You’ve seen an advertisement or social media post from someone bragging about their awesome work from home experience. They’re showing pics of their paycheck or numbers for their monthly income and talking about how easy it is. You begin to look at your own situation and wonder what it would be like to work from home, be your own boss, and have more free time. Before you turn in your two-week notice or tell your boss where they can take the job and shove it, WAIT! Read about what working from home is really like below, and then you’ll be ready to decide if it’s right for you.
Nap Time Is Anytime
The good news is you can take naps whenever you want. The bad news is you can take naps whenever you want. It’s already tempting to repeatedly hit the snooze button in the mornings. Knowing you’re on your own schedule makes it even more of a challenge to get out of bed and get moving.
You must keep your eyes on the prize, and take your business seriously even though it’s from your home and within your control. Take advantage of your freedom sometimes, but use your flexibility wisely. Work hard and use your down time as a reward for all you’ve done.
You’re The Boss, So There’s No One To Enforce Productivity
Challenges with being productive is the number one drawback of being self-employed, especially while working from home. Many people or things will distract you from work (kids, spouse, friends, TV, radio, cat, dog, social media, your own thoughts, your free will, just knowing that you’re on your own schedule). With dedication and focus, you can overcome this challenge.
There’s No Such Thing As Riding The Clock
As a matter of fact, there is no clock when working from home. No more clocking in and running off to the break room to grab your morning coffee. In other words, if you don’t work you don’t get paid. If you’re solely self-employed, it won’t take long to understand this well.
If you’re an independent contractor, most companies explicitly state that you can’t even document technical issues as time worked. Whether you complete your work early or late, it’s not their problem. Getting paid for time off and holidays is also very rare. Keep in mind that you’ll have to sacrifice a lot of benefits for the reward of working from the comfort of your home and having more control of your life and schedule.
Kiss Your Water Cooler Talks Goodbye After Working From Home
One of the things that got me through my days in the traditional workforce are my co-workers. In fact, some of them are still good friends of mine today. Their morning greetings, jokes and laughter, words of encouragement, lunches, department parties, and even occasional office gossip made the days shorter and easier. That’s one of the things you won’t have working from home, and it can be a challenge.
You’ll have to find other ways to meet new people and make friends. It may also be a struggle to have conversations your old friends can relate to. Your professional setups are no longer the same. Don’t fret, though; all isn’t lost! There are plenty of people on networking sites and social media groups who connect and help each other make work at home experiences less anti-social.
Learn How To Say No Or Prepare To Fail
Many people in your life will think working from home equals free time or, in other words, THAT YOU DO NOTHING. They’ll start to call more whenever they feel like it or even ask you to run their errands or do their chores. Keep this under control and learn not to be a pushover. If you don’t, your career will suffer and so will your paycheck. Don’t start what you can’t continue, so practice saying no before someone else makes a habit of planning out your day for you.
Always Have Money In The Bank
This is a no-brainer, but it can’t be stressed enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re an independent contractor, working in sales, or have your own personal clients, you never know when your bread and butter income streams will want to sever their ties and dry up your stream. Do your best to have enough money in the bank to cover expenses (without dipping into long-term savings) while you’re seeking out your new dream client.
Just like the beginning of any business opportunity, the weight of making money and having benefits is completely on your shoulders. Working from home can be one of the best decisions you ever make if you do it the right way. Use the six tips to evaluate your own situation and think about what it will take to transition into working from home.
Are you considering working from home? What are some of your questions or concerns? If you already work from home, share your advice in the comments below!
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