Exactly What About Working From Home Jobs You Need to Know
After I wrote my blog “From Passenger to Drive, The Day the Time Clock Died” I received a lot of messages from friends and family asking how they too could work from home or set their own schedule. The main question was what about working from home jobs they needed to know in order to succeed. I noticed something, though… there was a big difference between those thinking how great work from home jobs are, and those that actually contained the drive to succeed in this environment.
You see, people automatically associate working from home with being “lazy”. Getting a vision of yourself sitting back, feet propped up, working in your underwear? Chances are, you wouldn’t last long. That’s because working from home is a WHOLE different ballgame than getting up and commuting to an office environment. So I thought I’d take a moment to dispel a few myths about working from home jobs and break down the good the bad and the ugly behind the scenes. I must add a disclaimer, however; I can only base my facts from my own personal experience.
What about working from home jobs is commonly misconstrued?
Myth 1: Working from home means you get to sleep in late each day
While this would be nice, this is not at all true in my case. I have a set scheduled call with my boss each morning where we go over the day. This helps us to plan for the day and week ahead. I often (and by often I do mean every day) wake up earlier than my husband who commutes to work in order to make sure the day’s schedules are confirmed, respond to emails from the previous nights, and sometimes make early morning phone calls. Because I deal with clients from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and even Australia, the day really never ends. There is always someone, somewhere, who is reaching out and feels as if their need deserves immediate attention. I’d also like to add that showering and getting dressed and ready each morning is a must. I don’t feel fully alert and awake until I’ve had my morning shower.
Myth 2: You can snack all day and break whenever you want when you work from home
This myth is DEFINATLEY not true. In fact, I find myself having to remember to take a break to eat. When your mind has ditched the mentality of punching the time clock and having scheduled breaks you’ll find it operates much differently. You must also factor in the distractions eliminated when you’re working in your own space. At home, I’m in my own comfortable office. I don’t need to worry about coworkers stopping by my desk distracting me, or my boss walking by dropping a pile of files on my desk. It’s easy to become so immersed in work that you don’t realize hours have passed. This can actually be a bad thing, due to the strain put on your brain. In order to make sure that I am focused, I will sometimes cut off what I’m doing and pack up my laptop and hop into the car to some Wi-Fi friendly location around town (I’m typing this from Panera as we speak). A change in the atmosphere helps to keep my thought process fresh.
Myth 3: It’s great to ditch all the annoying (noisy) coworkers when you work from home!
Okay, maybe this isn’t a myth. I must admit, I do enjoy the solitude of working from home. There are a few strains it adds though: for one, no interesting “office stories” to tell when your spouse is sharing theirs. For two, I’d imagine it would be easy to become depressed working in solitude each day. I combat this by taking the time to enjoy my friends and family through lunch dates, phone conversations, and Skype/Facetime. Working in different environments also helps. It’s nice to be around other people, even if I am not directly engaged with them. Finding an activity or hobby like work out classes, a group that shares your interest, etc. also helps tremendously.
Myth 4: You get to spend more time with family when working from home
This isn’t necessarily true, as I’m sure any salaried worker would understand. I work around the clock whether its sending emails from my tablet while watching my daughter at gymnastics, or responding to a client call in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m provided much more flexibility than I was when commuting to work, but this does not mean my workload becomes any lighter. If I need to take time during the day for a doctor’s appointment or errand my workload does not disappear during this time. I most likely stay up late to make up missed time after my daughter has gone to bed at night, or catch up on work from the waiting room while waiting for the nurse to call my name. If you aren’t a person that is self-motivated and organized, working from home will drive you crazy! Many don’t understand why it’s necessary for my Husband and me to pay for daycare/preschool for my 3-year-old when I’m home. The fact of the matter is when I’m in my office working I’m focused on work, and engaged in conference calls, Skype or telephone conversations with my clients. This means I cannot be engaged with my daughter, as a stay at home mother would. It just wouldn’t be fair to my daughter or my clients, who both deserve my undivided attention. My daughter is much more happy to be in an environment where she can interact with others her age, learn, and do activities that require an adult’s full attention.
These are few of the work from home job misconceptions I wish I had known about early on. What about working from home jobs appeals most to you? Drop a comment below? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below!