit all. Maybe a better approach would have been: “6 Things to Watch out for When Working From Home”.

  22. Rob Stein

    A very well written article with valid information, no doubt. Personally, as someone who works from home productively, I believe ultimately the success of working from home will depend on the character, mindset and discipline of the individual. Some days present more challenges than others, but working from home allows numerous advantages over renting an office, if the individual can maintain the ability to keep a solid schedule, be productive and not let the comforts of home prevent them from getting to higher levels of success.

  23. Tom Phelan on

    I think many readers have neglected or are unaware of the Darwinian influence of why the majority of people choose to work at an Office where “Team Work” allegedly is more productive than at home.

    Genetically most of us are, like it or not, programmed to be subordinate, to have someone else tell us when to show up for work, when to take a break, when to eat lunch, when to go home etc. This also likely includes a Company Procedure Manual that clearly spells out dress code, office etiquette and when you get a raise, can take a vacation etc. Basically everything is set-up for you so when you go home at night the company you work for can cease to exist and magically reappear when you pull into the Employee Parking Lot the next day.

    Candidly, this gives me the shrivers, thinking someone else is deciding when I can have lunch, what days I don’t have to come in, when I can have a vacation .. you know the drill.

    “Team” efforts are indeed essential for many things but not absolutely necessary for a working environment.

  24. Mindi Rosser

    I’ve worked from home for years, and it’s the best decision I have ever made. I’d disagree that productivity or professionalism suffers. I can make more connections, communicate with more people, and have the flexibility to do in-person or video chats whenever it’s advantageous. I save money/time from no commute and dress up for video chats when it makes sense.

    I would say that working from home is usually NOT a good fit for extroverts or those who are not self-motivated. You need to literally schedule every bit of your day to optimize for productivity, or you will not thrive as a remote worker. Takes practice, patience, and persistence to get your formula right… but when you do, ah, it works!

  25. Laura Verderber

    I feel you! I’m disabled too, and the main caregiver of my child. The only way I’m able to work now is running a business at home at home, mostly through the phone and internet. I feel like any employer would fire me if they had to accommodate my conditions and the need for a flexible schedule. Everyone’s situation is different. Mr. Rumora runs an office with employees. It makes for him to have a public office. But working at home is ideal for me. I am disciplined, focused, and get up early everyday so I am exactly as busy and productive as I want to be. I can see someone less self-driven and disciplined having trouble in an environment like that. I save on commute time, I save on gas, no coworkers to judge me while I take an hour’s rest from my symptoms… I don’t have to take off work to go to the doctor or take care of my child… Win. Win. Win.

  26. James Roberts

    I’m pro WFH. As a network engineer for a major Telecom I complete 30% more work on a daily basis from home compared to the office. Obviously it’s not for everyone. Many require their manager hovering over their shoulder to be productive.
    If being successful means forcing hundreds of employees into an office everyday then I guess I’ll just continue to be a happy failure.
    It’s important to find what works best for you.

  27. Carl Hammill

    I have worked at office and from home. Both have benefits/pitfalls but it comes down to which one has MORE benefits for you.

    Office:
    the good:
    * Peers to keep you motivated/share knowledge..maybe.
    * feels more professional.

    the bad:
    * more expensive
    * can’t always work off-hours

    Home office
    the good:
    *massive flexibility. Can work 7 am or 2 am. Some of my best work has happened at 2 am.
    * much cheaper (saved money can be used to hire VA, improve valuable segment of business, etc.)
    * comfort. Can literally roll out of bed and be up and running in 5 minutes. No traffic or gas tank to fill.

    the bad:
    * not ideal for undisciplined investors or those with many distractions at home.

    Conclusion: it depends on person and home circumstances. If person is disciplined and has spouse/children who respect your work-time then this is no brainer. If you are easily distracted and your home environment resembles a loud roar…then it off to office for you.

  28. John K.

    I actually find the office far more distracting and less efficient than working from home. While it’s cherry picking data points (but so is the original article), my bank account has grown orders of magnitude more when the work was primarily done at home vs an office. This discussion is so dependent on such a large number of variables it’s impossible to say anything definitively in a vacuum.

  29. Andrew Syrios

    I would have to disagree, at least in part. I don’t think you should always work from home (distractions, less networking, no clear delineation for when work ends). But at the same time, the office can often be very distracting with small issues dominating big ones. For important projects I’m working on alone, working from home often works best for me.

  30. Tyler Rowland

    ENGELO RUMORA I have to say I don’t agree with you, but this is something that I have been thinking about for a while but could not put it into words. Your absolutely right It is important to focus on work when at work and home life at home. I Think it could be unfair for those at home as well. If you work at home, and your work day is “over” wouldn’t you also be distracted from the time they have with you. You will remember something that needs to be done for work and its right there most people would just do it during family time. Where as if your work is a drive away, you think about weather or not it really needs to be done right this second.
    Great principles here! Works for in the same way for landlords and tenants.

  31. Patricia Sweeney

    Have worked from home for 20 years, after 20 years of office jobs. Work from home due to chronic pain and to escape from Washington DC commuter traffic. I have 2 extra hours per day to work, and can manage this pain condition by working on the couch and so on.

  32. Damien J Michalosky

    I disagree. Working from home saves me 10 hours a week from commuting. As a software engineer I am in much better zone without others driving by my desk with questions. To communicate with peers, I use Slack, 1 Slack organization is for other Boston IT Professionals and the other is usually my client’s Slack organization. We do video conferences and screen sharing all the time.

  33. Chuck Knowles

    Ask the IRS if they consider making a cool $1 million from home a “hobby” or “false dream” as you say. I haven’t even got my feet wet investing yet and this article chaps my hide. You make some valid points about why it might not be a good idea to work from home, but my lord…your negotiation skills leave a lot to be desired.

    Home office = just a hobby
    Making $1 million from home = average
    Home office = “false dream”
    Home office = “I would never hire you”
    If you’re not creating jobs, you’re not an entrepreneur

    I’d say you did more to PO people than convince them you’re right…

  34. Thomas Phelan

    Here are three huge reasons for working art home which for me equates to working on the Internet while at home.

    1. Use my lap top in Key West Florida to generate income

    2. Pick up my lap top and visit my vineyards in Argentina at harvest time (March/April)

    3. Pick up my lap top and visit my property in Cabos San Lucas in Mexico (any time)

    How could I do that if I were tied to an “Office”? For me having an Office is like owning a dog, every time you think of doing something, e.g. a weekend here of a week there, you are stopped cold in your tracks with the reality of … “What do I do with my dog? Who will watch it. Who will care for it. Who will … ad nauseam.

    It sounds like you need nurturing and embryonic comfort of that an Office might provide but at a tremendous cost-freedom.

  35. Engelo Rumora

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your replies and my apologies for striking a nerve with most of you.

    It seems like most of the folks replying are all “solopreneurs” and don’t run a company with employees.

    All I can is that the biggest and best companies in the world have huge HQ where the brightest minds come together everyday to create greatness.

    Most of that “greatness” allows you to work from home lol

    Like a laptop, phone, software, etc…

    Everyone working from home IMO will never create a legacy through business.

    Sure, you can make a great income and call yourself an Entrepreneur/Business Owner but in my opinion it just isn’t the same.

    An true entrepreneur should have a vision to build a company that will employe hundreds if not thousands of people long after their gone.

    Just my opinion so don’t hate me for it.

    I wish you all continued success

  36. Ira Tweed

    Lots of big companies have employees that work from home. Amazon is one. Your black and white world is convenient. It shows a lack of vision. Plus you are insulting and stereotypical. This article is more about your inner workings than anything else. Good luck and we should all be compensated for the help you have received.

  37. Jim S.

    During my younger years in outside sales, I had several jobs with offices far away so I was required to work from home. I accomplished FAR MORE from home than I did in similar sales jobs where I had an actual office to be based out of. The key is self discipline. If you don’t have that you will fail in a big way. If you do have self discipline you will accomplish so much more without the constant interruptions and chit chat that occurs in a normal office environment.

  38. Vaughn K.

    To respond to your original article, and many of your comments I would say: It depends. As with most things in life, it isn’t clear cut.

    You reframed your argument as “You can’t build a big company with a bunch of employees from home.” versus being “You won’t do well working from home.” in the original article. Those are different things entirely, which is moving the goal post.

    Sure, you can’t build a 50,000 employee company, and be sitting on the couch with 100 accountants working in the kitchen! Fair enough. But you can run MANY operations from home.

    I decided to stop having an office about 10 years ago, because I realized I was wasting tons of money, commute time, utilities, etc. It has saved me, uhhh, probably a couple hundred grand maybe? My area has seen insane rental price increases in this timeframe, so I don’t even want to think what rent would run now for even a modest office. I don’t care to do the math, but it’s A LOT of cash I have saved.

    There are distraction issues and the like. I’ve struggled with them sometimes. I also don’t run a business with a lot of employees anymore. Having employed around 30 people peak once upon a time, I shut down one employee heavy business I owned and kept another with low head count, and I currently just have a couple part timers, and sub contract lots of other stuff. This leaves my life simpler, and lower overhead. Although a newer hobby business may yet force me to buy/rent commercial space if it keeps growing at the rate it does.

    Anyway, I’ve known many wildly successful people who run their operations from home. Many guys in the few million to 10 millionish net worth range. Most ARE NOT businesses where you have tons of full time employees… But some had a fair number. I know a developer who was worth about 100 million bucks going on 20 years ago. I haven’t kept in contact, but he’s probably worth closer to half a billion now knowing what he was invested in. He ran his operation from his 500+ acre Washington state oceanfront estate filled with numerous outbuildings, and of course several gorgeous houses.

    He seemed to be doing just fine. He was a bit eccentric (crazy really, but I’m being nice here!), but he was doing plenty well running his mini empire from his house. He had plenty of employees, but most of them weren’t sitting there working away in his living room with him, they were out at sites doing stuff, maybe popped by to grab things or for a quick meeting, etc.

    In short: It depends on the business, it depends on the number and type of employees, and it depends on your goals. I will agree that there are probably VERY FEW massive companies with thousands of employees run from the bosses house, so at least we agree on that!

  39. Thomas Phelan

    I agree, trying to compare an in-home business with a large outside of the home business lacks validity.

    I am a proponent of “Freedom” thus my emphasize on working at home.

    Playing devil’s advocate there are a few scenarios at home where maintaining a business might be difficult to impossible, children, spouse and pets.

    Some spouses are glad you leave each morning for work as it gives them a certain amount of freedom.

    If you don’t discipline them some children are anything but conducive to a business atmosphere.

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