Those of you who tuned in last week already know all the things I consider utterly wonderful about working from home. But what about the icky horrible things? Every job has some. Even if you’re working from home.
The Top 8 Worst Things About Working from Home
- Cabin fever. All you think about at work is how you can’t wait to get home… But what if you already are home? Having no escape can be very stressful. Now, there are things that can help with this: For instance, don’t work in your bedroom. (Create a home office, if possible!). Keep your areas to relax and your areas to work in separate. I, unfortunately, don’t have that kind of space right now; but, as soon as we move out, I plan to employ these tactics myself! (And I can’t wait).
- Working from home doesn’t command the respect it deserves. As shown in my illustration above, many people don’t consider working from home a “real” job. No, not even if you make more than they do. You’ll also have to learn how to say “no.” A lot. People will assume that, since you work from home, you’re free to help them move, chat for hours online, go out to the movies on a weeknight, and any number of other things. But, you’re not. And be prepared for the lesser of them to not understand and for the worst of them to resent you for it.
- Distractions. I always try to get everything done in the early morning/afternoon when my roommates are out. Once they come home, it’s loud talking, loud music, unwanted guests, and any number of other distracting shenanigans. My guy is an artist (and also works at home) so he understands—but if you live with anyone else, especially if they’re one of the “norms” with an outside-of-the-house job, they’re just not going to get it. No, not even if you explain it to them.
- It requires HUGE amounts of self-discipline. There are many people who complain about “distractions” when working at home, but they’re usually referring to their own lack of self-discipline. Personally, if I lived alone, or just with my guy, I would not only thrive but probably never stop working. There’s no one breathing down your neck to get the job done which means that it’s all up to you. You have to be diligent. It sounds really lame, but I think my martial arts training helped me a little with this aspect of my work-from-home career…
- The work hours: They never end! Yes, I have steady “hours” for my WTR job…but what about all the other jobs I do on the side? Or my own projects (like this article you’re reading now!)? Quite often I’m writing from the moment I wake up until the moment I crawl under the covers. (Of course, this isn’t always the case–some weeks are worse than others–and with proper use of my dayplanner I can usually manage things all right)
- The final outcome is all that matters. When your boss/client can’t see you, they have no idea how many hours you’ve put in or how much hard work and research you’ve done: All that matters is the final product—because it’s all they can see! It might seem unfair, but can you really blame them?
- Even if you’re supremely organized with your work area, other areas of your home may suffer. I did my laundry on Saturday…it’s still not folded and put away. (Hey, at least it’s clean!)
- So. Much. Pressure. Everything, all the time, it’s all up to me and only meeeeeeeee! No job lasts forever. If I get hurt on the job, I’m the one who has to pay for it. There are no vacations, no bonuses, and no pats on the back. It’s also up to me to do all my own marketing, bookkeeping, filing, and cleaning: It’s all up to me. I am my own business now…and the only one running this business is myself.
When I mentioned that I was doing a sequel to my “Working from Home” article, this time talking about all the problems that come with it, my friend’s mom scoffed and said “luxury problems…” While that’s not exactly true (a lack of respect and heaping amounts of stress aren’t what I’d call “luxury”), she does have a point: Working from home is pretty dang sweet. And, if you go back and look, my list of GOOD things about working from home is longer than the list of bad things.
I know I’ve got it good. However, if I weren’t insanely disciplined, that might be another story. Not everyone thrives when working from home. And it’s always good to know the whole story before leaping into anything. Hopefully that’s what I’ve illustrated here for anyone out there thinking about quitting their “real” job. 😉