The notion of working remotely or from home is amazing. You don't have to drive to work, you don't have to think about parking ,you can work in your pajamas, and so on. But do you end up being productive?
Sometimes when I wake up, the thought of commuting to work makes me tuck myself even tighter under the cover. I take my phone and compose an email explaining how sick I am and that I shouldn't go to work. I even wrote an app to do just that so I don't have to waste time writing in the morning. Almost always, an hour later I am fully awake and regret my decision to stay home. I then start a new email email saying that I will be work from home instead.
Now here is the problem, I am not setup to work remotely. I do have a computer, fast Internet connection, VPN , but that does not mean I can work from home. I work as a developer and my home machine is not setup like my work machine. It's not even conveniently located for me to do 8 hours of work. My place can be noisy. When I open the door and the neighbor sees me, a good 30 minutes flies by doing neighborly talk. I check my email every once in a while and I am not very accountable. I usually take a break and watch a movie, do laundry, go out to eat. Do mind that this is all during the working hours.
So this was just when I'm not feeling well. A year ago, there was an fire and flood at work and we where all forced to work from home for a week. It took a day just to setup my environment correctly and even though my coworkers and I mainly communicate through IM at work, everyone took an exceptionally long time to answer messages. I am assuming they where at the beach, just like me, answering from their smart phones.
Now I am not suggesting that no one can work remotely. We have team members in London, Spain and Mexico that are doing just fine. Working with them is like having them right next to you. They are well equipped and organized: home office, set schedule, respond in a timely matter.
Having a laptop doesn't qualify you to work remotely. You need to have an office space, with no distraction, and a right set of mind to be able to do so. Remember that the same is expected from you whether you are working for a client or an employer.
So here is what I am saying: It takes a lot to work remotely and it is not for everyone. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Disclaimer: I worked from home for a year, but after two years of in office jobs it's harder than ever.