Working from home is incredibly rewarding in many ways. Sometimes it's a necessity, but you can become very successful as well. I started working at home over five years ago. I have tried many different work at home jobs in the process until finding the work that suites me best. For the last three years I have worked as a freelance writer. In the process I have learned there are some major misconceptions about working from the home.
1. It’s Not Easy
Working from home is not easy. It’s not mindless work a monkey could do. It takes effort, dedication, and perseverance. Most of the time, you are working with little supervision or support. Although, there typically is someone you can email with questions, you don’t always hear back right away and need to problem solve on your own.
2. You Really Should Get Dressed
You always hear about people working at home or going to school online in their pajamas. I’ve been that person. I’d wake up, eat breakfast, and then get in bed with my laptop thinking I would get to work. Wrong! Many times I’d fall right back to sleep. I’ve noticed something happens when I get ready in the morning that perks me and makes me ready to work.
3. Lots of Distraction
Working from home is filled with distractions. This is even more true if you have children. You sit down to work and the dog needs to go out. You leave your at home office to let the dog into the backyard, in the process you see the pile of laundry that needed to be washed since last Thursday, so you put it in. Oh what’s that in the kitchen? Before you know it you are loading up the dishes from breakfast into the dishwasher. Finally after 15 or 20 minutes of distractions you head back to your office to get started. Then you hear the dog barking to come back inside.
4. Work and Family Become a Blur
If you don’t schedule your time properly and really respect the time you have set aside for your work at home job, family life and work can become a blur. Sometimes you can get so distracted by your house work that your freelance work gets put off. Then when the family returns home from school and outside jobs you are stuck in front of the computer trying to catch up. In other cases, it can just be hard to pull away from an unfinished project because your work is always with you.
5. You Need Lots of Discipline
Of course you can get past the distraction, it just takes lots of discipline. You have to plan your day and set aside time that is only meant for work. During this time you can’t be bothered by other people in your house, people calling you on the phone, housework, or animals with small bladders. You have to treat your time working from home with the same professionalism you would working in an office.
6. Others Don’t Understand
Be ready to explain to people over and over again that working at home is real work. Like I said before it is not mindless monkey business. Many jobs require a college degree and a solid background. Friends may see that you work from home, but still think you are available to watch their kids while they go to a doctor’s appointment. You have to stand your ground and let them know that you would love to help, but you can’t have any more distractions while you work. I don’t see anyone calling up the girl working at the gas station to babysit while she’s on shift, so why is working from home any different?
7. Internet Will Eat Your Salary
The Internet is probably the work at homer's best frenemy. Without the Internet I wouldn’t be able to work from home. Most all of my work is exchanged through email or websites. I also have to do a great deal of research on different topics using the Internet. However, right along with email and research is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and now Pinterest. They call my name and suck me in more than I’d like to admit. As freelance writer I get paid by the piece not by the hour. The more time I let the Internet pull me away from work less money I make.
8. It Can Be Lonely
Working from home can also be lonely. You don’t have co-workers around to take a lunch break with. You don’t have people to have a little chat with in the hallway. It’s you, only you, all alone in your work at home office trying ever so hard to not become distracted and stay on task.
Please don’t get me wrong, I love working from home. It works great for me and does for many others. However, it is important to understand that it is hard work that takes a good amount of self-control in order to do your best and succeed. If you have a work at home job, what are some things you would want someone who is considering it to know beforehand?