Working from home has many advantages and disadvantages. But lets start with the positives. Not having to commute to work is fantastic, not having a boss breathing down your neck, super fantastic. Choosing what hours to work, brilliant. Being in charge of your own earning potential – it’s the only way you are going to get rich kiddo.
Wearing just a pair of boxer shorts while working, eerm, maybe we should park that idea.
Spending extra time with the family, amazing.
Now for the downsides. Washing machines spinning in the background, kids talking at you 24/7, partner asking you to run errands, dogs barking, all bad. Extended family thinking you have it easy, a kick in the teeth.
Is working from home right for you?
The first question to ask yourself is “am I self disciplined enough to get up each morning, sit in front of a computer, pick up a phone and do a full day of work?”
That is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you first start working from home. Your home has so many distractions, it’s so easy to lose yourself in home life. It genuinely takes a lot of self discipline and motivation to keep on track.
“Are you prepared to work long hours, early mornings, late evenings, weekends and even holidays?” unlike being in paid 9-5 job it’s rare that you finish at 5pm every day.
When I first started my own business, it took a while getting used to working awkward hours, there is so much to do when you first start out, you have to be prepared to put in as many hours that are needed.
I remember some mornings waking up at 04:30 with my mind buzzing with the to-dos of the day ahead, rather than disturb my good wife, I’d get up and start working instead.
I am not for a second suggesting you wake up before the birds each morning, the point I am making is that you need to be prepared for your body clock to play some weird games with you. I now use a notepad and pen, and make sure I don’t go to bed before all my thoughts are written down, trust me, this works a treat.
More positives to working from home
Once you have the business up and running, you can start to enjoy more of the positive sides. One hot August day my wife had friends over for a BBQ, As things were quiet in the office, I managed to finish early and join them for a refreshing beer in the garden.
After a few years of being in business, I managed to take an extended lunch break every Friday so my wife and I could spend some quality time together before the kids arrived back from school.
I also shared the school runs, attended school assemblies, looked after sickly children and had days out with the little ones while they were on school holidays. Maybe that isn’t for everyone, but I have felt privileged to have been able to share some special moments with my family that I may not have been able to do, if I wasn’t working from home.
Now more negatives to working from home.
Obviously there is always a flip side, negatives can happen in the worse places and times. Like when I was in Greece on a family holiday and I had to spend nearly two whole days in the hotel reception on my laptop trying to fix some servers that had gone offline. My family were soaking it up in the sun while I was getting frustrated in the marble reception area using unbelievably slow internet.
Then there were the times when I couldn’t finish work early, and had to listen to everyone else enjoying their beer in the garden, that’s a hard one to ignore when you’re hot and bothered from the summer heat.
For me, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have worked from home for close to 20 years and the benefits have far outweighed the negatives.