You may think that working from home is an easy option. In some ways, it is. No commute, no stroppy work mates, no boss eyeballing everything you do, and you can work in your jimjams if you feel so inclined. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Like with everything else, you’ve got to consider the downsides:
1 Finding Work Space
You’re working in your own home so you’ve got to find space to work in. If you’ve got kids, you know how they manage to cover every bit of space. If you haven’t got kids, you’ve still got to find ‘work space’ ideally away from your ‘living space.’ If it isn’t, you’ll never feel like you’re getting away from work. And the temptation to ‘just do another five minutes’ will always be there.
‘Jean’ (not her real name) is a prime example. She works from home, has her computer in the living room, and is always jumping (not literally) from TV to computer. Not good.
2 No Commuting
Okay, so there’s no commute. Definitely a time-saver. If you’ve got school-age kids, and you have a car, there’ll be the school run. You may be lucky and be part of a car pool. Either way, you’ll be doing a different type of ‘commute.’
3 No Stroppy Work Mates
Not all your work mates will be stroppy. If they are, maybe they’re not all stroppy at the same time, or on the same day. The point is, they provide companionship even if you hate each others’ guts – they’re still human contact.
Working at home means that you won’t have work mates, unless you and your spouse/partner/significant other work together. Chances are you’ll be working at home alone. It’s not easy, especially if you live alone.
Take some time out each day to go to the shops, take a walk, join a networking group or fellowship. My friend goes to a local cafe. She’s become such a regular that she holds a small business club meeting there every week.
4 No Boss
The bliss of not having a boss can send you to the other extreme – not do any work. When you work at home, it’s easy to think “I’ll just have 5 minutes on Facebook/Twitter/StumbleUpon, etc”. 30 minutes later, you realise how long you’ve been on there.
You’ve wasted 30 minutes. It may not seem much in the great scheme of things but those 30 minutes could’ve been spent planning your own product, taking part in a webinar, invoicing a customer for work completed, exercising your customer service skills, writing a blog post, etc.
‘Jean’ checks her emails BEFORE she starts work, and goes on social networks in her breaks and lunchtimes. A discussion on your social network may be work-related – but it’s not work. It’s not work that you could earn income from now. Maybe later – weeks, months, years away – but not now. Be aware of how you use your time.
5 Working in Your Jimjams
This is a well-worn phrase you see on Internet marketers sales letters – “Work from home in your pyjamas!” Woo.
Have I ever worked in my jimjams? Yes. The novelty wore off after a few days for two reasons:
I felt a total clod answering the door to a deliveryman one afternoon, while wearing my Union Jack jimjams – hey, I’m English, and
Spending all night then all day then all night in my jimjams. They felt pretty icky when I took them off. That shower was never so needed!
As with most things, try it and see how you get on.
Check out the pro’s and con’s of working from home. It may sound wonderful for the reasons I listed earlier, but it might not suit you. Think about it carefully, look at your other options then make your decision.
When all’s said and done, it’s your decision.
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